The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008 when he said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”
The United Nations officially declared 18th July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognizing Mandela’s “values and his dedication to the service of humanity” and acknowledging his contribution “to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world”.
The celebration of Mandela Day aims to serve as a global call to action for people to “recognize their individual power to make an imprint and help change the world around them for the better”, says the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
On the 18th of July 2016, Setsoto Local officials celebrated Mandela Day by dedicating 67 minutes to Tannie Geertjie who lives at Ficksburg Old Age Home. The officials cooked a soup, traditional water bread and hand knitted a blanket which was presented to Tannie right after spending time with all the ladies of the old age.
“Spending the time with all these beautiful ladies really gave us a moment to reflect on life but most importantly we felt gratified to have dedicated time and attention on others rather than ourselves, which exactly what Mandela Day is all about.” said Me Thobeka Zondi, Director Engineering Services.
Although the Municipality spent time with its senior citizen, it did not forget to embark on a campaign of Clear River which was this year’s official campaign as per the directive by the Presidency. On the 25th of July 2016, Setsoto Local Municipality in partnership with Department of Water and Sanitation, Bloem Water, Sparta and Setsoto Women Empowerment embarked on a cleaning campaign at Caledon River in Ficksburg.
This campaign saw more than 200 Setsoto Women Empowerment beneficiaries receiving “gumboots” from Sparta.