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City of Joburg honours Madiba Print E-mail
19 July 2017
nelson mandela 1918 2013

The spirit of the late former president Nelson Mandela was in the air on Tuesday July 18 as the City of Johannesburg staged dozens of activities across all regions to mark what would have been his 99th birthday.

The City’s main Mandela Day event was held at the Greener Pastures Early Childhood Development Centre in Kenilworth, in Region F, southern Johannesburg, where Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, who was accompanied by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Mpho Phalatse, spent 67 minutes handing out goodies to smiling children and painting one of the classrooms.

In White City Jabavu, Soweto, Region D, City entities such as Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo (JCPZ), Johannesburg Roads Agency and Pikitup, as well as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, spent their 67 minutes giving the Adelaide Tambo School for the Mentally Challenged a makeover.

The school was named after Adelaide Tambo, wife of ANC stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo. Coincidentally, the late Ma-Tambo, a struggle activist in her own right, and Madiba shared the birthday.

Among other things, the various players erected a wheelchair ramp, established a food garden, painted the classrooms and made road markings.

Established in 1980 and formerly known as JC Merkin School until 1999 when it was renamed after Ma-Tambo, the school caters for children with special needs.

JCPZ Managing Director Bulumko Nelana said Mandela Day was about giving back and making a difference to other people’s lives.

“Today it’s not only Tata Nelson Mandela’s birthday, it’s also Mama Adelaide Tambo’s. We’re here to celebrate the lives of two selfless leaders who dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others,” said Nelana.

Principal Lindela Memani said he was grateful to all those who dedicated 67 minutes to helping the school.
“The donations and services we received today will go a long way in minimising the challenges the learners face,” said Memani.

In Region C, the City’s Disaster Management team visited residents of the Donovan Macdonald Old Age Home in Maraisburg to clean the centre and give the senior citizens advice on how to react in case of an emergency.
The safety initiative came after the City discovered during a risk assessment that the centre was not complying with safety by-laws.

“In many old age homes, the elderly often do not know how to respond in case of an emergency,” said Disaster Management’s Lucia Moloka.

The Gauteng Disaster Management Centre, South Africa Social Security Agency and the Gift of the Givers donated blankets and food parcels.

Local ward councillor Caleb Finn said: “Today is an amazing opportunity for every one of us to take a break from what we normally do and serve those around us who are less fortunate than ourselves.”

For its part, the Joburg Theatre, in partnership with private sector companies, hosted an information-sharing workshop for unemployed graduates. More than 150 unemployed graduates attended. Presentations focused on academic skills, dramatic arts and finance.

Joburg Theatre Community Development Manager Nondumiso Sithole said the workshop was an empowerment-sharing session for the youth. “This is our bit for Mandela Day. With jobs so scarce, we wanted to make sure [the unemployed graduates] have the right tools when they enter the jobs market.”

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Last Updated on 19 July 2017