Mandela Day blankets for minister’s ‘favourite people’

18 July 2014

The faces of senior citizens at Imizamo Home for the Aged in Hout Bay, Cape Town lit up during a Mandela Day visit by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Friday.

“This area used to be my constituency, so it is not the first time that I am coming here,” Brown said after handing out blankets and food parcels to the elderly.

“Senior citizens are the most important people in the society because without you, all of us would not be here. On this special day, that we celebrate Mandela Day, I would much rather spend it with my favourite people, and that is you senior citizens.”

Accompanied by acting Eskom CEO Collins Matjila, Brown then moved on to the main road of Imizamo Yethu, joining over 200 women and youngsters clad in blue Eskom overalls in cleaning up the streets of the dense township.

The minister called on township residents to refrain from connecting electricity illegally, saying it was hazardous and endangered the lives of all residents in the area.

She said the government would do all it could to find available land where decent human settlements could be built for the residents.

The United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognising 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”.

Celebrated across the globe in honour of the late statesman’s birthday on 18 July, the day gives everyone the opportunity to emulate Mandela’s role as public servant though volunteering and community service.