Pupils urged to learn about biodiversity

City of Cape Town members together with school pupils and teachers during the launch of the Sustainable Tourism Programme at Sinethemba High School in Philippi.

The City of Cape Town launched the student awareness component of its Sustainable Tourism Programme at Sinethemba High School.

Pupils from the school were encouraged to learn more about biodiversity, their neighbouring environment, landmarks, including tourist destination points, national key points, rivers and the unique biospheres within the province.

The City’s Invasive Species Unit encouraged the pupils to take care of alien species, clean rivers, take care of plants and mostly take care of their surroundings.

The launch saw pupils interacting with environmentalists and discussing different environmental issues. A key component of the programme is to expand and restore visitor facilities.

Xabiso Mzwakali, representing the City of Cape Town, said during September they were focusing on encouraging South Africans to travel regularly within their country and to get a better understanding of the fun-filled, affordable and exciting attractions available to them.

“During the month of September there is a series of activations that profile achievements by the Department of Tourism and Industry in growing the sector, the country’s flagship attractions, celebrating excellence in the sector via various media activations, events, public lectures on related tourism and hospitality topics, industry dialogues and formal dialogues and business breakfasts.

“The Sustainable Tourism Programme was created to be rolled out in the City’s four service delivery areas in the metro of Cape Town.

“The roll-out of the programme to these areas will enhance small businesses to network with formal business and link with government institutions, academics and other parastatal organisations,” he said.

He said the student programme was aimed at promoting environmental awareness and education at schools, and encouraging pupils to examine and interpret the environment from a variety of perspectives.

Mayoral committee member for area south, Eddie Andrews, invited pupils to use the resources and opportunities available to them to establish their own businesses and companies.

“You need to have a deep desire to drive your own business. Young people must form their own businesses not only in the tourism industry but anywhere,” he said.

Teacher, Sakhiwo Sam, said tourism continued to be one of the best contributors to the country’s economy.

“This is a big boost to us as teachers and children. All those who attended were tourism pupils. Surely they have learned a lot and will know what to do after school,” he said.

Environmentalist Phumudzo Ramabulana pleaded with pupils to look after their environment, and to clear it of alien species.