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Activities have been planned at various Joburg parks to mark Nelson Mandela Day, when everyone is encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time to others.
TREE planting and park restorations are among the activities planned by Joburg City Parks to mark the 93rd birthday of Nelson Mandela on 18 July.

Planting trees with Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)Planting trees with Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)The utility will facilitate the regional campaign by arranging activities at Thokoza Park in Soweto; along the main route to Lehae near Lenasia; at Delta Park in Victory Park; at Diepsloot Park in the north; at Jukskei Park and on Marlboro Drive in Alexandra; at Zoo Lake in Saxonwold; at Pieter Roos Park in Braamfontein and at Rhodes Park in Kensington. There will also be road island beautification in Houghton.

“Residents are urged to join the campaign by donning their proudly South African gear and coming along with gloves from 9am,” said City Parks’ spokesperson, Jenny Moodley.

Learners from schools near these parks will be invited to write their tributes to Mandela on white pebbles, using coloured koki pens, beads and bottle caps, and sharing a slice of the celebratory cake in honour of a true legend.

Nelson Mandela Day is a day of public service where individuals are encouraged to spend at least 67 minutes doing some form of community service in honour of the 67 years that Mandela spent fighting for social justice and human rights.

The day was inaugurated in 2009 on Mandela’s birthday. Since then, thousands of people have turned out to honour Mandela by caring for the elderly, cleaning their local parks and reading to children.
Businesses are also invited to participate by planting donated trees together with their employees at the various sites. “Employees from City Parks will be involved in upgrading the lawns and recreational facilities at the Orlando Children’s Home in Soweto,” said Moodley.

Let’s all get involvedLet’s all get involvedThe utility’s managing director, Geoffrey Cooke, urged businesses and residents to celebrate the contribution made by Mandela by pledging 67 minutes of their time to resolving environmental imbalances while simultaneously increasing the quality of life of fellow citizens.

Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation on its website is encouraging people to take responsibility for making the world a better place.

“Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life in the struggle for justice. We invite people to give their time in community service,” it reads.

International organisations affiliated to the Federation of Parks and Recreation and the Institute for Environmental and Recreational Management will also mark Nelson Mandela Day by contributing 67 minutes in their respective countries to addressing greening disparities.

Endorsements and comments on Nelson Mandela Day can be posted on Twitter or Facebook or emailed to jcp@jhbcityparks.com.

“Businesses and celebrities are also encouraged to endorse their support on Twitter and Facebook by indicating where they will be,” said Moodley.

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