Minister Molewa heeds the call to make every day a Mandela Day in Gugulethu

22 July 2016


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, today, 22 July 2016, brought the Madiba spirit of generosity and selflessness when she donated, much needed school desks to two schools, school uniform to needy learners, walking sticks and blankets to the elderly in Gugulethu, Cape Town.

Minister Molewa led the Gugulethu community in celebration of this year Nelson Mandel International Day.

There school desks and walking sticks are products that come from the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Eco-Furniture factories. The Eco-Furniture Programme (EFP) seeks to make optimal use of the biomass cleared through the Working for Water programme, in creating work opportunities to make products that help government to meet its needs.

Government is calling on all South Africans to support Nelson Mandela Month through participation in activities under the theme:  "Take Action - Inspire Change - Make Every Day a Mandela Day". The theme encourages all citizens to take responsibility and ensure peaceful co-existence within communities.

As part of Nelson Mandela Day commemoration, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) hosted a two today Environmental Science Careers Expo (ESCE) from 19 - 20 July 2016. The ESCE was aimed at affording young people in Gugulethu Township and surrounding areas with an opportunity to learn more about career opportunities within the environment sector and bursaries offered by government through the Department and its entities.

Furthermore, there department also had a clean-up activity that is part of creating awareness about waste management issues within the community and thereby empowering communities to take responsibility for the cleanliness of their surrounding environment.

Minister Molewa urged the community members to keep celebrating the legacy of Nelson Mandela “As heirs of the great Mandela legacy of generosity and selflessness, it is important that we ask ourselves, what can we, individually and collectively, contribute to making his legacy a permanent one that future generations will benefit from?”

“It is for this reason that from Monday that people all over the world took time to donate food to the hungry, donate blankets to the destitute, volunteer to serve in a community, take care of our precious environment and so on. And there is more that can be done.  All these efforts by the human family, are the best tributes all of us can pay to a man of the people.

All of us should also seek to continue building on Madiba’s legacy of selflessness and deep sense of shared purpose.”

Minister Molewa further explained that, “Noting that the focus of this year’s campaign is on education and literacy, food security, shelter and the environment. The Department of Environmental Affairs has chosen to focus on providing youth of South Africa with opportunities to learn more about careers in the environment sector. Engage with people who litter to convince them of the value of clean surroundings. Assisting communities to organize clean-ups of their local parks, rivers, beaches, streets, town squares or sports grounds with few friends. Our children deserve to grow up in a clean and healthy environment,” said Molewa.

The annual International Nelson Mandela Day of humanitarian action in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life and legacy was started in 2008 to encourage individuals to change the world through voluntary community work. The United Nations declared the 18th of July Nelson Mandela International Day in 2008.

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