Roll up your sleeves for Mandela Day

South Africans must brace themselves for a busy Tuesday, as hundreds of activities will take place around the country in celebration of the annual Nelson Mandela International Day.

Every year on 18 July, South Africans and the global community honour South Africa’s late former President and international icon, Nelson Mandela. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Mandela's birthday, 18 July, as Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009.

The overarching objective of Nelson Mandela International Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and in so doing, build a global movement for good.

The Nelson Mandela International Day campaign asks that individuals, groups and corporates pledge 67 minutes of their time on 18 July, and every day thereafter, to give back to their communities. The 67 minutes is symbolic of commemorating the 67 years that Mandela had been a part of the movement for liberation.

The Nelson Mandela campaign this year focuses on fighting poverty under the theme #ActionAgainstPoverty.

Provincial events

Various Ministers and government leaders are expected to lead Mandela Day activities in different parts of the country.

The Department of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Museum and the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, will lead activities at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

Leaders who will be in attendance are Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister Pamela Tshwete, Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle and Eastern Cape MEC for Sport Recreation Arts and Culture, Pemmy Majodina.

“On this day, people everywhere are encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time to do good for others,” said the Department of Arts and Culture.

It said tomorrow’s activities will be carried out in recognition of the late former President’s values, legacy of humanitarian acts, voluntary initiatives, culture of peace and freedom.

The Nelson Mandela Museum, in partnership with the British American Tobacco Company (BATC), will also officially unveil the Mandela Legacy Canvas, which was bought by BATC from a fundraising auction in 2011.

The canvass will be officially handed over to the museum by the Head of External Affairs for British American Tobacco South Africa, Joe Heshu, for permanent exhibiting at the Nelson Mandela Museum.

Later in the evening, the Department of Arts and Culture and the Nelson Mandela Museum will host a dialogue under theme, ‘Critical Reflections on the Legacies of Nelson Mandela and O. R. Tambo’.

Nelson Mandela Bay

On the same day, in another part of the Eastern Cape, the Kuyga Mega Park in Ward 40 of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will also be cleaned up and refurbished as part of the Nelson Mandela International Day celebration.

The clean-up campaign and refurbishment activities will be led by Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi, in partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation Arts and Culture and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The Kuyga Mega Park is a partnership project between Sport and Recreation SA, the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The project was launched in July 2016. The outdoor gym will be officially handed over to the community after the clean-up on Tuesday.

Minister Nxesi and other stakeholders will also interact and engage with members of the community of Ward 40.

Sporting activities, inclusive of the Indigenous Games District Festival, will be part of tomorrow’s programme.

Houses for military veterans

On the coastal parts of the Eastern Cape, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will spend Mandela Day handing over houses and interacting with the community members at Chatty 491 Military Veterans project in Port Elizabeth.

She will be accompanied by community members and officials on a cleaning camping, brick laying and painting the houses being built in the area.

Chatty 491 is part of Zanemvula Mega Project to accommodate military veterans.

Zanemvula involves the relocation of families from the Chatty river flood plain in Soweto-on-Sea and Veeplaas to the greenfield serviced sites of Chatty extensions 5, 12, 13 and 15 and Joe Slovo.

The project was established to address the sustainable human settlement needs of approximately 10 000 families.

About 44 military veterans have completed a Home Building Skills Course at Chatty 491.

The skills course included the NHBRC legal compliance, foundation building, types of soils and the practical completion of a house.

Siyonqoba Drop-In Centre

Mpumalanga province will not miss the excitement as well, as the Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Thabang Makwetla, is expected to pay a visit to Siyonqoba Drop-In Centre in Breyten near Ermelo.

Deputy Minister Makwetla will, in partnership with Msukaligwa Local Municipality Mayor, Solomon Nkosi, and the Msukaligwa Parliamentary Constituency Office, dedicate 67 minutes of their time to honour the ethos of the late former President Mandela.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services said the Minister will also be joined by offenders, Correctional Services officials and other key stakeholders.

The Deputy Minister will hand over a refurbished centre that has been tiled and installed with a new kitchen facility, computers and television set.

Other refurbishments include renovation of roofs, door and window repairs, painting, cleaning of premises as well as improvements to the ablution facilities and palisade fencing.

The department said about 25 wheelchairs will also be donated to the elderly and people with disabilities in the area.

Meanwhile, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will be in Mangaung in the Free State with AVBOB Chief Executive Officer Frik Rademan on Mandela Day.

The Department of Basic Education said an important announcement regarding a partnership to improve school infrastructure will be made during the ministerial visit to Joe Solomon Primary School in Heidedal location.

The school is one of those across the country set to benefit from the partnership. - SAnews.gov.za