These desks were manufactured from timber obtained during the clearing of alien invasive plants at the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working for Water eco furniture factory in KwaZulu-Natal.
“As the environmental sector, we must input into the shaping and moulding of these future leaders so that the caring for and management of our environment becomes important considerations in their minds,” Deputy Minister Thomson said.
The handover of desks by the Deputy Minister was in response to the school principal’s plea for school desks and uniforms for leaners who come from poor backgrounds.
Deputy Minister Thomson handed over 60 desks to the school, school uniforms to 25 leaners, as well as 1 185 school bags with stationery to learners.
The Working for Water programme is aimed at establishing viable furniture factories where products needed by government are manufactured. Wood from alien invasive plants is used to manufacture high quality products at lower cost, creating jobs for approximately 1 500 workers nationally. The programme also produces chess board tables.
According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, alien invasive plants cause enormous damage to the environment threatening water security, reducing the productive use of land and affecting the ecological functioning of natural systems.
“The care for our environment has to start at a young age and we therefore need to take proactive step to nurture in our younger generation an appreciation for the importance of environmental care and protection,” Deputy Minister Thomson said.
Theu–Theu Primary School is a disadvantaged school located in the Vukuzakhe township.
“The key objective of all of these programmes is to link marginalised communities with opportunities and resources in the environmental sector to address poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment, and to encourage community ownership and management of our natural and cultural resources,” said Deputy Minister Thomson.
Deputy Minister Thomson said the Working for Water and furniture programmes has assisted with job creation and skills development.