HERITAGE SITE FOR TATA’S BIG TREE
MANDELA DAY has become a day on which the nation chooses charity.
Many will spend the better part of their time tomorrow supporting and helping those in need.
Today, the very same white Stinkwood tree planted by Madiba in celebration of his 90th birthday will be unveiled as a heritage site by the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng.
The Nelson Mandela Champion Tree was planted in Thokoza Park, Soweto, in 2008 to commemorate Arbor Month as part of Johannesburg City Parks’ tree-planting campaign.
Noeleen Mattera of Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo said the tree was planted as part of the Greening Soweto Legacy Project which started in 2006.
“It was aimed at planting 200 000 trees to bridge the green divide between the tree vistas of the north and the sparse south of Joburg, and our target was met.”
Mattera said Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo had extended an invitation to the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2008 for Madiba to plant a tree for his 90th birthday. The tree was the 90 990th to take root under the legacy project.
“To our utmost delight, he accepted the invitation, together with his wife Graça Machel, and they planted the Stinkwood, which has now been gazetted as a heritage site.”
On the day of the tree planting, Machel helped Madiba lift a spade and fill the hole with soil.
GREAT ROOTS: Nelson Mandela and his wife Graça Machel planted the 90 990th tree in Soweto in celebration of Arbor Week in September 2008. The tree has now been declared a heritage site.