First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Look at Mandela Day as a way of being, not an event - G...



Look at Mandela Day as a way of being, not an event – Graça Machel

A file picture dated 30 January 1996 shows Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela with his wife Graca Machel in Cape Town, South Africa. EPA/NIC BOTHMA
By News24
18 Jul 2019 0

Humanitarian Graça Machel is encouraging citizens to be active by seeing Mandela Day as a way of being instead of an event.

“Mandela Day is a reminder that anyone of us has the power to take initiative and drive transformation.

“Let us not look at Mandela Day as an event that we will be part of every year. We need to look at it as a pledge for the whole year that goes beyond one’s daily activities. Decide what is the difference I can make to people over the year so that it can become a way of being, not just an event,” Machel told guests at a dialogue to commemorate the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela in Germiston, Gauteng on Thursday.

Machel is Mandela’s widow.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation chose to partner up with the City of Ekurhuleni to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mandela Day on Thursday in which citizens are asked to give back 67 minutes to their community on what would have been Madiba’s birthday.

“We are delighted as the City of Ekurhuleni to be the host of Nelson Mandela Day. We are going to be collaborating on a number of projects starting [from] today over the next three years.

“Madiba spent a lot of time in the City of Ekurhuleni during apartheid. This partnership will ensure that we document the history of Mandela and see that we share it,” Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina told the media.

The legacy of Madiba was reflected upon through a dialogue which was hosted by CNBC Africa.

Among those on the panel were Masina, Human Settlement and Cogta (cooperative governance and traditional affairs) MEC Lebogang Maile, Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang and Habitat for Humanity CEO Patrick Kulati.

One of the issues raised was the country’s housing backlog.

As a result, the provincial and local government pledged to reduce the housing backlog over the next five years.

“In 1994, the housing backlog was sitting at three million. The backlog now sits at two million. Half of that is in Gauteng.

“This important project is aimed at building houses. About 200 are already completed,” Maile explained.

“We are also currently building 100 000 houses and giving 59 000 stands to people who can afford to build themselves,” Masina added.



Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted