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Braamfischerville creche spruced up for Mandela​

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The Sizanani Daycare Centre in Braamfischerville, Soweto, received a welcome spruce-up on Friday after a 100-strong City of Johannesburg’s Citizen Relationship and Urban Management (CRUM) team from Region C visited the under-resourced early childhood development facility on the eve of International Nelson Mandela Day.

Led by Regional Director Mlamleli Belot and Phindile Lakaje, the Deputy Director of the City’s Integrated Community Outreach Programme, they dirtied their hands in a collective act of selflessness to bring some cheer to the centre’s 82 young souls and their teachers under the banner: “67 Minutes with Love on Mandela Day.”

This was one of several activities the City of Johannesburg held in all its regions to mark Mandela Day.

Crews from the City’s entities such as Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo, Pikitup, Johannesburg Water, Johannesburg Roads Agency, Johannesburg Emergency Management Services and Johannesburg Social Housing Company painted the daycare centre’s four classrooms, jungle gym and toilets; removed illegally dumped rubble; established a food garden; and planted trees.

All the while Lakaje and other senior staff members were kept on their toes by the children in the hall – blowing and handing out ballons, singing and dancing. Refreshments included cupcakes, cakes, fruits and drinks.“With all this sugar, there’s no afternoon nap today,” quipped Vice-Principal Nozuko Yanta.

Cecile Retief, Region C’s CRUM Officer, said Sizanani Daycare Centre was chosen as a Mandela Day beneficiary after she and a colleague drove past it the other day and saw the poor state it was in. Principal Sylvia Chauke said Retief and her colleagues were a godsend.

“I’m so grateful to the City of Joburg. This has never happened to us before. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of greater things to come,” she said.

Among the sponsors were relief and development organisation Dorcas Aid, Richman Poorman Building Supplies, construction company Basil Read and Princess Crossing’s Pick n Pay supermarket.