Five new water berry trees are lining the Poplar dam in Jeffreys Bay thanks to Kouga Municipality’s Revenue section.
The Revenue team was awarded the trees last week by Lexis Nexis, one of South Africa’s biggest legal and business research companies, in recognition of their efforts to go green.
“Our Revenue section started issuing rates clearance certificates electronically for the first time earlier this year, significantly reducing the amount of paper that they use,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.
“We are proud of the changes they have made to strengthen their efficiency, cut costs and help save the planet in the process.”
Sharne Richter, from Lexis Nexis, complimented the municipality on how quickly they had mastered the electronic system.
“The municipality installed the software in April this year and has been issuing about 350 certificates per month electronically since then,” he said. “Trees are one of the incentives we offer to municipalities to go this eco-friendly route.
“These five trees are our gift to Kouga to thank the municipality for its commitment to reducing waste and safeguarding the environment in every aspect of their business.”
The Lexis Nexis team joined the Mayor, Kouga Finance Portfolio Councillor, Brenton Williams, Revenue manager, Ria van Heerden, and her team to plant the trees at the Poplar dam.
Also present was Raymond Brown who, together with his former colleague, Alistair le Grange, were the officials responsible for issuing rates clearance certificates for the transfer of properties.
“Our rates clearance team has always been highly regarded by the law firms they work with and it is fantastic to see them constantly upping their game,” Hendricks said.
The water berry is an indigenous tree that occurs naturally along stream banks. It can grow to a height of up to 15m, with a spread of up to 6m.
The flowers form an attractive display during spring and summer while its fleshy fruit is edible and attracts birds.