Saturday 02 February 2013 is celebrated around the world as World Wetlands Day, and to mark this annual occasion, Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – local bottlers of The Coca-Cola Company in the Western Cape) is supporting the Zandvlei Trust for the fifth consecutive year.
The Westlake Wetlands of the Zandvlei, a major recreational resource for the City of Cape Town, was plagued by the alien Water Hyacinth plant (Ichornea crassipes or water orchid) which originates from the Amazon. The Water Hyacinth is a beautiful water weed with the ability to double in size every 38 days, making it a threat to the wetlands wildlife as many animals are forced to flee the congested waterways. As a result, the Westlake and Keysers’ Rivers were totally overridden by these invasive weeds.
PenBev took on the challenge of helping the Zandvlei Trust eliminate the weed infestation by sponsoring a young, unemployed man to clear the waterways each month. Michael Melikaya Mangwata has been equipped with the skills needed to tackle the Hyacinth and since his work began, a vast improvement can be seen by the increase in wildlife which has returned to this area. Otters, fish, water mongoose and abundant birdlife rely on the area, and thanks to Michael’s work have returned in recent years.
Denise Green, Corporate Communications Manager at PenBev says, “PenBev has a vested interest in education and environmental issues so to combine these sectors by supporting the skills development and job creation for Michael whilst assisting in the rehabilitation of Zandvlei is the perfect partnership. We envisage a long and prosperous relationship with the Zandvlei Trust and look forward to many more years working together.”
The Zandvlei project forms part of PenBev’s 'Live for a Difference' campaign to make a positive difference in South Africa through redesigning the way people live, work and interact with each other. As water is such a valuable commodity to all life, PenBev is pleased to be part of such an important initiative which tackles the preservation of this resource.
For more information on the projects that PenBev are involved with visit www.penbev.co.za
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