Deputy Ministers Mabudafhasi and Xasa to hand over school desks in Mthatha, Eastern Cape

09 January 2014


The Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, together with Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Thokozile Xasa, will hand over 250 school desks to St Patrick’s Senior Secondary School, on Monday 13 January 2014, in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.

The handing over of school desks is part of back to school campaign. The initiative is also in honour of the late former statesman, Nelson Mandela. The school is in the impoverished Libode area near Mthatha.

The desks to be handed over are made out of biomass from cleared Invasive Alien Plants and manufactured at the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working for Water Eco Furniture factory situated in KwaZulu-Natal. The Working for Water Programme has piloted value-added industry options, in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Invasive Alien Species Programme (KZN IASP). These initiatives have shown the viability of the approach of utilising invasive alien biomass to create jobs, in making value-added products relevant to Government’s needs, and reducing the cost of clearing the invasive plants.

The product that has become the short-term major focus has been the manufacture of school desks. High-quality, durable, solid-wooden desks are being manufactured for less than half the cost of chipboard desks that last a fraction of the time of the Eco-desks. At R420-00 per school desk, the cost of the Eco-desks includes the full cost of harvesting the wood.

The media is invited to attend the event as follows:

Date: Monday 13 January 2014

Venue: St Patrick’s Senior Secondary School, Libode - Gxulu Location, Mthatha

Time: 09:00

To RSVP, contact:

Ernest Mulibana
Cell: 082 263 7372
Tel: 021 405 9439 

For media queries, contact:

Zolile Nqayi
Cell: 082 898 6483