67 schools to get facelift for Mandela Day

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mbombela - Sixty-seven dilapidated schools in Mpumalanga will look brand new come Mandela Day on July 18.

Mpumalanga's Education Department will dispatch its officials to refurbish the schools in honour of former President Nelson Mandela, whose birthday is celebrated internationally every year.

"The initiative will begin on July 16 until Madiba's birthday on the 18th. The department will collaborate with a variety of stakeholders and rehabilitate broken ceilings, doors and window panes, plant vegetable and flower gardens," said department spokesman Jasper Zwane.

Zwane said the department's first stop would be at Injabulo Secondary School in Mtata village south of Malalane.

Other role players include the Congress of South African Students, the Nkomazi local municipality, Ehlanzeni FET College and Ligwalagwala FM staff.

The delegation will also hand over an administration block that was built by milling company, Tsb Sugar.

Zwane said on July 18, the department, in collaboration with Anglo American, Tsb, inmates from the Devon Correctional Services Centre, the Gert Sibande district municipality and the Govern Mbeki local municipality will converge at Osizweni Special School in Standerton.

"The school caters for 72 intellectually impaired pupils who suffer from autism, Down syndrome and hearing difficulties. These kids are normally unable to cope in mainstream schools," said Zwane.

Zwane said the delegation will develop and fence the sport ground, paint classes, donate garden tools, erect a heated greenhouse, pave the gateway, and repair broken furniture, doors and window panes. They will also donate welding equipment, a lamination machine, a digital video camera and a photo camera.

Mandela Day is celebrated annually on July 18. In 2009, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the 46664 campaign called for Mandela Day July 18 to be recognised as an annual international "day of humanitarian action" in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life and legacy.

Mandela Day spokeswoman, Chantal Cuddumbey, said Mandela Day serves as a catalyst for each and every person around the world to realise that they have the ability to change it through small actions.

"Mandela Day is not a holiday but an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela's example of community service. He spent 67 years of his life actively devoted to promoting and bringing about social change," said Cuddumbe. On Mandela Day we ask individuals to symbolically give at least 67 minutes of their time in service to their communities in whichever way they choose."

Last year, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted a text declaring July 18, as an International Day to be observed annually, starting in 2010.