Phelang School for learners with special educational needs in Kwa-Thema is characterised by neat premises, well organised food garden and disciplined learners.
It is for this reason the school was chosen amongst many by the City of Ekurhuleni in partnership with MPACT, a paper and plastic packaging manufacturing and recycling company to receive food gardening equipment comprising of ten composters.
Composters are containers that supplying organic materials, water, and oxygen, the already present bacteria will break down the plant material into useful compost for the garden.
As the bacteria decompose the materials, they release heat, which is concentrated in the center of the pile.
The innovative devices were donated to encourage the school to generate their own compost, ten mixed fruit and indigenous trees, seedlings and gardening tools.
Tshepo Ledwaba, the school’s principal could not contain his excitement upon receipt of the equipment.
“When we started the food garden, we never anticipated that it will grow to make such a huge impact on the learner’s lives as well as in the community. We harvest vegetables from the garden and provide nutritious plates to the learners and educators,” he said.
Ledwaba said the project had also instil passion to the learners, with some even starting food garden in their homes.
He explained that the donation of ten composters will save the school some money, because now they would be able to generate their own compost.
“Previously we would buy compost from retail stores to fertilise their soil, but now there wouldn’t be any need for that,” he said.
The city through the department of Environment Resources offered school learners a crash-course on how to generate their own compost using vegetable peels and dried leaves.
Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) For Environment Resources and Waste Management Services, Alderman Makhosazana Mabaso handed over the food gardening equipment and trees to the school.
“We are excited as the city to partner with MPACT towards encouraging our children at an early age in using waste compost. The programme will reinforce the culture of Re-Use and Recycle in their young minds, which will become sustainable practices in our communities and saving our environment for the next generations to enjoy” said MMC Mabaso.