ROB KNOWLES and TK MTIKI
IT has been a tough year for many South Africans, and specifically, those living in the drought-stricken and impoverished Eastern Cape, but many showed their mettle on Mandela Day by giving of themselves for just 67 minutes and, in turn, giving something back to their communities.
Although this year’s celebration commemorates Mandela’s 100th birthday, it appeared that fewer local businesses and organisations participated this year.
Still, those that did take part did some sterling work in helping the less fortunate members of society with food, clean-ups or other projects that would help society in general.
Ndlambe FM Radio presenters identified 21 vulnerable people to feed at Thornhill. Nomzolisi Mgudlandlu, a project manager and radio presenter said, “we came up with this idea that we should cater [to the] old”.
Radio DJs picked up 21 old people from different families and provided them with lunch on Tuesday. “Our focus was on old people who struggle to walk,” said Mgudlandlu, adding that those were some of the forgotten people in the community. She said that caregivers did not have to worry about lunch on Tuesday as it was already taken care of.
“We did not have any sponsor for this. We contributed out of our own pockets,” Mgudlandlu said.
Station Hill CPF organised a clean-up with the children of Port Alfred Primêre and collected rubbish from around the school including the adjacent sports grounds.
A teacher at the school, Louise Bouah said that this was a way for the children to learn about caring for their community and, at the same time, making Station Hill a cleaner place to live.
The men at the Sikhulise Skills Development Centre on Pascoe Crescent determined they would tidy the area around their building.
Armed with shovels and lots of plastic bags they cleaned up at the Old Market building (the Lounge), the SAPS car park opposite their building, the mosque in the old Telkom building, and the courthouse as well as on the river-side of the road at the Duck Pond.
Sanral also played its part by planting 10 trees at Kuyasa Combined School on Wednesday afternoon.
In its pamphlet on the event Sanral wrote: “Trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate improvement, preserve water, preserving soil and supporting wildlife.”
Talk of the Town also decided as the first part of its Mandela Day pledge, to clean up along the side of the R67 at the block between Becker and Miles Street on Wednesday and managed to fill three bags in no time at all. TotT once again was at Kelly’s Beach on Thursday to pick up rubbish along the beach as well as the much-neglected dune bush all the way to West Beach