The fourth year Medicine student has been hard at work balancing her studies and responsibilities as a finalist and has proven that if you want something done, giving it to a busy person, is a good idea. Announced as the 2016 ambassador, she will go on to represent South Africa at the international Miss Earth next month in the Philippines as the focus turns to Eco Tourism. The gala evening was attended by Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, who has been an avid supporter of the community work done by this leadership programme.

Magagula is set for an exciting year of work and community engagement across the country and globe. Born in Atteridgeville, West of Pretoria, Magagula is determined to use the year that lies ahead to make an impact not only on schools and communities but within the medical sphere as well. She says that her long term plan is to go into public health and family healthcare as these have a deep sense of community and the social impact that can be made is huge and she is resolute on using her love for medicine and her platform as Miss Earth South Africa 2016 to leave a legacy.

Ella Bella Constantinides Leite, director of the programme, says; “It’s rewarding to see the growth and influence of the Miss Earth South Africa programme, over a period of more than twelve years. We aim to continue to empower young women with the knowledge and platform to create a sustainable difference in our plight to combat the destruction of our natural heritage.”

It has been an intense few months for the finalists who have been hard at work, with a mission to change the perception and understanding of waste through the 2016 campaign #WasteStopsWithME which was launched earlier this year with partners Pikitup and the City of Johannesburg. 

Finalists have been staying at the Tsogo Sun, Palazzo Hotel, in Johannesburg for the past week where they got to share their community work with an esteemed panel of judges, unpacking their commitment and hunger to leave green footprints in their cities across the country. Finalists were joined by the Tsogo Sun team in Diepsloot last week as they installed a Vegetable Tunnel with Nedbank, for students at Muzomuhle Primary School and did a clean-up around the school as part of their #WasteStopsWithME campaign. 

The group of winners include Jeanine Keet, first runner up who is a draftsman in Johannesburg and comes from Newclare, second runner up is Bloemfontein’s Elne Coller who is doing her final year in Occupational Therapy, and third runner up is civil engineer Mireesha Narsai of Kloof in KZN, she is currently completing her Masters Degree in Biofluid Mechanics. These four winners are joined by their official ambassadors for the year, Mandisa Mqolombeni, Hasesha Naidu, and Annie Kirsten. 

The organisation is endorsed by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Department of Tourism with Minister Molewa stating that; “Through your work locally and internationally, you continue to make our country proud. I wish you success in the future and thank you for partnering with government and business, to make a better world.” 

Executive director of Miss Earth South Africa, Catherine Constantinides says; “Climate Change will be the biggest challenge we face in our lifetimes, and it’s up to us to realise that we will be the catalysts for change that will push our countries towards a greener tomorrow. Planting a tree might seem like a simple act, but in effect, it’s about being part of a global movement to secure a future for the generations to come.”

The programme is proud to work throughout the year with Pikitup and the City of Johannesburg alongside Tsogo Sun, the official home and venue partner of Miss Earth South Africa, and strategic partners SAPPI and Newsclip Media Monitoring.

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