Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile says the best way to celebrate former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday is to commit time to assisting others. July 18 has been declared International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate Madiba’s birth date.
“The celebration of Mandela Day recognises and honours our former president’s commitment to the objective of building a national democratic society, that is united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous,” he said.
As part of the celebrations, Mashatile urged all government departments and municipalities, the private sector and local communities to initiate activities that are aimed at achieving the objectives of Nelson Mandela Day throughout the world.
People can play a role by assisting the elderly with their shopping, volunteering at local schools and many other forms of community service.
Mashatile said Nelson Mandela Day celebrations were also an opportunity to promote social cohesion, national healing and nation building.
Activities for this year’s Nelson Mandela Week celebrations (9 – 18 July) include the unveiling of tomb stones of former freedom fighters, cleaning of graves, beautification of schools and old age homes, flying the South African flag in schools, holding developmental workshops for emerging artists and handing out of blankets.
The main Mandela Day celebrations will be held at the Dinokana Stadium in Zeerust.