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Resources: SA Serious About Earth Hour


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South Africans showed their support for the environment this Saturday, switching off a total of 4.7 million 60 watt lightbulbs in honour of the WWF’s Global Earth Hour campaign.

100 000 South Africans signed up online for Earth Hour, but it is believed thousands more participated. According to Eskom, the collective efforts of the individuals and businesses who participated in Earth Hour saved the national utility about 400 megawatts of power between 20:30 and 21:30 on Saturday night.

Dr MornĂ© du Plessis, CEO of the World Wide Fund for Nature SA, said that “the overwhelming success of the local leg of the campaign) shows how seriously South Africans are taking climate change.”

“It’s important to realise that Earth Hour is just the first step,” said Du Plessis. “It’s vital that as a nation and as a global community we maintain this momentum ensuring that world leaders are kept aware of the global call for real action on climate change.”

A series of celebrations were held in South Africa to commemorate the occassion. Cape Town hosted A Concert in the Dark at the V and A Waterfront where the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra entertained guests at a candlelit event while in Johannesburg, the Soweto Gospel Choir performed in Nelson Mandela Square as the lights went off in twelve notable buildings from the Jabulani Civic to the Roodepoort Civic Centre.

Globally the event was billed a major success with more than 1 billion people across 25 time zones in over 4000 cities and towns in 88 countries worldwide taking part.

Earth Hour Global Director Andy Ridley expressed his amazement at the unprecedented volume of support and participation in the lights out campaign. “It is humbling to see the unbelievable reaction and solidarity shown by the millions of people voting earth with their light switches in the past 24 hours.”

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