R1m extra saves highway fig tree

2012-11-22 09:49

Johannesburg - Concession holders of the N4 had to pay around R1m extra to save a centuries-old fig tree when they built an extension to the highway outside Mbombela, Beeld reported on Thursday.

"The tree would originally have been removed to make room for two lanes, but after the community expressed their displeasure with our plan, different options were considered to try and save the tree," said Anita Heyl, spokesperson for concession holder Trans African Concessions (Trac).

There was an uproar in 2011 when Trac announced plans to remove the tree, a Ficus Salicifolia, which was originally thought to be a protected species, and only one of two in the area.

Even though these concerns were found to be groundless, Trac resolved to save the tree.

With the help of the CSIR, samples were bored from the trunk and sent to the Netherlands for testing. The tree was found to be between 215 and 265 years old.

In October 2011, the SA National Roads Agency gave permission for the road to be redesigned to preserve the tree, and 1km of road had to be replanned.

Road construction is nearing completion, and the tree has been left to stand tall, on an island between the old and new roads.

  • charlene.vandoorn - 2012-11-22 10:00

    Thank you for saving such a beautiful tree.

      jack.blacking.56 - 2012-11-22 10:12

      Yip, well done guys.

  • zaaristotle - 2012-11-22 10:02

    Well done - at least this tree has done more for the planet by producing oxygen than other people I know who have much more spent on them.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-11-22 10:54

      Those people waste oxygen and produce hot air.

      jack.blacking.56 - 2012-11-22 11:40

      Have your right to comment...

  • christopher.mccormick.127 - 2012-11-22 10:03


  • ReinardtB - 2012-11-22 10:07

    What a fantastic waste of time, money and energy. This really is 'green' at it's worst. If it were a forest or at least a large number of trees, you know, something that actually makes a difference, but all the extra time and expenditure for a SINGLE tree?

      dragonfire47 - 2012-11-22 10:19

      We all feel sorry for you, so sad

      narike.lintvelt.9 - 2012-11-22 10:20

      Money well spent.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-11-22 10:34

      It starts with one...

      ethel.sleith - 2012-11-22 10:37

      Shame on you. What if the extra time and expenditure had been spent for a SINGLE person, like you? Well done to everyone concerned in saving this tree. This is indeed money well spent.

      mshiniboys - 2012-11-22 10:52

      ReinardtB do not confuse a plantation and an indigenous tree.Once you cut this tree it never grows back.unlike plantations for which you can get seeds and replace.

      Msika - 2012-11-22 11:10

      ReinardtB is retard.

      donovan.hoffman.18 - 2012-11-22 11:17

      You probably sit on the board of TRAC... You say "if it were a a forest" even they are in danger because of the greedy Industrialists!

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-22 12:37

      ReinhardtB With acomment like taht I take it that the B stands for BUTTHEAD

  • Brian - 2012-11-22 10:12

    Oh wow - TRAC collects 5 times this amount from one day in a long weekend from the most expensive toll road in SA

  • johan.uys.75 - 2012-11-22 10:14

    Well done, better than the R250 m+ spent on the dead stump...

      narike.lintvelt.9 - 2012-11-22 10:20

      well said ;) more trees, less Zuma!

  • bloodstone.shakespeare - 2012-11-22 10:14

    Mbombela? Where is Mbombela again?

      Msika - 2012-11-22 10:26

      Just look at your backside, should be somewhere there.

      miyelani.mthembi - 2012-11-22 10:28

      Google , meaning you never heard of Mbombela Staduim, great

      bloodstone.shakespeare - 2012-11-22 10:32

      @Msika - that's what I thought too

      geronimo.feather - 2012-11-22 10:47

      Actually, I agree. The city is Nelspruit. The greater municipality is called Mbombela. Since when do we refer to a municipality to describe a place? It makes no sense at all. The article should refer to the city name, i.e. "on the N4 outside Nelspruit" and not some silly municipal boundary - I bet nobody knows where the boundary of the municipality is in any event.

      Mbuso Siera - 2012-11-22 10:58

      Go to the Nederlands nd ask they will tell were it is...

      Annette Jacobs - 2012-11-22 11:01

      I agree, everybody, black included used to know exactly where places were, nowadays only the people changing everything know what is what and the rest of us are in the wild. we now wonder where we live,

  • Msika - 2012-11-22 10:15

    Awosome indeed!! I always drive past there once a month, it's such a beautiful sight. Hopefully the road design doesn't cause road accidents and give the tree a bad name.

      narike.lintvelt.9 - 2012-11-22 10:21

      *like* first part of comment

      Msika - 2012-11-22 11:12

      *Awesome* duh!

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-11-22 10:16

    Great news - Imagine if this tree could speak? I respect people who dont cut trees - I feel sad when I have to trim my oak thats over 50 years old! I am not a tree hugger but I could be - A tree that stood tall for centuries should be honoured - Now please put a plaque on the tree - it should be given national status and respect - instead of our politicians!

  • danie.smit.587 - 2012-11-22 10:19

    Well done , may there be many more

  • fpstevens - 2012-11-22 10:24

    Well done :)

  • lee.brand.73 - 2012-11-22 10:31

    well done. The govt blow a bar in less than 60 secs. The tree will still b there after they have gone.

  • hughhezuze.schalkwyk - 2012-11-22 10:38

    well done!!!

  • Billy - 2012-11-22 10:38

    yay a win for nature. well done guys :) wow centuries, if that tree could tell stories...

      Msika - 2012-11-22 11:17

      Good thing it can't hey...imagine the year is 3000 and it has to tell stories of the current state of affairs of this country. Zumaville/Nkandlaville, HIV and shower, rape, murder,corruption, Arms deal...we don't want that now, do we?

  • craig.thom.376 - 2012-11-22 10:41

    figing good that

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-22 10:43

    Well done guys. I just hope some taxi does not ride it out of the ground.

      stuka.nel - 2012-11-22 10:56

      I really would like to see the taxi that take that tree out...if it's the one in the photo that taxi has not been invented yet.

      Warren Mudge - 2012-11-22 12:54

      have you seen this tree, a fully laden coal truck will not put a dent in it, this is one grandad of a sturdy Ficus

  • Mbuso Siera - 2012-11-22 10:56

    well done to all the Mbombela community....and its government...we able to protect every type of species even trees......its a stable city with a growing economy....if u thinking of investing come to this growing world class city with lots of opportunities for investors...and u can trust the ANC leadership of the province...

      Msika - 2012-11-22 11:19

      You are being sarcastic right? Mbombela's SA's capital city of corruption.

      Warren Mudge - 2012-11-22 12:53

      yea right, those politicians and business people that were corrupted and bribed and committed murder when the stadium of the giraffe was built.

      geronimo.feather - 2012-11-23 02:18

      Mbombela isn't a city

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-22 10:58

    If the roads people listened to the public over the tree, why don't they listen over e-tolling? Kathy

      Msika - 2012-11-22 11:21

      Because that tree is not a first class passenger on the gravy train.

  • PumaFred - 2012-11-22 11:11

    R1m less for Nkandla

  • PumaFred - 2012-11-22 11:11

    R1m less for Nkandla

  • khaya.mteshane - 2012-11-22 11:42

    R1M on the damn many bursaries would have been issued out of that? Nxa!!! Whats there to gain from this tree?

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-22 12:40

      The oxygen that humans and animals breathe you idiot

      Warren Mudge - 2012-11-22 12:50

      your heritage!!!!!! my friend or do you also support the slaughter of rhinos just so that some dam man from the east can get it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • david.t.apel.1 - 2012-11-22 12:01

    Thank you from a Tree Hugger

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-22 12:03

    You worry about R1m spent on a tree but what about the R200m spen on a tree house?

  • Tshepiso.Vundla - 2012-11-22 15:37

    so when gov idiots waste money its wrong. n now u want to save a tree for 1M.. seem like u people like to selectively complain. just a joke

  • Karabo Phetoane - 2012-11-22 17:13

    @theMichael waste is waste no-matter how big or small,its like sinning there is no big sin or small sin.

  • Gert van Coller - 2012-11-22 19:20

    A bit of good news between all the bad news. Nice!

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