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​Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Johannesburg's Joubert Park would have been a hive of activity with chess players, card players and park snappers filling up the City's green lung in a maze of high-rise buildings.

Today, 22 September 2020, it was brimming with politicians, bodyguards, company executives and City of Johannesburg employees who were celebrating National Arbor Month in collaboration with the Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries, Total South Africa and IERM.

The colourful celebrations culminated in the unveiling of a plaque and handing over the Remembrance Garden in Joubert Park to the City of Joburg. The Garden of Remembrance pays tribute to the country's frontline workers and those who lost their lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness about the importance of planting trees and conserving them in order to have a sustainable environment for future generations.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Margaret Arnolds, said: “As we celebrate the Abor Month, we would like to emphasise that trees and forests routes are one of the greatest and most important resources in the world as their contribution to the effective regulation of our environment and atmosphere is priceless they are our natural sanitiser".

It was also emphasised that advocating for a greener society creates better oxygen, which results in healthier people and the maintenance of climate change.

The Recreation and Conservation Manager at City Parks and Zoo, Bishop Ngobeli, urged residents to plant more trees. “Let's plant trees but let's maintain them for the future generation to have a better life".

About 700 trees, which were donated by the private sector, will be distributed across the City of Johannesburg's parks. Seventy percent will be indigenous trees and 30% will be fruit trees.

The day ended with a tree-planting ceremony and some dancing moves of the “Jerusalema" dance challenge as per President Cyril Ramaphosa's request in celebration of the Heritage Month. – By Abongile Guntu