SA citizens are planting spekboom as part of the #SpekboomChallenge in a bid to aid the fight against climate change. The indigenous plant rich in Vitamin C and is mainly found in the Eastern Cape. Its also known as the “wonder plant” because it can absorb the highest amount of carbon dioxide when compared to any other plants and can live up to 200 years because it has the ability to adapt to its surrounding.
Boplaas Family Vineyards in Calitzdorp has pledged to plant one million spekbooms by 2025. They are urging South Africans to join the challenge and numerous organizations and ordinary citizens have taken up the challenge. “If we can get 1000 people to plant 100 plants, that’s 100,000 spekboom shrubs helping us fight global climate change,” said Carel Nel owner of Boplaas.
Besides individuals taking part in the spekboom challenge, there are various initiatives across the country to champion the cause of planting spekboom as an environmentally friendly act. Spekboom Promoter is Abraham Enzo van Vuuren who is also the president of the Greater Magaliesberg Biosphere Business Chamber and Founder of Heal the World 4 Us. He has been carrying a baby Spekboom tree in an incubator around his neck and since 2014. Furthermore, he ran a project that creates awareness about the plant’s unique properties and sold tiny spekboom plants to school children and businesses.
Another ambitious spekboom project is The Great Labyrinth of Africa headed by Heart Capital. The plan of this project is to create the largest labyrinth in the world by planting 165,000 spekboom bushes in Klapmuts, near Stellenbosch. Heart Capital realized that watering the plants by hand is impossible hence they are appealing for funds to lay some water pipes to keep the 200,000 bushes which have been grown over the last three years.