Some 170 South Africans, including from Brand South Africa, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, are busy renovating classrooms, replacing broken windows and doors and painting walls, at Simunye High School in Bekkersdal in Westonaria in Gauteng.
Brand South Africa, in partnership with the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, is helping renovate Simunye High School in Bekkersdal, Westonaria, in Gauteng, on 18 July, as part of the organisations’ Mandela Day commemoration activities.
Lindi Sibiya, an HR administrator at Brand South Africa, says, “The school is in a very bad state, with classrooms that have no doors, no windows and no chairs. Students have to share chairs or sit on the floor.”
The organisations are replacing doors and broken windows and painting ten of the school’s classrooms.
Bishop Siwa, presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and President of the South African Council of Churches kicked off the ceremony at the school with a motivational speech this morning, before the team got down to tackling the classrooms.
Siwa had close ties to Nelson Mandela, preaching the sermon at his funeral and leading the Methodist Church’s pastoral care to Madiba and his family.
Some 170 people, including members of the local community, churches, and Brand South Africa and Nelson Mandela Foundation staff will be working on the school rooms. Brand South Africa and the Methodist Church will continue to work with the Bekkersdal community to maintain the school.
Siwa will also lead a ceremony in which the young people at the event can commit to being leaders in the nation. The newly-proclaimed leaders will plant trees symbolising their commitment to building the nation.
According to Miles Giljam, spokesman for youth organisation SACLI, “Planting a tree will symbolise each young leader’s desire and commitment to take up their own leadership space and grow into great trees like Mandela.
“The trees will visually remind us over the next 30 years of our commitment to grow as leaders in the same way we see our trees grow in stature. Finally the trees and forests left behind after we die will be a reminder to future generations of the commitments our generation made to the nation.”