Mashatile unveils SA's plans for Mandela Day

The government announced the details of this year’s Nelson Mandela Day celebrations at a media launch in Polokwane, Limpopo on Wednesday.

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile told dignitaries that Mandela Day activities would commence on July 11 and culminate in a national event on July 18 at Giyani Stadium, in Mopani District, Limpopo.

Although the main event would be held in Giyani, activities of the week of July 11-18 would be held across the country and the entire Limpopo province, he said.

“We take this opportunity to urge all government departments and municipalities, the private sector and local communities to initiate activities that are aimed at achieving the objectives of Nelson Mandela Day throughout the country.”

He said all officials would take part in the day, starting with President Jacob Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, ministers, deputy ministers, members of parliament, premiers, provincial ministers, councillors, mayors, community workers and civil servants.

They would all embark on activities such as donating books, assisting with job interview skills, mentoring, cleaning and greening of public spaces, promoting healthy lifestyles and many other such initiatives.

On July 18, Mandela’s 93rd birthday, citizens of the world and in particular all South Africans, are encouraged to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time to do community work in celebration of the values and principles that South Africa’s first democratic president stood for, he said.

The 67 minutes symbolise Mandela’s 67 years of “selfless service to the people of SA and the world in the course of his extraordinary life”.

Nelson Mandela Day was an opportunity for all South Africans to set aside time to be of service to fellow human beings, Mashatile said.

“Let us all individually and collectively strive to become agents for building a better and caring society.”—Sapa

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