Aligned with Mhani Gingi’s environmental pillar under the Flagship Programme, Mhani Gingi is championing the spekboom in its vision as a fighter against climate change, specifically because of the plant’s exceptional carbon storage capabilities. The project is championed by Dr Earl Starr, Mhani Gingi Trustee, and a technical expert.

SpekMania lands at Mhani Gingi!


Commonly known as ‘spekboom’ (directly translated as ‘porkbush’), the wonder plant, Portulacaria Afra, is indigenous to South Africa. It serves as food for elephants and other wildlife in its native habitat of the Eastern Cape and can grow up to  6 m tall. Once considered just an ornamental bonsai plant outside of its home range of South Africa, the shrub is rapidly gaining attention for its exceptional carbon storage capabilities.

Potted spekboom are sold in glass jars and in containers crafted by beneficiaries of Mhani Gingi.

Aligned with our environmental pillar under the Flagship Programme, Mhani Gingi has championed the spekboom in our vision as a fighter against climate change specifically because of its ability to store more carbon than tropical rain forests.  Looking at more short-term benefits to our network members, we will build on the existing model of community vegetable gardens to further empower communities towards sustainable livelihoods.

The support from funders for seedling tray donations to our community gardeners will in turn provide a steady supply of spekboom into the two resale channels of 1) bulk seedling sales for private gardens and public open spaces and 2) potted mature plant sales in handcrafted baskets from crafters with disabilities at the Uitsig Community Centre.

A potted spekboom in a handcrafted basket made by benificiaries of Mhani Gingi in Uitsig Community on the Cape Flats.

FIVE reasons to adopt a spekboom

  1. This proudly South African plant is easy to grow … with excellent soil binding properties to reduce erosion.
  2. It is water-wise and super resilient … even in extreme weather conditions!
  3. It is rich in basic nutrients … yes, that’s right, it is edible and also has known healing properties.
  4. Known to live up to 200 years old, spekboom stimulates biodiversity, enabling other plants to grow and live near it … and it is an important fodder for local herbivores.
  5. More importantly, it helps to fight climate change … acting as a carbon sponge to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

Spekboom products for private and coffee shop table applications

SpekMania is taking off in a big way.

New Products

Mhani Gingi is constantly developing new products for marketing spekboom plants and seedlings.  The recently-developed Mini Spekboom in a glass jar has attractive African style beading around the neck.  Mhani Gingi launched this product in July 2020 to raise awareness around climate change.

Potted spekboom in recyclable glass jars are sold individually and in bulk packs.

The Mini Spekboom plants are supplied in boxes of 20 or sold individually. The glass is recyclable; the spekboom is plantable; the beading can be reused for decoration or as jewellery; the label is recyclable. The spekboom is totally organic and was rooted and grown by a township Not for Profit organisation in Browns Farm, Cape Town. 

To place orders or for further information contact Founding Director Lillian Masebenza on mobile phone +27 082 465 4687.


How to care for your spekboom products

Spekboom in a glass jar.