Madiba always insisted that he share his birthday with children - Mandela Hospital CEO

2016-07-15 16:06

Johannesburg - The safety of children in South Africa should be one of the country's top priorities, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Hospital project, Sibongile Mkhabela, said on Friday.

Mkhabela said children should be able to go to school and go out in the streets and play. 

"We are devoting ourselves [over] the next five years to making our schools safe. Kids should feel safe at schools and be able to express themselves," Mkhabela said. 

Mkhabela was speaking at the Nelson Mandela Annual Children's Celebration in Saxonworld. 

The children had their faces painted, enjoyed jumping castles, went on pony rides and drove go-carts.

They also got cupcakes and coffee to start the morning. 

Mkhabela said the day gave the children the opportunity to celebrate South Africa's Constitution and to learn about their needs.

"Mandela always insisted that he had to share his birthday with children. They are the future of tomorrow," she said.

She said if Mandela was here today, he would have told the kids stories on the grass.

"As children grow, it is important that they embrace their history... with sharing stories and the history of our beautiful country," she said.

She said the children of today would be the Bill Gates's of tomorrow.

Mkhabela said the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital was complete and would open in December.

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