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Joburg to honour Madiba during Mandela Month


The City of Joh annesburg will stage a series of events and activities to celebrate the birthday of South Africa’s struggle icon and international statesman – Nelson Rolinhlanhla Mandela.

Mandela – who was born in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape on 18 July 1918 and died at his Houghton, Johannesburg, home on 5 December 2013 – would have turned 98 this year.

His birthday was declared International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations in November 2009 in honour of South Africa’s first democratically elected president’s 67 years of struggle for freedom, justice, non-racialism and equal rights. This is the seventh year that the day is officially celebrated worldwide.

International Nelson Mandela Day is about the embodiment of his ethos and espousing of his ideals. It is in this spirit that the City of Johannesburg has called on all communities to dedicate 67 minutes of their time on Monday July 18 to humanitarian activities that uphold his legacy.

The City has planned several activities in all its seven regions over a 10-day period, starting this Tuesday and winding up on Friday July 22. The activities include serving soup and sandwiches to the needy, donating books, planting trees, cutting grass and painting schools of the disabled.

The Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo will get the ball rolling on Tuesday with the renovation of a school for the disabled at Eyethu Centre in Mofolo, Soweto, in Region D. About 100 Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo staff members will over six days install cabinets, fix lights, paint walls, build a ramp, start a vegetable garden and plant trees at the school.

The Roodepoort Theatre in Region C will on Saturday July 16 stage free screening and testing sessions for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer, specifically for the elderly; a fun day for children; free ballet lessons; and soup kitchen for orphanage homes. The City’s Community Development and Information Services Unit has also lined up several activities. Most of the activities will coincide with Mandela’s birthday on July 18.

In Region C the unit will do maintenance work and host fire safety education and drug awareness sessions at Roodepark High School. It will also hold storytelling sessions about Madiba at the Sakheleni Early Childhood Development Centre in Doornkop. Staff will also donate books and serve sandwiches and soup.

In Region B the unit will collect children’s books from staff and the community and donate them to learners at Riverlea and Pennyville primary schools. Staff will cut grass at the premises of a local old age home.

In Region F, staff will perform extracts from fairy tales of African legends at the Donovan McDonald Old Age Home, and serve homemade sandwiches and soup to the needy at the Johannesburg Library Gardens.

In Region E, the staff will visit the Bombani Shelter for Abused Women in Alexandra.

The unit will hold a number of activities in Region G – ranging from serving soup to pensioners at the Ennerdale Extension Library, cleaning the Lenasia Civic Centre yard, teaching Progress Primary School learners about Mandela’s life to donating a set of children’s crafts at Tshepiso Day Care Centre and establishing a vegetable garden in collaboration with Batho Pele Community Centre.

In Region A, it will conduct storytelling sessions, while serving breakfast at the Early Childhood Development Loveness Day Care Centre. On Friday July 22 the unit will conduct a clean-up campaign in Denver, Region F.

The Joburg Theatre will on July 18 paint Noah’s Ark, a community day care centre for children in Yeoville.