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15/07/2015: City of Joburg to honour Madiba
15 July 2015
Millions of people around the globe will on Saturday July 18 – International Nelson Mandela Day – put whatever they will be doing on hold and devote 67 minutes of their time to humanitarian causes in honour of the work, struggle and sacrifices of South Africa’s greatest statesman, who died on December 5 2013 at the age of 95.

The City of Johannesburg, led by Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau, has lined up several events and activities to benefit the city’s less privileged in tribute to South Africa’s first democratically elected president, who would have turned 97 on Saturday.

Every year since November 2009 after the United Nations declared July 18 – Madiba’s birthday – as International Nelson Mandela Day, people all over the world spent 67 minutes of their time to honour Tata, who had devoted 67 years of his life to the service of humanity as a human rights lawyer, prisoner of conscience and international peacemaker.

This year the City of Johannesburg’s Mandela Day programme started at Thokoza Park in Rockville, Soweto, today, (Wednesday July 15) and reaches its climax on Saturday when its departments, regions and municipal entities will host the various activities to mark the occasion.

Members of the Mayoral Committee, the City’s senior officials and representatives of partner organisations have been selected to lead several activities – from environmental clean-up drives, children’s games and storytelling to maintenance work at an old age home and a cleaning blitz along a busy road.

Executive Mayor Tau, MMCs and top City officials were today at Thokoza Park, where Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo hosted activities to promote the City’s green culture.

The City of Johannesburg’s spokesperson, Nthatisi Modingoane said children from a local crèche gathered around the tree that Madiba planted in 2008. They also released white balloons, lit candles to celebrate Madiba’s rich legacy.

On Friday, the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO), its employees, contractors and representatives of other municipal entities (MOEs) such as City Power and Joburg Water will be at an RDP housing development near Jabulani Hostel in Soweto to conduct a workshop on the importance of home maintenance. Most of the 377 houses are not in a good condition because of the lack of proper maintenance.

“We requested community leaders to consult residents to assist with identification of areas which requires urgent attention ahead of Mandela Day so they could be attended to. We will fix leaks, unblock drains and do some grass cuttings amongst other things”, said Modingoane.

The City’s Housing department is also building 8 houses to be handed over to eight senior citizens on the 29 July 2015 as part of Mandela day commemoration. These houses are in Stretford Extension 3, Drieziek Extension 5 and Thulamntwana. .

In Region E Alexandra,activities will include a a clean-up campaign along Vincent Tshabalala Road, formerly London Road, and Jukskei River in Alexandra on Friday and Saturday. This will be carried out in partnership with the Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce (GALXCOC), Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo, and other private corporates such as Ad-reach and SANDF. They will also tackle illegal dumping and littering, remove weeds, cut the grass, plant trees and create landscape features along the road.

The Sizanane Day Care Centre in Bramfischerville, Soweto, will be the nerve centre of Region C’s Mandela Day activities, to be held under the theme: “67 Minutes of Love.”
The activities will include establishment of a food garden and the painting of a jungle gym. Illegally dumped rubble will also be removed. There will also be a kiddies’ corner to keep the young ones busy.

On Friday in Region B, the activities will include developing a vegetable garden for destitute children in Claremont as well as delivering vegetables to the Fred and Marties Soup Kitchen. Library & Information Services Department joined the “67 Blankets for Mandela Day” and have knitted and crocheted squares and blankets which will be handed over to Tereza Medhurst, an Ambassador to the project. These blankets will also be exhibited at the World Library & Information Congress in Cape Town from 15-22 August 2015

On Saturday in Region D, senior citizens at the Ekujabuleni Kwabadala in Orlando East, Soweto, will be treated to festivities by city officials and other stakeholders.

The Environmental Health Department will mark the day by hunting down notorious rats at the abandoned Orlando Sheltered Workshop. Trees will also be planted, the garden spruced up the centre’s fence repainted.

The City’s Citizen Relations and Urban Management (CRUM) staff will mend and paint the fence, deliver beds and heaters, and provide a television set for the sick room.
Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo has organised a trip to the Johannesburg Zoo for 60 senior citizens, according to Modingoane.

Region F’s activities, to be held at the Drill Hall, start on Thursday and will include street clean-up campaigns, health checks and counselling, children’s games, food parcels, rebuilding a crèche and cleaning up of at Mangolongolo Informal Settlement in partnership with SANDF and storytelling as well as reading, concludes Modingoane.

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Last Updated on 15 July 2015