Look at Mandela Day as 'a way of being', not an event - Graça Machel

2019-07-18 13:13
City of Ekurhuleni hosting the 
Nelson Mandela Foundation for the 10th anniversary of the Mandela Day celebrations.

City of Ekurhuleni hosting the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the 10th anniversary of the Mandela Day celebrations. (Canny Maphanga, News24)

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Humanitarian Graça Machel is encouraging citizens to be active by seeing Mandela Day as a way of being instead of an event. 

"Mandela Day is a reminder that any one of us has the power to take initiative and drive transformation. 

"Let us not look at Mandela Day as an event that we will be part of every year. We need to look at it as a pledge for the whole year that goes beyond one's daily activities. Decide what is the difference I can make to people over the year so that it can become a way of being, not just an event," Machel, former president Nelson Mandela's widow, told guests at a dialogue to commemorate the legacy of Mandela in Germiston, Gauteng on Thursday. 

The Nelson Mandela Foundation chose to partner with the City of Ekurhuleni to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mandela Day on Thursday, which asks citizens to give back 67 minutes to their community, on what would have been Madiba's birthday.  

"We are delighted as the City of Ekurhuleni to be the host of Nelson Mandela Day. We are going to be collaborating on a number of projects starting [from] today over the next three years.

"Madiba spent a lot of time in the City of Ekurhuleni during apartheid. This partnership will ensure that we document the history of Mandela and see that we share it," Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina told the media.

ALSO READ: Nelson Mandela International Day: A decade of giving 

The legacy of Madiba was reflected upon through a dialogue which was hosted by CNBC Africa.

Among those on the panel were Masina, Human Settlements and Cogta (cooperative governance and traditional affairs) MEC Lebogang Maile, Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang, and Habitat for Humanity CEO Patrick Kulati. 

One of the issues raised was the country's housing backlog. 

As a result, the provincial and local government pledged to reduce the housing backlog over the next five years. 

"In 1994, the housing backlog was sitting at three million. The backlog now sits at two million. Half of that is in Gauteng.

"This important project is aimed at building houses. About 200 are already completed," Maile explained. 

"We are also currently building 100 000 houses and giving 59 000 stands to people who can afford to build themselves," Masina added.

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Read more on:    graca machel  |  mzwandile masina  |  johannesburg ­  |  service delivery

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