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Joy at Ekujabulweni as City celebrates Madiba​

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Ekujabulweni Kwabadala Daycare Centre – a Place of Happiness for the Aged in isiZulu – lived up to its name when throngs of the City of Johannesburg employees and members of civil society converged into the facility on Saturday to do their bit for Mandela Day and to celebrate the late former president’s legacy.

In the true spirit of the selflessness of South Africa’s most beloved statesman, more than 200 people descended on the Orlando East facility very early in the morning to volunteer 67 minutes of their time to help refurbish it. By the time they left in the afternoon, the facility, which was almost in a state of decay, looked brand new.

Some of the entities involved in the sprucing-up of the centre, which is in Region D, were Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo, Johannesburg Water, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, Pikitup and the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, as well the City’s Health and Social Development Department.

Civil society partners included non-governmental organisation loveLife and Sweet Kasi Vibes. Popular radio station Jozi FM had several of its personalities in attendance. The station even broadcast its early morning programmes live from the centre.

Regional Director Pat Lephunya swapped his designer suit for a work suit and could be seen ferociously tilling the soil with a garden fork. What was more gratifying, however, was seeing scores of ordinary people voluntarily joining the centre’s refurbishment drive.

Ward 31 councillor Bongani Dlamini said the City could not have chosen a better place to celebrate Mandela’s birthday. “He taught us to be selfless and to take care of the weak and the elderly. I want to thank everyone who played a part in making today a success,” said Clr Dlamini.

The centre now boasts a new food garden established by Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo. Johannesburg Water has fixed all leaking taps and pipes. The Department of Health and Social Development has provided the centre with 50 new beds. Paint company Dulux donated the paint used to repaint the facility.

Kgomotso Mogase, the centre’s director, was over the moon. She said she was grateful to all everyone involved in the refurbishment of the centre.

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