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MWITU’S MEMO

ഀ The EWT has been calling for an end to the captive Africanഀ Lion industry in South Africa since 2009. Our key concernsഀ include the welfare of the animals; the lack of anyഀ demonstrable conservation benefit; the safety of visitors; aഀ lack of transparency and honesty from many facilities; andഀ the potential impacts on wild Lion populations (EWT Position Statement). Asഀ a continuation of our ongoing public awareness campaigns, weഀ recently launched a new billboard campaign, with the pro bono assistanceഀ of Artifact Advertising, which asks people to help keep ourഀ Lions wild and consider the implications of supportingഀ captive carnivore facilities – which all too often mean deathഀ for the animals in question.
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ഀ We are thrilled that this campaign, which has attracted aഀ huge amount of attention on social media, was recentlyഀ awarded an Orchid by Brendan Seery ofഀ The Citizen. It is not only the recognition for the creativeഀ work that is so meaningful, but also the appreciation of theഀ EWT telling it like it is and the support for the messageഀ behind the campaign. We encourage all our supporters to tellഀ it like it is too, and let their friends, families andഀ colleagues know that as appealing as the thought of cuddlingഀ a cute cub may be to the uninformed, the reality is that weഀ are killing them with this ‘kindness’.
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ഀ Watch this space as we continue to build on this campaign!
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ഀ ‘Til next time
ഀ Mwitu



A WORD FROM THE CEO

ഀ Wildlife crime is not a wildlife issue. It is not aഀ conservation issue. It is a criminal issue. It is crimeഀ through and through, and the perpetrators are criminalsഀ through and through. Criminals are opportunists and theyഀ follow the money. They have no regard for the rule of law,ഀ for those that suffer the consequences of their actions, orഀ for the moral code that underpins the common good or theഀ spirit of Ubuntu. For a long time conservationists bemoanedഀ with frustration the relegation of wildlife crimes to conservationഀ organisations and authorities to address, whose training,ഀ passion and skills lie in understanding and managingഀ ecosystem, species and the human interface with both. Toഀ expect these same rangers, biologists, guides and ecologistsഀ to become the frontline barrier against highly organised,ഀ armed forces of poaching gangs, international crime bossesഀ and corrupt officials is simply irrational and unfair.
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ഀ In recent years, the involvement of ‘specialists’ in theഀ crime fighting world, to address the scourge of wildlifeഀ crime has increased, and we have seen the police, criminalഀ analysts, customs officials and even the defence force rallyഀ to stamp out escalating crimes against our wild animals. Itഀ was with a sense of relief that we saw the very serious natureഀ of this criminal conduct being taken seriously by crimeഀ fighting bodies in other government departments and budgetsഀ being spent on securing convictions. How distressing then toഀ hear about the alleged involvement of some governmentഀ officials, in the highest positions, in the illicit wildlifeഀ trade chain.
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ഀ On Sunday, 25 March 2018, it was reported that former Southഀ African President Jacob Zuma is being investigated by theഀ Hawks for allegedly accepting a R1 million cash bribe from aഀ Western Cape abalone dealer in exchange for keepingഀ Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Senzeni Zokwanaഀ in his Cabinet during the reshuffle after the 2016 localഀ elections. Earlier this month, nine Fisheries departmentഀ officials were arrested on suspicion of being part of aഀ syndicate involved in the illegal poaching and trade ofഀ abalone. Investigations in both instances are ongoing, butഀ point to alleged involvement at the highest level in thisഀ illicit trade. Abalone is the world’s most valuableഀ shellfish, and poaching of wild abalone is rampant. Thisഀ activity threatens to drive the species to extinction.
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ഀ These allegations against former President Jacob Zuma comeഀ hot on the heels of claims against Zimbabwe’s former Firstഀ Lady, Grace Mugabe, who is under investigation by police inഀ that country, where she is said to have headed up a smugglingഀ network which illegally exported tonnes of elephant ivory.ഀ She was named as the alleged mastermind of the operation byഀ two suspected poachers who were arrested attempting to sellഀ tusks. It has also been suggested that she utilised theഀ country’s stockpiles of ivory as ‘gifts’ for unnamedഀ officials in the Far East. These allegations are also stillഀ under investigation, and no charges have been laid as yet.
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ഀ The illegal trade in wildlife is one of the gravest threatsഀ facing many wildlife species today, and one that conservationഀ NGOs such as the EWT are tirelessly fighting to address. Thisഀ can, however, become a losing battle if corruption andഀ involvement by government officials continue to play a role.ഀ The EWT calls for stringent investigations into these cases,ഀ and should the allegations against former President Zuma andഀ former First Lady Mugabe be found to be true, the sternestഀ judgement should be meted out. The leadership in any country isഀ beholden to uphold all the laws of the land, starting withഀ the Constitution; and their responsibility extends to thoseഀ that have no voice and who need our greatest protection. Whenഀ government authorities breach this compact, the impact isഀ severe and consequences should be dire.
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ഀ Yolan
yolanf@ewt.org.za
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PROJECT NEWS

We’re not going down without aഀ fight

ഀ On 25 February 2018, EWT vulture expert, Andre Botha,ഀ received a call that no conservationist wants to receive: theഀ horrific devastation of dead and dying vultures as a resultഀ of the deliberate poisoning of an elephant carcass. Andreഀ immediately drove to the Mbashene communal area in southernഀ Mozambique where he was met with a field of death, in whichഀ over 100 Critically Endangered Vultures lay dead or dying.ഀ The death toll from this tragedy has risen to at least 103ഀ birds in total – 96 African White-backed Vultures and sevenഀ Hooded Vultures – all of which are already Criticallyഀ Endangered, meaning they are already in grave danger ofഀ extinction. We simply cannot afford to lose any more of theseഀ birds.



ഀ Eighteen living birds were rescued from the scene by Andreഀ and his colleagues, owner of Incomati Conservancy, Driesഀ Gouws, area manager, Piet Kok, responding vet, Dr Joãoഀ Almeida from Sabie Game Park, and the State Veterinaryഀ Services at Skukuza, and are being nursed back to health. Heartrending footage
showsഀ the moment at which one of these deathly ill birds wasഀ discovered by Andre. This young bird, likely no more than twoഀ months out of the nest, was on the brink of having his lifeഀ cut cruelly short. Despite the terrible effects of the poisonഀ coursing through his body, he still had the courage toഀ ‘charge’ Andre – he’s not going down without a fight!
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ഀ And we’re not going down without a fight either. These cruelഀ poisoning incidents are becoming more and more frequent, andഀ we won’t back down from the fight that’s needed to protectഀ these birds and other effected wildlife. We’re ready to goഀ wherever we’re needed to prevent the mass killings of theseഀ iconic birds and help the survivors. We need your help to doഀ it. Help us by making a contribution to a rapid responseഀ fund, that will keep our team in the field and our vulturesഀ in the sky. Using the reference Rapid Response, please donateഀ here or via EFT to help theഀ 18 survivors of this vicious attack, and protect countlessഀ others like them that may not even know that they are next….
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ഀ Banking details:
ഀ Account Name: ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST
ഀ First National Bank-Account number: 50371564219
ഀ Branch: Rosebank
ഀ Branch Code: 253-305
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Patron Supporters
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Departmentഀ of Environmental Affairs, Natural Resource Managementഀ Programme

 

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Dohmenഀ Family Foundation

 

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Elizabethഀ Wakeman Henderson Charitable Foundation

 

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Reservingഀ space for Riverine Rabbits


Cobusഀ Theron, Manager, and Esther Matthew, Specialist Conservationഀ Officer, Drylands Conservation Programme
CobusT@ewt.org.za and EstherM@ewt.org.za

ഀ The EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme (DCP) and CapeNature haveഀ initiated a process to declare a Nature Reserve in the Southഀ Western Karoo through the provincial Biodiversity Stewardshipഀ Programme. The beautiful property of more than 30,000 ha is home toഀ a vast array of species, including Blue Cranes, Honey Badgers and aഀ breeding population of Secretary Birds. What is exciting is theഀ fact that this property is also home to a healthy population ofഀ Riverine Rabbits! If the declaration is successful, this propertyഀ will be the first formally declared privately owned Nature Reserveഀ providing sanctuary to the Critically Endangered Riverine Rabbit.ഀ The DCP team has presented this site to the Stewardship Reviewഀ Committee and will shortly establish our future involvement forഀ this property and the declaration process. Watch this space!

Thank you toഀ Rand Merchant Bank for their ongoing support of our work withഀ Riverine Rabbits.
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Recognisingഀ Eco-Schools achievers


Zethuഀ Sibiya, Environmental Education & Urban Conservation Projectഀ Officer, Urban Conservation Project
ZethuS@ewt.org.za


ഀ The EWT’s Urban Conservation Project team was thrilled to attendഀ the WESSA Eco-Schools Awards ceremony, held at Emmerentia Damഀ Environmental Education Centre on 16 March 2018. Both theഀ Hammanskraal and Alexandra Eco-Schools that we work with were inഀ attendance and were excited to receive their awards for the hardഀ work that they have put in throughout the year.

ഀ It was fantastic to hear from schools who have been in theഀ programme for a number of years, as they shared their challengesഀ and successes with the audience. One of the most significantഀ success stories shared was that one of the Eco-Schools has producedഀ learners who have eventually gone on to study Environmentalഀ Sciences and Geography at University level. This is a testament toഀ the impact that the programme has in terms of creating interest inഀ the biodiversity or “green” sector among learners.

ഀ Fun-filled activities followed the presentations, with educatorsഀ experimenting with the displays at the Environmental Educationഀ Centre. The programme then continued to the official business ofഀ the day, with all 12 of the EWT’s schools receiving an award!

ഀ To conclude the event, we were given a demonstration in the gardenഀ on how to make a metrofarm garden. This is a project that canഀ assist many of the schools similar to our own, who lack space andഀ water for veggie gardens and have a problem with pests.

Thank you toഀ Bakwena for their support of this work.
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Partneringഀ to reduce illegal wildlife trade

 

Ashleighഀ Dore, Programme Coordinator, Wildlife in Trade Programme ashleighd@ewt.org.za


ഀ The planning stage for an exciting new project, the Kheta Project,ഀ is underway. This project is funded by the United States Agency forഀ International Development (USAID) and aims to reduce the illegalഀ trade in wildlife from the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservationഀ Area (GL-TFCA). The EWT is partnering with WWF SA and TRAFFICഀ East/southern Africa, amongst other organisations, to conduct theഀ work, and will be adopting a wide range of methods over a five-yearഀ period. One aspect of the project will be a comprehensive analysisഀ of the wildlife trade currently going on in the GL-TFCA region,ഀ which will involve obtaining information from a variety of sources,ഀ such as the media, freight agents, airlines, online tradingഀ platforms, and curio and muthi markets. Understanding the illegalഀ wildlife trade from the region is a critical step in finding waysഀ to reduce the trade.

 

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DCPഀ volunteer programme – Are you ready for a unique Karoo experience?


ഀ The EWT’s Drylands Conservation programme (DCP) is seekingഀ volunteers to assist with ongoing and new groundbreakingഀ initiatives, aimed at conserving the Critically Endangered Riverineഀ Rabbit Are you interested or do you know someone that might be?
ഀ Volunteers will be required to carry out fieldwork and dataഀ collection, which will complement our current research. To view theഀ advertisement for this position, please visit:  https://www.ewt.org.za/vacancies.html. Applicantsഀ are requested to complete and submit the application form onlineഀ and motivate their selection for this unique experience. A short CVഀ (two pages), is also required.

ഀ Alternatively, applicants can email a CV and application formഀ (attached to the advertisement) to Esther Matthew (estherm@ewt.org.za) and ccഀ Bonnie Schumann (bonnies@ewt.org.za).

ഀ Closing date: 3 April 2018. Applicants who have not been contactedഀ within 10 days of the closing date should assume that theirഀ applications were unsuccessful. All applications will be treated inഀ the strictest confidence. Please feel free to contact us should youഀ have additional queries.
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Imageഀ competition for National Biodiversity Assessment 2018


ഀ The National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA, www.sanbi.org/nba) is a keyഀ publication for South Africa that reports on the current status ofഀ our biodiversity across the terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine,ഀ coastal and marine environments. The NBA is utilised extensively inഀ decision-making, and informs both national policies andഀ international reporting. SANBI is seeking images to illustrate theഀ NBA 2018 (which will be published in 2019). Images of people inഀ and/or using biodiversity, landscapes showing a variety of landഀ uses adjacent to natural habitats, pressures on biodiversity shownഀ in situ, multiple uses of nature, biodiversity features, and allഀ other biodiversity-related themes are needed.

ഀ SANBI does not have the funding to pay professional photographersഀ for images used in the NBA, so they appealing to amateurഀ photographers to provide their images for use in the NBA-relatedഀ materials. In exchange, they will stand a chance to win a prizeഀ and/or have their image used in this important nationalഀ publication. Several lucky draw prizes will be available betweenഀ now and December 2018. Each image submitted will enter you into theഀ draw pool. 

ഀ For more information on how to submit your image, please visit http://www.sanbi.org/news/nba-2018-image-competition-instructions-sending-images-sanbi-nov-2017

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Capacitatingഀ law enforcement agencies across South Africa


Ashleighഀ Dore, Programme Coordinator, Wildlife in Trade Programme
ashleighd@ewt.org.za

ഀ During 2016 and 2017, the EWT’s Wildlife in Trade Programme trainedഀ a total of 1,400 participants from law enforcement agencies acrossഀ South Africa! This training was part of five different courses:ഀ namely Advanced Cycad Law Enforcement Training; Flagship Speciesഀ Identification Training; Advanced Grade Five EMI Training; Footwearഀ Casting and Lifting Training Intervention; and Online Wildlifeഀ Trade Training Intervention. The impact of these courses has beenഀ far-reaching and extended past South Africa’s borders. For example,ഀ 350ഀ Encephalartos cycads have been removed from illegalഀ trade, and numerous seizures at the South African ports of entryഀ and exit have been effected by participants who attended ourഀ training.

ഀ This training was all made possible due to funding from the Unitedഀ States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcementഀ Affairs, and the Global Environmental Facility Project. A specialഀ thanks is extended to these donors, as well as to our expertഀ facilitators.
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Goingഀ green for frogs!


Dr Jeanneഀ Tarrant, Manager, Threatened Amphibian Programme
JeanneT@ewt.org.za

ഀ This year saw the fourth consecutive ‘Leap Day for Frogs’ takingഀ place. This national awareness campaign aims to point theഀ spotlight, or headlamp, at frogs and highlight their plight ofഀ being the most threatened animals on Earth, but also celebrate theഀ amazing diversity of these interesting creatures. The campaign isഀ coordinated by the EWT’s Threatened Amphibian Programme, with theഀ aim of getting as many schools, organisations and individualsഀ across the country doing something to recognise frogs and their importance.....READഀ MORE
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EVENTS


Country Clubഀ Johannesburg Talk


Rhinoഀ Revolution: Searching for new solutions – Tuesdayഀ 10 April 2018
ഀ Presented by Clive Walker, in conversation with Yolan Friedmann

ഀ Please join the EWT and Jacana Media for a fascinating evening asഀ we launch an incredible new book, written by EWT founder, Cliveഀ Walker, and his son Anton. This not-to-be-missed event will seeഀ Clive in conversation with Yolan Friedmann, EWT CEO, about thisഀ wonderful book, and his adventures in conservation....READ MORE
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Raptor Research Foundation 2018 Annual Conference –ഀ South Africa
ഀ 12-16 November 2018
ഀ Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa

ഀ The 2018 Raptor Research Foundation conference will be hosted atഀ the Nombulo Mdluli Conference Centre located in the Skukuza Restഀ Camp of the world-famous Kruger National Park, South Africa. Apartഀ from being home to the Big Five and a host of other iconic Africanഀ mammal species, the park is also renowned for its avian diversityഀ with more than 550 species having been recorded there. The listഀ includes 43 diurnal raptor, eight vulture and 10 owl species, manyഀ of which occur in substantial populations. The conference will beഀ co-hosted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust and BirdLife Southഀ Africa.
ഀ Deadline for submission of symposium proposals:  30 April
ഀ Deadline for abstract submission:  31 July

Forഀ information on the conference and to register, go to:https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/293968/637236/

Participantsഀ are strongly urged to register, obtain lodging, and make travelഀ arrangements as early as possible.
Come andഀ experience the magic that is Africa and its fantastic range ofഀ raptors in November 2018!


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GOLF DAY
ഀ Date: Friday, 1 June 2018
ഀ Time: 11:30 (Shotgun Start)
ഀ Venue: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club (east course),
ഀ 1 Fairway Ave, Linksfield North,Johannesburg, 2192
ഀ To secure your place, please contact
ഀ Frank Jackson at frankj@ewt.org.zaഀ or telephone 087 0210 398
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Onlineഀ Store

Visit ourഀ e-store at www.ewtshop.co.za
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SUPPORTERഀ NEWS

 

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Millstream – supportingഀ crane conservation on the Highveld for 27 years

 

Millstreamഀ Farm is a premier trout fly-fishing resort on the Mpumalangaഀ Highveld near the well-known tourism destination of Dullstroom. Itsഀ scenic beauty is enhanced by an abundance of bird life, wildഀ flowers and game. These can be enjoyed on nature walks or fromഀ horseback with staff who are passionate about nature conservationഀ and the plight of threatened species in the area. This includes allഀ three of South Africa’s crane species which call the Steenkampsbergഀ home....READഀ MORE
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20 years of filling theഀ gap with ZGAP

 

Cobusഀ Theron, Drylands Conservation Programme Manager, and Estherഀ Matthew, Drylands Conservation Programme Specialist Conservationഀ Officer
CobusT@ewt.org.za and
EstherM@ewt.org.za
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The EWT’sഀ Drylands Conservation Programme would like to express their gratitudeഀ to the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species andഀ Populations, also known as ZGAP (Zoologischeഀ Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz). ZGAPഀ has been sponsoring the programme for 20 years and is theഀ programme’s longest running sponsor! They have been involved inഀ establishing three Riverine Rabbit Conservancy areas between 2000ഀ and 2006, as well as our Karoo Indigenous Plant Nursery in Loxton.ഀ ZGAP has also supported the DCP’s latest work, from camera trapഀ research to scent detection dog trails, and everything in between.ഀ Their support allows us the space to bring innovation andഀ creativity to our work with Riverine Rabbits.  We truly valueഀ the ongoing and long-term support of our dedicated sponsors.
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The End

 

Peterഀ Matthews is a recognised South African artist and photographer, andഀ has exhibited his work both in South Africa and internationally. Heഀ was compelled to produce The End, a charcoal wildlife series thatഀ highlights the plight of some of the most endangered species in theഀ world - wildlife on the point of extinction, with man ultimatelyഀ being responsible as the cause. Now he is donating 50% of theഀ proceeds from the sale of these artworks to the EWT. Visit https://www.petermatthews.art/the-endഀ to see more, and use the promo code EWT on any orders placed toഀ secure this donation.
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Make a difference withഀ WildlifeCampus

 

WildlifeCampusഀ is a Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA) endorsedഀ distance learning provider, and has been offering wildlife,ഀ wildlife-related, guiding and natural science courses for over 16ഀ years.
ഀ As a supporter of the EWT, WildlifeCampus is proud to share that byഀ signing up for one of our online courses, 25% of your tuition feeഀ will be donated directly, free of any administration or facilityഀ fees, to the EWT!
ഀ By using the reference EWT when registering, you will be helping toഀ make Conservation in Action possible.
ഀ Find out more about the available courses at www.wildlifecampus.com orഀ contact us on info@wildlifecampus.com
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Donating is now as easyഀ as snapping your fingers… or your phone! 


ഀ Supporters can now donate to the EWT quickly and safely, usingഀ SnapScan. All you need to do is:

  1. Download theഀ SnapScan application on your smartphone
  2. Register with yourഀ details – this should take no more than a few minutes
  3. Scan our EWTഀ barcode to make your donation in the amount of your choice (beഀ sure to choose donation rather than e-shop from the dropdownഀ menu) – you’ll be asked to enter your PIN so you know theഀ transaction is secure

It’s as easyഀ as one-two-three! Once you’ve made your donation via SnapScan,ഀ you’ll get an SMS confirming the transaction, and the EWT will beഀ notified via SMS too. Supporting Conservation in Action couldn’t beഀ simpler.

No SnapScan?ഀ No problem! Simply SMS ‘SAVE’ to 31913 to donate R15 to help makeഀ Conservation in Action possible!

 

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Everyഀ swipe counts!


ഀ Did you know that you can support the EWT through the MyPlanetഀ programme? The MyPlanet fundraising programme was launched as anഀ extension of MySchool to provide community-minded people likeഀ yourself the opportunity to support a worthy cause, such as the EWT,ഀ that is focused on the improvement and protection of theഀ environment and animals. And it doesn’t cost you a cent!
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So get yourഀ free MyPlanet card (no monthly fees, no costs to you!) and nominateഀ the EWT as the beneficiary you wish to support. Then swipe yourഀ card at partner stores when you shop, and they will donate aഀ percentage of your purchases on your behalf.

  • If you don't have aഀ MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card yet, simply apply for yourഀ free card now and select the EWT as your beneficiary. Once youഀ start swiping your card, we’ll start receiving funds.
  • If you already haveഀ a MySchool card, but would like to change your beneficiary orഀ add a charity, simply call the Client Service Centre on 0860ഀ 100 445 or email cs@myschool.co.zaഀ – there is no need to get a new card!

Find out more by visiting http://www.myschool.co.za/schools/myplanet

 

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Physical Address: Building K2, Ardeer Road,ഀ Pinelands Office Park,
ഀ Modderfontein 1609, Gauteng, South Africa,
ഀ Postal Address: Private Bag X 11, Modderfontein 1645, Gauteng,ഀ South Africa
ഀ Tel: +27 (0) 11 372 3600 Fax: +27 (0) 11 608 4682 NPO Number:ഀ 015-502
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