Nelson Mandela Day

Event date: 
2012-07-18 (All day)


Introduction and background


In 2009, President Jacob Zuma first introduced the concept of Mandela Day to motivate a nationwide campaign to get the public involved in charitable activities. In November 2009, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) paid tribute to Dr Nelson Mandela by adopting a resolution to make the international community aware of his humanitarian work.
From 2010, 18 July was declared by the UNGA as International Nelson Mandela Day. This day also coincides with the icon’s birthday. The celebration of this international day recognises and gives credence to the former President Nelson Mandela’s commitment to human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela Day not only celebrates Nelson Mandela’s life, but it is also a global call to action for people to recognize their ability to have a positive effect on others around them.
These values include democracy, freedom, equality, diversity, reconciliation, and respect. An international campaign has been initiated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the International Nelson Mandela Day, which sums up what Mandela stands for. It gives all people in South Africa and all over the world an opportunity to do something for others, for only 67 minutes in recognition of the 67 years that Madiba spent fighting against apartheid.Many people and organizations around the world take part in many activities to promote Nelson Mandela Day.
These activities include volunteering, sport, art, education, music and culture. Various events are also held on or around July 18 to honor Nelson Mandela’s works and to promote the different projects that were inspired by Mandela’s achievementsCabinet on 1st July 2009 endorsed the call to declare 18th July as global Mandela Day. In November 2009 the United Nations once again declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day. All South African, civil society organisations and the citizens of the world supported the Mandela Day initiative by doing acts of good works in their communities.


Theme and slogan for 2012


The Nelson Mandela Foundation has adopted the following slogan for the 2012 Mandela Day Celebrations “Take Action and Inspire Change. Make Every Day a Mandela Day”. The broad theme is Change– “We can change the World andmake it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference”, Nelson Mandela (2009)
This Theme can be viewed as a call by the DEA to empower communities to change the world around them for the better as well as educate them on environmental issues i.e. pollution and waste management. It can also be a call to action by Government, Business and, NGO’s together with Communities, to improve living conditions and educate the public on the changes they can effect to protect the environment.
Linking the theme with Green Economy: Does it include you?
For the purposes of the green economy initiative, UNEP has developed a working definition of a green economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. To ensure congruence with international celebration while bringing local content to it, South Africa will celebrate the WED under the afore-mentioned UNEP theme.
Nelson Mandela International Day will emphasize how individual actions can have impact, with a variety of activities ranging from school tree-planting drives to community clean-ups, city park clean-up initiatives, exhibits, green petitions, nationwide green campaigns and much more.


As part of the DEA’s efforts to fast-track the regulatory framework for the green economy aimed at unlocking its potential for growth, the DEA has allocated a budget of R25 million to install low pressure solar water heaters (inclusive of in and out flow plumbing) in 2 400 low cost houses in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.
Presenting the budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan also announced that the Environmental Programmes of the DEA will receive a cash injection for the Working for Water and Working on Fire to the tune of an additional R1.1 billion (a total of R7.7 billion) providing for a total of 135 000 jobs over the medium term. Also delivering the DEA’s Budget Vote Speech, Minister Edna Molewa committed that, in this financial year, we aim to create 62 860 work opportunities, 31 277 full-time equivalent jobs, and 600 youth benefiting from the National Youth Service in addition to 40% of the work being done by youth.
To lift the profile of the environment portfolio, while also ensuring that it is mainstreamed, the DEA will lead the Campaign that is aimed at giving a human face to environmental issues and enable people to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.

South Africa’s celebration


The Minister and Deputy Minister confirmed their participation. The Department of Environmental Affairs through Chief Director: Educational Programme and Communications will celebrate with Deputy Minister at five schools in Limpopo with Cleaning and Greening project and tree planting at a school as part of our approved public awareness Strategy. Will take place on Thursday 19 July 2012 at Ficksburg, Free State and on Tuesday 24 July 2012 at Hoedspruit, Limpopo.
Hoedspruit is a town situated at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, on the rail way line from Tzaneen to Kaapmuiden. This township has many schools such as
  • Maatla Primary School
  • Sekoko Primary School
  • Diphuti Primary School
  • Leoma High school
  • Maahlamele High school
Ficksburgis one of the small townships which the deputy minister has identified and suggests to be visited since Boitumelo High School has deficiency of basic service.Ficksburg calls itself the “Gateway to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho,” and true enough, many travelers pass through en route to Lesotho. Ficksburg is known for its asparagus and its historically notable sandstone buildings. The town and surrounding area are particularly beautiful in April, when the pink Cosmos flowers bloom which is considered good for environmental looks. Which are running in short of basic needs therefore, the Deputy Minister has foreseen a need to make an effort of visiting the afore mentioned schools.


Media related products


Related links


International Nelson Mandela Day
Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
46664: it's in your hands
Moral Regeneration Month



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