ZUMA TO LEAD CELEBRATIONS
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma will tomorrow lead the nation in celebrating former president Nelson Mandela's selfless contribution to the global pursuit of peace and reconciliation.
Zuma, who described Madiba as the "paragon of peace and reconciliation", will spend his 67 minutes with the elderly at Ivory Park as part of raising awareness about the need to honour and value senior citizens.
"Older persons serve as a reservoir of knowledge and heritage and many of them continue to make a valuable contribution to society, as heads of households and providers of care to orphans and vulnerable children," ANC spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said yesterday.
South Africa's political sage turns 91 tomorrow and millions of citizens are expected to join the global village by engaging in various 67-minute activities in their communities, signifying the 67 years that the legendary icon spent serving humanity.
ANC chief whip in Parliament Mathole Motshekga said Mandela "has provided us with an annual platform to cultivate ubuntu/botho values, principles, work ethics and the spirit of volunteerism necessary for the creation of a cohesive, caring and sustainable communities".
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is to attend the main jamboree hosted by the Department of Arts and Culture and the ANC parliamentary caucus, at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newton, Johannesburg, tomorrow.
At least 15000 people are expected to attend, while Madiba's co-accused during the Treason and Rivonia trials and the Nelson Mandela "royal family" will also be in attendance.
Members of Parliament, who are currently on a two-week parliamentary constituency break, are expected to paint or refurbish schools, classrooms, clinics or hospitals across the country.
l Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti will initiate self-help projects in Giyani in Limpopo, which is a national pilot project on rural development.
l The Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa and his deputy Fikile Mbalula will lead 67-minute campaigns as part of the build-up to the main celebration.
l Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to lead a campaign to promote a special focus on Mandela during school assemblies and will distribute Nelson Mandela literature at schools.
l The Department of Water and Environment will host clean-up campaigns and tree planting initiatives in townships and villages in Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
l The ANC Women's League, in partnership with Shoprite Checkers, will implement a programme involving old age homes in which the supermarket chain will provide lunch to the elderly and provide them with food parcels.
l In Mpumalanga, the Ehlanzeni district municipality has a comprehensive programme to benefit more than 1000 people, mostly women, children, people with disabilities, the elderly and those infected and affected by HIV and Aids.
The municipality is set to distribute food parcels and blankets, clean shelters, and erect fences, and provide orphans with toys.
l Members of the Gauteng legislature are expected to visit areas of Nokeng Tsa Taemane at St Joseph Child Care Centre and Khutsong Zanele Mtshali Disability Centre today.
Both of these areas have interesting stories of orphans and farm children who have stood up under difficult conditions and are making a difference in the lives of their families and communities around them.
These are kids that have arisen to become qualified woodworkers, carpenters, cooks, singers and sports personalities.
l Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi will lead a visit to the Central Methodist Church on the corner of Smal and Pritchard streets in Johannesburg. The aim is to support the foreign nationals who have settled at the church.
Vavi and members of the labour federation are expected to clean the premises and light up 67 candles.
l For more Madiba reports see pages 8 and 9