The South African Green Schools Programme launched in Limpopo

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, together with the Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mr Seaparo Sekoati and the MEC for Education, Mr Ishmael Kgatjepe launched the inaugural South African Green Schools Programme (SAGSP) in Polokwane today, Tuesday 25 April 2017.

The SAGSP is a pilot project implemented by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), which amongst others, aims to raise awareness to learners to the problem of environmental degradation which can be reversed through educating the nation and adopting sustainable measures of harvesting environmental resources with a view to create a legacy the future generations can inherit.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Minister Thomson encouraged the school leaners to become ambassadors for the environment for the sake of the current and future generations. “The care for, and protection of, our environment has to start at a young age and I would like to express my thanks to everyone involved in taking this pro-active step to nurture in our younger generation an appreciation of the importance of environmental care and protection,” said Deputy Minister.

As part of the SAGSP initiative, learners from at least 105 schools in and around Limpopo province showcased their projects that focus on environmental conservation. Schools with outstanding projects were awarded prizes to the value ranging from R35 000.00 to R100 000.00. These funds will be channelled towards small-scale projects that support meaningful learners’ action on environmental issues in their respective schools. The winning schools are as follows:

Name of School Name of Award and Amount
Intermediate Phase (Grade 6)
Mosasane Baloyi Primary School

Rhino Award – R100 000.00

Rethusitswe Primary School

Renewable Energy Award - R 75 000.00

Ramaahlo Primary School

Blue-Crane Award – R50 000.00

Sudzulusani Primary School

Baobab Award – R40 000.00

Dikgabje Primary School

Lake Fundudzi Award – R35 000.00

Senior Phase

Name of School

Name of Award and Amount

Mopane Intermediate School

Rhino Award – R100 000.00

Pax College

Renewable Energy Award - R 75 000.00

Phutikwe Combined School

Blue-Crane Award – R50 000.00

Lepono High School

Baobab Award – R40 000.00

Sekoba Secondary School

Lake Fundudzi Award – R35 000.00

Today’s children are tomorrow’s decision-makers and they need to be equipped with the knowledge of intricacies of the workings of the environment which gives all biological beings their livelihood.  Unfortunately, many children have few opportunities to experience nature. Excitement about nature and caring for environment should be modelled to children to instil enthusiasm.

Environmental education based on life experiences should begin during the very earliest years of life. Beginning this process in the early years, when attitudes toward the world around them are forming, is essential. Such experiences play a critical role in shaping lifelong attitudes, values, and patterns of behavior toward natural environments. Children's attitudes toward living things develop at a young age and they will imitate the attitudes and actions toward caring for the environment that is modelled for them.

The SAGSP initiative is comprised of six thematic areas:

Waste Management

  • To promote waste hierarchy (reduce, reuse and recycle) and waste management projects;

Energy Efficiency & Conservation

  • To promote energy awareness, audits and energy saving strategy;

Water Management and Conservation

  • To promote planning and optimum utilization of water resources e.g. rain water harvesting, water usage audits, irrigation methods;

Landscaping, Tree Planting and Beautification

  • To contribute to carbon off setting and beauty of the school;

Public Participation and Community Empowerment

  • To instill sense of environmental responsibility in communities (knowledge and skills); and

Leadership and Institutional Arrangements

  • To develop school environmental policy, vision, mission, strategies and plans to achieve greening projects and awareness.

To access a copy of the Deputy Minister’s speech, click on the link below.

>> Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson’s speech at the South African Greenest Schools Programme Pilot Project Awards Ceremony, Limpopo.

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