Hi-Tec SA has embarked on several initiatives to make a difference to people’s lives and breathe new life into city spaces – for example, by erecting a 14m plant wall in Maboneng, in the heart of Johannesburg CDB. This 200m strip attracts well over 40 000 people per month.
“We have to do things differently to get noticed, and this fits our urban-outdoor brand positioning perfectly,” says Jo Esterhuizen of Hi-Tec SA. “It cleans polluted air, uplifts the area, and, most importantly, stirs fantastic PR amongst our consumers.”
As a further part of their CSI campaign Breathing Life into city spaces, Hi-Tec SA donated a community gym at the infamous Mofolo Park in the heart of Soweto. As a home to annual cultural activities and thousands of by-passers, the gym encourages the community to get outside and be proud of their recreational space.
“We have had an enormously positive response from the community, and look forward to keep on investing in community life, ” says Esterhuizen. Apart from planting trees, Hi-Tec placed branding on the equipment, benches and a 70m wall.
Hi-Tec also supports environment-responsibility initiatives from people like Capetonian Kai Fitchen, who loves to climb mountains and through his My KAPE expeditions hopes to inspire people to become conscientious about their actions on mountains.
In 2010, he climbed Mount Elbrus – a dream that came true – but he returned from the mountain in shock. Litter was scattered around the basecamps and his climbing partner almost died in attempting to summit. This changed his mind-set about climbing. He needed to find a way to continue climbing big mountains but in a responsible way and KAPE 2 KENYA and the My KAPE expeditions started.
Diagnosed with epilepsy at age nine, he says “hiking and climbing was the only thing which got me through it”. Climbing Kilimanjaro was a life-changing experience for him, even though many warned him against the dangers. “I have to be aware of having epilepsy, but I don’t want to let it define my life. There are always naysayers out there, but I’ve always believed that if you do what you love you’ll find a way for it to work.”
He finished his degree in 2017 at the University of Cape Town – where he majored in Spanish, French, and African History – and now has the time to go on much bigger expeditions. “The climbs are for me. The work we do along the way and the way we travel are for the planet.”
Kai hopes that these exciting expeditions will bring awareness to the environmental and social issues that everyone is facing. Above everything else, he hopes My KAPE can inspire people to become conscientious about their actions.
“There is no overnight solution but that’s where “Making Mountain Metaphors” comes in. There’s a mountain of problems that we, as a global community, have to overcome. But if we just put one foot in front of the other, we’ll make our summit.”