… and locals also do their 67 minutes worth

2010-07-19 00:00

MARKING global Nelson Mandela Day, local and national government members and local residents performed community service in various ways yesterday.

Among the local events, the spokesperson for the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) treated street kids to a braai, firefighters swept gutters and unblocked drains and police handed out food parcels and blankets in Copesville and Northdale, while staff at the Natal Museum treated elderly people to a tea party.

“We collected about one ton of dirt,” said fire chief Billy Paton, wiping sweat from his face, after leading his team with brooms, spades and hoses.

“We can never hope to achieve what Madiba achieved in his lifetime, but if everybody does their bit we can make a difference,” said Finance MEC Ina Cronjé, who spent 67 minutes with the France community, where she and other dignitaries eradicated illegal dumping zones. Ward 13 councillor Skhumbuzo Hadebe appealed to local people and those from outside to stop illegal dumping.

With 920 unpaid volunteers around the country, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) performed a two-hour training session.

“Madiba spent 67 years making the world a better place. Each person has the power to change the world. Viva Madiba! He is an inspiration to us all,” said NSRI CEO Ian Weinburg.

Commander Samuel Kikine and Joe Zuma were at Endawana, Underberg, where they gave away about 5 000 food parcels as well as 2 000 blankets and jackets to local chiefs and councillors.

Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe visited impoverished areas of uMsinga where two businessmen vowed to build a four- or five-bedroom house for the Mvelase family, who are currently living in a dilapidated house.

Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu and Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo spent their minutes at the Ekuhlengeni Psychiatric Hospital.

Mchunu also visited Ekukhanyeni Mental School at uMbumbulu to help paint walls.

Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development MEC Lydia Johnson, Provincial Speaker Neliswa Nkonyeni, Buhlebezwe Municipality Mayor Noleen Peterson and Sisonke District Mayor Patrick Khoza all rolled up their sleeves for a clean-up endeavour at Jolivet near Ixopo.

They also visited impoverished households to plant fruit trees.

An Ixopo, businessman Ebrahim Tricycle donated building material for a family to build themselves a decent house.

Durban-based vehicle importers Pakistan Car Importers joined the national Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya and Congress of SA Trade Unions’ president S’dumo Dlamini at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, where patients and Umlazi residents were spoilt with food parcels and blankets.

“As foreign nationals, we want to make a contribution towards fostering good relations with South Africans, and to strive for a better life,” said Salim Ahmed, chairperson of the Pakistan Car Importers Association.

Rachel Soobiah of the ANC Youth League in Northdale and local councillors conducted a clean-

up around the Northdale area.

“We are planning to do this at least once a month in memory of Mandela’s bravery and sacrifice for a better future for all,” Soobiah said.

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