The KwaZulu-Natal Integrated Greening Programme (IGP) is a partnership programme led by the KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier which focuses on greening activities through employment creation for unskilled people. The programme is an ideal Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Wildlands Conservation Trust, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, Public Works, Economic Development and Tourism, Human Settlements and Msunduzi and eThekwini Municipalities.
The Integrated Greening Programme, launched in 2011, recently completed its full first year of operation. This partnership between Government, Business and Civil Society has grown from strength to strength and has achieved remarkable heights in terms of its sustainable objectives goals.
In its first year, the total project value was R20million, of which the Provincial Government, through the Departments of Public Works and Agriculture and Environment contributed R8,297,892. Maintaining to the initial model, all funds contributed by government went directly to project beneficiaries in the form of wages. Wildlands covered all project management costs and overheads associated with the project. This has meant that all funding supplied by government led to the creation of ‘green jobs’.
The program provided employment to 3,167 individuals and created 118,625 person days of labour throughout the province. This was done at an average direct cost of less than R70 per person day to government – significantly less than other Expanded Public Works Programs in the country and testament to the value of the partnership and contribution from the Wildlands Conservation Trust.
However, the programme is about much more than the creation of green jobs and has also made a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation and the maintenance of green infrastructure in the Province. During the first year, 545,997 trees were propagated – 277891 of which were planted in carbon sinks and greening programmes. In addition, more than a million kilograms of recyclable waste was collected from target communities and 23,000ha of communal land was secured from conservation and nature-based tourism activities.
The project has been a great success and was duly mentioned by the Premier during his State of the Province Address. It has continued into its second year with the on-going support of government and business.