Former president Nelson Mandela turns 94 today, Wednesday 18 July 2012, and the City of Cape Town is joining thousands of people and organisations around the world celebrating his birthday with a number of activities to help the less fortunate.
The Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Patricia de Lille, Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, and other senior officials will spend 67 minutes today conducting a graffiti clean-up operation in Kalksteenfontein.
City staff members have been encouraged give 67 minutes of their time to a good cause.
The City's Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate in collaboration with other City departments is hosting a Mandela Day event at the Good Hope Centre from 11:00 to 15:00. This event will focus on the city's senior citizens and children, and aims to foster co-operation and social connection for individual development and community improvement, thereby giving effect to one of the City's strategic five pillars: The Caring City. Senior citizens will be able to network, have fun and impart their invaluable spirit and knowledge with everyone. The children's session is aimed at educating them on safety through puppetry and fun-filled games.
City staff members and councillors will have an opportunity to give of themselves by combining their efforts throughout the day, enhancing the Mandela Day values.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg will, together with City staff, help paint the homes of residents in the Delft TRA (Blikkiesdorp) community. This project is spearheaded by the Boundless Heart Foundation.
The staff of the City’s 107 Public Emergency Communication Centre (PECC) will spend 67 minutes of their time with the Seniors Care Group at the Bothasig Dutch Reformed Church and the Grade 12 learners at the Dr Nelson R Mandela High School respectively.
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, will officially accept a donation of blankets from a senior British American Tobacco representative. The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre will distribute these blankets to needy communities throughout the city.
Smith will also be at Etafeni Day Care Centre in Nyanga, where he will play board games with children affected by HIV/Aids and their caregivers, and donate a range of board games.
The City's disaster teams will be in Ravensmead to help paint the CL Willmot School.
The Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department will be working in conjunction with the South African Police Service in Pooke se Bos informal settlement, Athlone, and the Parks Department will be working at a children's home.
The City will also be present at an event hosted by Out of Africa at the Children's Centre in Campground Road, Newlands. Mayco member Cllr Beverley Cortje-Alcock will be one of the honorary guest speakers. Hampers made up of household essentials will be delivered during the week to 150 senior citizens and 150 people with disabilities who were unable to attend the Good Hope Centre event.
The City also has similar activities planned for the rest of the week, in order to bring light and happiness to disadvantaged people, in the spirit of Ubuntu and humanity.
On Thursday 19 July, the City will take 150 children from the Early Childhood Development sector on an educational excursion to the Two Oceans Aquarium. These will be children that didn't attend any of the earlier events.
On Friday 20 July, 150 underprivileged youth will be taken on an excursion to Table Mountain.
Last year, the City hosted a gala dinner where the Mandela Legacy Canvas was auctioned off, raising nearly R3-million for charity.
A number of smaller and other initiatives are to be carried out in various community halls and City facilities. Check out your local library or community centre to see if there are any activities which you can take part in.
If you are unsure of what to do or how to contribute, here are some ideas: dish out food at a local soup kitchen; visit an orphanage or old age home, assist a local NGO or collect clothing or food for disadvantaged communities, especially those affected by the recent flooding at wet weather. Or click here for some further activities and ideas.