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Road islands will be beautified in one Nelson Mandela Day activity. In others, trees will be planted, with special celebrations planned at several city parks.
CITY Parks is caught up in a whirlwind of activities in preparation for the celebration of Nelson’s Mandela birthday on Monday, 18 July.

Madiba and Grca Machel plant a tree (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)Madiba and Graca Machel plant a tree (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)“We have an exciting line-up for Nelson Mandela Day and planning has begun in earnest,” said the City Parks spokesperson, Jenny Moodley. 
Nelson Mandela Day is an annual celebration of Mandela’s life and a global call to action for people to recognise their ability to do something to change the world around them.

Moodley said City Parks would host a tree planting event with African Rainbow Mines (ARM) in Alexandra on Friday, 15 July in the run-up to the day. “ARM has made available the necessary resources for planting 100 trees.”

Employees would plant the trees in a 67-minute countdown, as well as write birthday messages for Mandela on white pebbles, she explained.

“Learners will once again be invited to write their birthday wish to Nelson Mandela on white pebbles.”

The delegation will then go to Soweto’s Thokoza Park to plant the 93rd Mandela tree in the park, and unveil a plaque to mark the event.

City Parks had also arranged activities to commemorate the day: along the main route to Lehae near Lenasia; at Delta Park in Victory Park; at Diepsloot in the north; at Jukskei Park; at Zoo Lake in Saxonwold; at Pieter Roos Park in Braamfontein; and at Rhodes Park in Kensington.

“This includes a road island beautification initiative in close proximity to the Mandela home in Houghton, with adjacent schools in attendance,” said Moodley.

The first call to action in Mandela’s name came on 18 July in 2009; in November of that year, the UN officially adopted it as a day for global humanitarian action, calling it Nelson Mandela International Day.

On this day, people around the world are asked to devote 67 minutes of their time, changing the world for the better in a small gesture of solidarity with humanity. It celebrates the 67 years of his life that Mandela gave in the struggle for justice.

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