Public Works gets down to work for Mandela Day

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The deputy minister made his contribution in recognition of former president Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday, by helping out at the centre.

Vulnerable children, senior citizens and people with disabilities are dropped off at the centre where they are cared for during the day. The centre provides meals, educational and recreational activities.

Speaking to the centre's staff and those in their care, Cronin reiterated the call to make every day a Mandela Day.

"It's not just about one day. We are committing ourselves saying let us together make everyday a Mandela Day. Every day we must work together to build a better South Africa," he said.

Cronin said government ministers and deputy ministers had been asked by Mandela to go to visit places such as Refilwe to wish the communities well on behalf of the former president.

"We know that Tata Madiba belongs to the whole world. We are not jealous, we want to share Madiba and his spirit with the whole world...But he especially belongs to South Africa and communities like this," he added.

Cronin said apart from celebrating Mandela's birthday and his inspirational achievements, Mandela Day celebrations were also about celebrating the ordinary South Africans, who had also played a part in the liberation struggle.

The deputy minister promised that his department would do its bit to help the centre with its electricity problems, after he was told that the building did not have electricity for the past three years.

In addition, there were also plans to use an empty building on the premises as a clinic.

One of those to benefit from the services offered by the centre is Thomas Mlangeni. At 92, he is only a few years younger than Mandela.

"I'm very happy that the elders are being remembered on this important day," he said.

The department donated furniture to the centre and employees also cleaned up, carried out renovations and provided food.