WESSA recognises Environmental and Conservation stars at 92nd AGM and Annual Awards.

15 September 2018

WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) paid tribute to a wide range of outstanding environmental achievements with the presentation of the organisation’s Annual Awards. These Awards were presented at the organisation’s 92nd AGM, which was hosted by WESSA’s Eastern Cape membership branch at Cape Recife near Port Elizabeth on Saturday 15 September 2018.

The WESSA Awards, which have been presented since 1974, enable WESSA to recognise and honour those who have made a significant contribution to the environmental conservation or environmental education sector in South Africa over the past year in an exceptional and sustained manner.

The WESSA Individual Award was presented to Duncan Paul, the WESSA Group Award recipient was the Friends of Blaauwberg Conservancy Area and the WESSA Award for Corporates was awarded to eThekwini Municipality and Nampak Plc.

WESSA also played tribute to Mavuso Msimang, who was awarded the prestigious WESSA Gold Award for his extraordinary contribution to the transformation of the environmental and conservation sector over the past 30 years.

Grade 10 learner, Dikgang Atlegang of Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg was awarded the WESSA Youth Award.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the programme at the celebratory event was aptly structured around the theme of Local Initiatives for the Environment. Dr Andrew Muir, Chief Executive Officer of the Wilderness Foundation delivered the key note address. He spoke about the biodiversity characteristics of the Algoa Bay area, and in particular noted that the Eastern Cape is the top region in the world for its biodiversity. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality holds the accolade of being the only city in Africa with 5 biomes.



Gold Award
Mavuso Msimang
In recognition of his long-term vision and commitment to improve the natural and social environments for South Africa and it’s peoples. For more than 30 years, he has consistently displayed commitment to issues of South African environmental conservation and transformation.

WESSA Award for Individuals
Presented to Duncan Paul
In recognition of his many years of hard work and significant financial support and provision of resources for the combatting of rhino poaching in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. This was through the set-up of a K9 unit in the reserve where tracker dogs have proved to be an essential tool to fight wildlife crime by tracking down poachers, detecting wildlife products and recovering illegal weapons and ammunition. WESSA acknowledges his sustained track-record of promoting and securing environmental well-being. We salute his enthusiasm and significant contributions to conservation and ‘Caring for the Earth’.

WESSA Award for Groups
Friends of Blaauwberg Conservancy Area
Under the leadership of Roy Fuller-Gee, this award acknowledges the FoBCA for their enthusiasm, stewardship, network, influence and resilience which created numerous conservation projects in the reserve. We recognise their role in the establishment of the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, which includes the establishment of the coastal dune trail, the establishment of a CREW team for the area, the ongoing clearing of invasive species from the reserve and their vigilance in the protection of the heritage value of the property and land.

WESSA Award for Corporates
(Two 2018 recipients)
eThekwini Municipality
In recognition of their commitment to ecosystems restoration and rehabilitation. WESSA acknowledges the highly acclaimed Working for Ecosystems Programme of eThekwini, which has restored ecological integrity and resilience of ecosystems through the control of alien plants. The success of this programme has ensured the protection and preservation of our natural biodiversity, whilst supporting the sustainable development of SMME’s, job creation and community development.

In recognition of their commitment to environmental education particularly relating to waste management and the implementation of recycling projects in South African schools. They have displayed a sustained commitment and responsibility to manage and mitigate impact by their significant investment into the development of sustainable products.

WESSA Award for Youth
Atlegang Dikgang
In recognition of his actions as a key initiator responsible for the Paper4Bread Campaign in the Rustenburg region of North West Province. His project has had a profound impact on the school and local community. WESSA acknowledges him as an enthusiastic and thoughtful young leader who has, through his actions had a national impact on waste management. He is an inspiration to all youth of South Africa and we are proud to associate ourselves with him. He is a young environmental leader, and genuine in his commitment to ‘Caring for the Earth’.

Image 1: Atlegang Dikgang – Youth Award winner
Image 2: Mavuso Msimang – Gold Award winner
Image 3: Roy Fuller-Gee – Friends of Blaauwberg Conservancy – Group winner
Image 4: Duncan Paul – Individual Award winner
Image 5: Bheka Nxele of eThekwini Municipality – Corporate Award winner
Image 6: WESSA CEO Dr Thommie Burger, WESSA Chairman Professor Michael Kidd and award winners