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As part of celebrating Mandela Day, Matatiele Local Municipality employees swapped suits and heels for overalls and gloves on Wednesday, July 18. In partnership with Bingo Royale Matatiele, the motivated staff embarked on a CBD cleaning campaign in Matatiele.
“We have been challenged to ‘find the Madiba in us’ and this is the little we can do to honour the great Baw’uMandela as we celebrate the International Nelson Mandela Day coinciding with his centenary”, said a staff member. Nelson Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated every year on his birthday on July 18. Mandela Day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on July 18, 2010.
SANDF GIVES BACK TO THE COMMUNITY OF MATSETSENG
The village of Matsetseng was surrounded by men and women in uniform from the Military and SAPS who transformed the school environment into a beautiful scene.
The atmosphere was filled with joy and festivity, the perfect sounds of the SAPS brass band and the SANDF ceremonial guard doing their thing — providing dignified yet marvellous entertainment for all those who came to witness this grand day. The South African National Defence Force from Prince Alfred’s Guard (PAG), deployed under joint Tactical Headquarters Eastern Cape in Matatiele, embarked on a social responsibility project and made a meaningful investment in Ward six.
This was the SANDF’s initiative to try and give back to the community in honour of the stalwart and struggle icon, Nelson Mandela. The former statesman would have turned 100 years old this year, had he still been alive.
Just a day after his birth date, three classrooms were handed over to the learners of Caiphus Khoapa SPS in his name.
The Reserve Force Company from Prince Alfred’s Guard (PAG) in Makhanda, previously known as Grahamstown, built the school in order to assert that learning is not disrupted by a dilapidated structure. Shortage of classrooms will also be addressed through this intervention. “This signal is in line with the quest to curb cross-border criminality in the RSA (Matatiele) and Lesotho border by ensuring that the people of South Africa are, and feel, safe at all times”, said Sergeant Major Dyantyi from Pretoria Headquarters.
Addressing the public, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula took a moment to remind all parents and teachers of the constitutional right of children to access quality education in a favourable environment. “We are today handing over these classrooms to the learners, and also the community, so you need to work together in keeping these resources secured because education is a societal matter,” she said.
The minister’s passion for children and youth was evident for all to see as she also took time to directly address them, sharing Madiba’s story of humble beginnings.
“This is a story of a boy from the village of Qunu who became a State President”, she said. Mapisa-Nqakula added that, no matter what background they have, they too can one day become prominent figures in society. Dignitaries included, among others, MEC of Education in the Eastern Cape Mandla Makupula, Alfred Nzo district municipality Deputy Executive Mayor Cllr. Sandile Sello, Matatiele LM acting Mayor of the day Cllr. Sicelo Maphasa, MLM councillors, Maluti Education District senior management and traditional leaders.
MEC Makupula handed over 64 school uniform to needy learners, chairs and tables for Grade R learners and furniture for the teachers. The Minister committed that her department would come back to the school to contribute 20 computers, construct additional ablution facilities and provide books for a mini library. “We are a Destination of Choice and Excellence.”