Mandela Marathon legacy project will help young kids

2015-07-08 08:58
UMgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee at the launch of the Mandela marathon Legacy Project yesterday.

UMgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee at the launch of the Mandela marathon Legacy Project yesterday. (jonathan burton )

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THE Mandela Marathon should not be just a marathon, but also an instrument to change the world, says uMgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee.

Bhamjee was speaking during the launch of the Mandela Marathon legacy project at Harry Gwala Stadium yesterday.

The project aims to invest part of the proceeds from the marathon back into community upliftment projects.

Already, the municipality and its strategic partners — Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest, and Divine Life Society of South Africa — have identified early childhood development as a necessary initiative worthy of their investment.

They have committed to spending R3 million building crèches in seven municipalities incorporated under the district — Impendle, Mpofana, Mkhambathini, Msunduzi, Richmond, Umngeni and Umshwathi — before the end of November.

Aside from Impendle and Mpofana, all the other municipalities have identified the wards where the crèches would be built.

Bhamjee said the initiative was important as children were special to former president Nelson Mandela.

“As the Mandela Marathon continues to grow … capturing the imagination of many stakeholders in the process, the time has come to make this marathon an agent of change and not just another marathon, thus making an indelible mark in the sand of life,” he said.

Bhamjee said the municipality and its partners would make contributions to ensure the project’s success.

“In this regard, 50% of all entry fees [of the marathon] will be ploughed back to community projects. The municipality will match this 50% with internal funding to augment this pool. We have identified strategic partners who will in turn match this augmented funding and make it even bigger.

“With an increased size of the cake, we will identify a community project that will have a sustainable impact on the lives of the communities that we serve,” he said.

Michael Deegan of Community Chest said child education was one of the organisation’s important pillars. It was important to invest in early childhood development, as a child’s brain was 85% developed by the time they turned five

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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