Revamp for Mabopane testing centre

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Led by senior officials from the Gauteng provincial Department of Roads and Transport, the initiative to improve the Ipeleng Driver Testing Centre in Mabopane was part of the global movement to honour former President Nelson Mandela by giving 67 minutes to charity in recognition of the 67 years of service Madiba gave to humanity.

South Africa is today joined by the rest of the world in celebrating the living legend, who turns 94 today. Madiba, who is SA's first democratically elected President, was born in Mvezo village near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on 18 July 1918.

In November 2009, the United Nations declared Mandela's birthday an International Day to honour his legacy and values through volunteering and community service.

Speaking to SAnews at Ipeleng centre, Helen Sono, who works in the Office of the Chief in the City of Tshwane, said: "What we will be doing here at this centre is nothing compared to the sacrifice made by Madiba to change our lives for the better.

"Now is the time for us to do the same by changing our communities for the better. Together with other residents, we started with our cleaning campaign last Saturday so that we can create a new face for this centre, which is on our doorstep."

Sono said if she could, she would declare Mandela Day a public holiday where all residents would be involved in community service. She said she would further pledge one month's salary to change the lives of those who are not fortunate.

"The current generation, who never experienced the harsh conditions of the apartheid government, should also consider honouring Madiba by focusing on their studies and refrain from all illegal activities as he used to emphasise the importance of giving the youth a better education," she said.

Head of the provincial Roads and Transport Department, Mavela Dlamini, who led the team in painting the building, said: "We are committed to the improvement of the quality of service for our people to honour Madiba's value to humanity.

"Through this initiative ... we want to solidify social cohesion with our stakeholders including the communities that we serve. We also believe that the 67 minutes of community service will not only improve the working environment at our customer service centres, but it will also boost our relations with the communities.

"For us, it is rewarding to be part of activities aimed at honouring the world icon, who dedicated most of his life to improve the living conditions of other people."

Departmental spokesperson Octavia Mamabolo said Transport MEC Ismail Vadi, together with other staff members, spent 67 minutes painting a clinic in Lenasia.

Vadi is also expected to visit Thulantwane informal settlement in Lenasia south to distribute 60 blankets to needy beneficiaries, then proceed to Thembelihle informal settlement to hand over a R15 000 bursary to a 22-year-old girl from a destitute household.