Sixty-seven dilapidated schools in Mpumalanga will be looking brand spanking new come Mandela Day on July 18.
Mpumalanga’s Education Department is going to dispatch its officials to fix up the schools in honour of former President Nelson Mandela, whose birthday is commemorated globally every year.
“The project will start on July 16 until Madiba’s birthday on the 18th. The department is going to work together along with a a number of stakeholders and restore broken ceilings, doors and window panes, plant vegetable and flower gardens,” explained the department spokesman Jasper Zwane.
Zwane added that the department’s first stop is going to be the Injabulo Secondary School in Mtata village south of Malalane.
Other role players also include the Congress of South African Students, the Nkomazi local municipality, Ehlanzeni FET College and Ligwalagwala FM employees.
The delegation will in addition hand over an administration block which has been built by milling company, Tsb Sugar.
Zwane explained that on July 18, the department, together with Anglo American, Tsb, inmates from the Devon Correctional Services Centre, the Gert Sibande district municipality as well as the Govern Mbeki local municipality would converge at Osizweni Special School in Standerton.
“The school provides services for 72 intellectually impaired students who are suffering from autism, Down syndrome and hearing difficulties. Most of these students are in most cases incapable of coping in mainstream schools,” said Zwane.
Zwane said the delegation will build and fence the sport ground, paint classes, donate garden tools, erect a heated greenhouse, pave the gateway, and repair broken furniture, doors and window panes. They will at the same time donate welding equipment, a lamination machine, a digital video camera and a photo camera.
Mandela Day is commemorated annually on July 18. In 2009, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the 46664 campaign called for Mandela Day July 18 to be acknowledged as an annual international “day of humanitarian action” in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy.
Mandela Day spokeswoman, Chantal Cuddumbey, said Mandela Day serves as a catalyst for every single individual all over the world to understand that they possess the cabability to change it by way of small actions.
“Mandela Day is not a holiday rather an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s example of community service. He spent 67 years of his life actively dedicated to promoting and contributing to social change,” said Cuddumbe. On Mandela Day we ask individuals to symbolically give at least 67 minutes of their time in service to their communities in whichever way they choose.”
Last year, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted a text declaring July 18, as an International Day to be observed annually, starting in 2010.