New desks for Boitumelo High School

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The deputy minister of water and environmental affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi (front; left), recently handed over 250 desks to the Boitumelo High School in Ficksburg. The minister told Courant that her department had previously adopted the struggling school as part of the Nelson Mandela Day celebrations last year. She says the school also benefitted from a water tank, computers and clothing donated by departmental staff. Mabudafhasi says the desks 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.