City responds warmly to Maritzburg’s voluntary veggie planter

2015-04-21 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality horticulturist Mbulaheni Tshivhase became an ­overnight sensation, winning the hearts of many Pietermaritzburg residents with his efforts to beautify the city.

After The Witness ran a story on ­Tshivhase yesterday, comments on the article on Facebook were abuzz with compliments and admiration.

Responsible for the planting of an ­array of flowers and vegetables along the city’s main roads, Tshivase has only been living in Pietermaritzburg for a year. He was born and bred in Alberton, ­Johannesburg.

He studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town and plans to do his Masters degree soon.

Unmarried, Tshivhase said he spends his extra time watering the flowers and vegetables his team planted.

“I used to be an avid football follower, but Liverpool has been losing recently,” Tshivhase laughed.

He said his team consists of people who have the potential to be groomed and are interested in the project and what it aims to achieve.

“I need positive energy,” he said.

Tshivhase said once the vegetables are ready to be harvested, they will be supplied to old-age homes, charities and to the workers on his team who assisted in their planting.

“The people who planted the vegetables should also profit from their efforts. It is also a way to help them lead a healthy lifestyle, which will impact positively on their work,” he said.

Tshivhase said there have been many cases were both flowers and vegetables have been stolen, but he warned thieves that the plants are sprayed with toxic herbicides and other chemicals which could land those who consume them in hospital.

“We understand the vegetables are tempting to those who are hungry but we urge them not to consume the vegetables. We know how to wash off the toxins after they are harvested, but many others don’t,” Tshivhase said.

He appealed to the community who would like to donate flowers or seeds to the project to drop off their contributions at the Mountain Rise Cemetery on Chota Motala Road.


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