Praise for international community on Mandela Day

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has commended the international communities for offering a helping hand on Mandela Day.

Pandor, accompanied by members of the diplomatic corps and DIRCO staff on Monday, marked the annual Nelson Mandela International Day at Leratong Hospice in Atteridgeville by participating in 67 minutes of work for the community.

Various organisations locally and abroad commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day which is also known as Mandela Day, on 18 July, by making a difference in their communities.

“We are so grateful that on this day, on this Nelson Mandela Day, you always join us and we can’t thank you enough for your commitment and kindness to various community organisations in South Africa,” she told the Ambassadors.

Numerous donations including blankets, portable radios, food items, clothes, gas stoves and R500 000 cash from the United Arab Emirates were made to the hospice.

“I wish to thank you for your contribution and support. I am extremely grateful and know that the community is thrilled to see this example of international cooperation and collaboration between South Africa and representation from many countries who work here in our country and hold Nelson Mandela, his work and memory very close to their hearts.”

Leratong Hospice is an in-patient facility offering holistic comprehensive care and support-palliative care to all its patients and offering support to their families. It services Atteridgeville, Saulsville, the surrounding informal settlements, Lotus-Gardens, Pretoria west, Laudium, Brits, Hartbeespoort and neighbouring communities.

Pandor reminded the community that they do not need money to make a difference in other people’s lives.

“Nelson Mandela was speaking to each of us, whether you’re rich or poor. He was saying to us that to help others doesn’t need great wealth. He was teaching us that every one of us can make a difference – a kind work to children or helping an elderly person just for one hour and seven minutes.”

She also shut down the notion that generosity and kindness were difficult and urged citizens to help each other for the betterment of their community.

“Mandela believed that every one of us can give. Therefore, whoever you are, he did not say on this day, Members of Parliament should do something,” she stressed.

“Today, we are all equals. I’m going to be peeling potatoes; others will give children books and while some will make sure the windows are clean.”

She also encouraged the hospice workers to continue the challenging work and called on the citizens to assist and protect the workers.

“Mandela believed that if you do that every July 18, eventually you’ll do it every day.”

Source: South African Government News Agency