National Arbor City Awards 2022

introduction -the beginning
Introduction / background
About 2022 NACA Competition
Entry requirements and application form
Evaluation, adjucation and awards
Closing date and enquiries



Introduction and background

The year 2022 will mark the 20th year of the Arbor City Award competition. To date a total of 47 municipalities have won the competition. These included the local municipalities and metropolitan municipalities. The efforts that the various municipalities have put in to ensure that they emerge victorious are commendable. This has made the competition more meaningful and challenging. It must however be said that the challenging or difficult part of it can be over-come by learning from previous winners and entering the competition frequently.

The 2022 National Arbor City Awards will once again take place in line with a partnership programme between the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), TOTAL Energies and the Institute for Environment and Recreation Management (IERM). The competition is still sponsored by TOTAL Energies. The purpose of the competition is to encourage Municipalities to green their areas of jurisdiction. The awards are a quest to promote environmental conservation and development thereby securing a healthy living environment for residents in all settlement areas. The competition provides incentives and rewards to Municipalities who are doing their best in terms of greening, especially in the townships and new settlement areas.  Most municipalities made great strides in the past years to expand the greening and other landscape developments from the past focus on towns and suburbs to also include townships and new settlements areas. This move has rewarded the latter areas with street trees, recreational parks and in some areas physical training and gym facilities.

Municipalities are further encouraged to involve youth in their projects. Should a municipality be able to demonstrate youth involvement in its programmes or projects, it will stand a better chance in attaining the ward.

It is now a known fact that the world in general is starting to feel the effects of global warming due to climate change. This phenomenon is an environmental threat resulting from emissions of Green House Gases in the atmosphere. All of us will have to face this phenomenon head on by adopting mitigation strategies and adapt our actions towards it. These changes in climate may have significant effects on various sectors globally. Tree planting which forms the basis of Arbor City Awards is one of the mitigating factors that are recommended towards the slowing down of this environmental threat. It is for this reason that the Department is pursuing the National Arbor City Awards Competition together with the Arbor Month Campaign and the Ten Million Trees Programme. It is acknowledged that the tree-planting programmes will have to rely on other supporting programmes such as environmental education and awareness to inform and educate society in general on the importance of the trees within the environment and their role in mitigating environmental threats.

The National Arbor City Awards are conducted in line with the DFFE greening strategy which defines greening as ‘an integrated approach to the planting, care and management of all vegetation in urban and rural areas, to secure multiple benefits for communities’ and the citizens in general.  Greening is a task that requires multi-disciplinary approaches that include precise scientific knowledge and skills, socio - economic balancing and planning. In order to achieve the objective of greening a combination of technical expertise, socio-economic balance and capacity building skills are required.


About the 2022 National Arbor City Awards Competition

The President has given a directive for the planting ten million trees for the next five years. This is an initiative that aims to green our cities, towns, townships and reclaim the degraded areas. The Department has developed a plan which among other issues reflects on the creation of sustainable settlements, addressing household food security, climate amelioration as well as a contribution towards the provision of recreation facilities for communities in urban and rural areas.

A greater component of the greening function is aligned to the work done by Municipalities, the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation and other greening organisations. This is a result of the notion that a building or without some greenery is not complete in terms of the quest to create sustainable and dignified settlements for our people.

The 2022 Arbor City Awards competition will be conducted in all nine provinces. It will involve all Municipalities that will be found legible to enter. In light of Covid-19 implications on the municipalities there will be a slight change in the approach and criteria.   The criteria have been set and agreed upon by various stakeholders.


Purpose and objectives of the competition

The main objective of the competition is to encourage Municipalities to undertake greening initiatives to create green landscapes. The other objectives include the following:

  • To promote the Ten Million Trees Programme
  • To promote the development of provincial and local greening plans
  • To extend greening in Municipalities to new settlement areas
  • To ensure compliance with relevant greening legislations both local and national
  • To raise general awareness about the importance and value of trees in residential settlements
  • To provide incentives for local authorities that go an extra mile to green their areas
  • To provide a platform for diagnosis of challenges facing Municipalities regarding the greening function and discuss solutions


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Entry requirements and form



Entry requirements for metropolitan municipalities are as follows:

Entry requirements for category B municipalities are as follows:

  • Portfolio of evidence showing mainly: Concept/ Proposal on strategy for the municipality to advance the Ten Million Trees Programme.
  • Current and future tree planting projects to advance the Ten Million Tree Programme
  •  Portfolio of evidence showing greening policy or strategy, tree register, maintenance plans and budget
  •  Portfolio of videos or pictures depicting projects, sites, special trees
  • A narrative not exceeding two pages indicating why the Municipality hopes to be the winner of the National Arbor City 2022
  • Municipalities must submit entry forms and POEs electronically using the email addresses provided in the advert and entry form. Hard copy entry forms and PoEs will not be accepted.

Entry requirements for category - rural municipality (with potential) - are as follows:

  • Concept/ proposal on strategy for the municipality to advance the Ten Million Trees Programme
  • Current and future tree planting projects to advance the Ten Million Trees Programme
  • Portfolio of evidence showing potential in greening
  • A written account of environmental and greening projects by the municipality
  • A narrative not exceeding two pages indicating why the Municipality hopes to be the winner of the National Arbor City Award 2022
  • Municipalities must submit entry forms and POEs electronically using the email addresses provided in the advert and entry form. Hard copy entry forms and PoEs will not be accepted.


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Evaluation criteria, adjudication and awards process

The judging criteria focus on the following aspects. The detailed judging criteria are attached.

  • Greening policy and strategy
  • The municipality concept/proposal on advancing the Ten Million Trees Programme
  • Space for future tree planting, planning and development of wide sidewalks
  • The development and conservation of greenbelts, natural assets in new and existing residential settlements
  • Greening in (townships), low-income cost housing
  • Public participation programme/ Tree awareness and education
  • Future and current tree planting projects to advance the Ten Million Trees Programme
  • Management and maintenance operations
  • Tree administration
  • Programmes on eradication of undesirable alien invasive
  • Prevention of disastrous occurrences like wild-fires
  • Involvement in partnerships, national and provincial environmental campaigns
  • Use of trees to give the town/ city a definitive character
  • Resource allocation to greening and related functions


Adjudication and awards process

Entries will be short listed according to the criteria provided and the short-listed entries will be evaluated through visits to the specific Municipalities. During the visits, municipalities are requested to prepare a video clip, photos or PowerPoint presentation showcasing greening projects contained in the PoE.


The adjudication process

The evaluation will be done based on portfolio of evidence received from the Municipalities and the first shortlist will be done. The shortlisted Municipalities will then be further evaluated as follows:

  • The Municipalities will send in the greening plans to advance the Ten Million Trees target of the country
  • The PoE (including the ten million trees proposal) as described in the judging criteria will be assessed
  • Panel members will visit projects of final shortlisted municipalities to verify PoE’s
  • Judges will complete scoring sheets
  • An average score will be calculated to determine the winner
  • The process is subject to ratification by DFFE Minister 


Adjudication panel

The evaluation panel will be composed as follows:


Award ceremony and prizes

The National Arbor City Awards Ceremony will be combined with the National Arbor Month launch event (which is usually held on 1 September). The mayors of the winning municipalities receive the prizes at the event. Five prizes will be awarded: one for the metropolitan Municipality, two for the category (B) Local Municipality (first and second prize), one for Rural Local Municipality with potential and one for youth participation in greening.

Competition Feedback

 Municipalities that enter the National Arbor City Awards Competition will receive written feedback from DFFE after the adjudication process has been concluded. This will be done to assist municipalities in their future greening projects, and to prepare them for subsequent entries into the competition.



Entries for the competition will be handled as follows:

  • DFFE National and regional offices will send entry forms to Municipalities
  • The IERM will circulate entries via their network of member Municipalities
  • Entry forms will also be posted on the DFFE and IERM websites
  • Adverts will be placed in major newspapers including other media
  • The closing date for entry forms is 31 May 2022
  • The closing date for PoE’s is 17 June 2022


Ms Nosipho Ndzimbomvu
Tel: 012 309 5883


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