The South African Government has declared 18 July 2018 a National Day of Service, Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Centenary Celebrations of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu and Energy Minister, Jeff Radebe, announced on Friday.
Radebe made the announcement during a media briefing to provide progress on the implementation of the Comprehensive National Programme for the Centenary Celebrations of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.
Mandela, who died on 5 December 2013, at the age of 95, would have turned 100 years on 18 July had he lived.
Radebe said this year’s 18th of July will not be observed as a normal International Mandela Day, where citizens’ across the globe donate 67 minutes of their time performing only acts of good deeds to those in need, but will be used as an opportunity to remember the time in which transformation gained traction in the beloved country and celebrate the man who made a meaningful contribution.
He emphasised that South Africans ought to tap into Madiba’s values and aspirations for the type of a South Africa he would have wanted to see and “ask ourselves, what we are doing on a daily to basis to be and live his legacy”.
“Guided by the spirit of Thuma Mina, the South African Government will not be hosting an official event to celebrate Madiba’s centenary birthdate, but have declared the 18 July 2018 a National Day of Service. On 18 July 2018, the national day of service, we encourage all South Africans to go out in their numbers like never before and make this day extra special.
“Follow Tata’s footsteps to make a difference by donating your time towards disadvantaged communities and inspire a positive change that promotes the culture of Ubuntu, as well as humanitarian support.
“All South Africans are welcomed to lay flowers and candles at any Nelson Mandela Statue, structure, school or street which bear the Father of our Nations name as a way of remembering our beloved father of the nation,” Radebe said.
The Minister further called on all society on the day of service to pause their activities at 12pm and observe a moment of silence, unity and mediation remembering “what Nelson Mandela meant to me”.
At this moment if our citizens would join hands in a human chain for this symbolic act of unity it would be a fitting tribute to the man who took our country, this continent and indeed the world in his hands but has left us the mission of being the legacy he left, Radebe said.
For his contribution to the National Day of Service, President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit Mveso in the Eastern Cape. This will form part of the humanitarian activities for the day.
Countdown to Mandela Day
Today marks 12 days to the International Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July 2018. Various activities are set as a build up to the day.
The planned activities include the Global Citizen Festival Launch, the National Imbizo Focus Week and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Youth Summit.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation will on 17 July 2018 hosts the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the Wanderers Stadium in Illovo, Johannesburg. The lecture will be delivered by former US President Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, in the spirit of #ThumaMina, government and various social partners will on 10 July host a national #100MenMarch in honour of the centenary of Madiba and MamaSisulu.
Both these stalwarts committed their lives to the fight for human rights particularly the rights of women and children.
A Special Orchid named after Albertina Sisulu will also be unveiled on 10 July by the Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Roodepoort in Johannesburg.
As the country continues with the centenary celebrations of both icons, government has dedicated this year’s women’s month to deepen centenary celebrations of MamaSisulu as a selfless and courageous leader who will be celebrated for her contribution to the cause of democracy and the fight for women’s empowerment and gender equality. – SAnews.gov.za