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Monday, 17 July 2017 – The Presiding Officers, National Assembly (NA) Speaker Ms Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson Ms Thandi Modise, call on all South Africans, including Members of Parliament and staff, to heed Tata Nelson Mandela’s call to change the world around them during this Mandela Month.

In keeping with Parliament’s motto of being ‘An activist and responsive People’s Parliament that improves the quality of life of South Africans and ensures enduring equality in our society’ Mandela Month presents an opportunity for Parliament to illustrate its continuous commitment to serve humanity.

Tata Mandela’s birthday, 18 July, was declared the Nelson Mandela International Day, commonly known as Mandela Day, following a unanimous resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. However, in South Africa the month of July is set aside for everyone to honour his life by taking actions to make the world a better place.

To commemorate this month in a manner that takes the legacy of the selfless leader of the people forward, Parliament has lined up a host of engagements aimed at touching the lives of ordinary South Africans in general and the historically marginalised in particular. These include, delivering books to a library, donating of blankets and food parcels to senior citizens, putting up two soup kitchens, a squash coaching clinic, plus visits to three safe homes - for young women in conflict with the law, survivors of abuse and a shelter for destitute mothers and their children.

This year’s Mandela Month commemorations will take place against the backdrop of Parliament celebrating “20 Years of the Constitution and the Establishment of the NCOP.” Tata Madiba’s legacy is inseparable from the drafting of our Constitution which gave birth to the NCOP. Therefore, it is fitting to honour his work as we commemorate these two landmark occasions.

The Mandela Month programme kicked-off on Friday, 14 July, on a sporting note with the Parliament Squash team, in partnership with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, hosting a coaching clinic for young people from schools that are ordinarily not exposed to the sport. On Monday (today), the NCOP Deputy Chairperson, Mr Raseriti Tau, will deliver books at the Judy Scott Library in Kimberley, Northern Cape. On Tuesday 18 July, the Speaker will donate blankets to senior citizens at Rolihlahla Hall in Ekurhuleni, parliamentary staff will set up two soup kitchens near Parliament for the homeless and the destitute, and they will also visit Saartjie Baartman Centre in Athlone. In addition, the other two safe homes Onse Plek, in Mowbary, and the St Anne’s Home in Woodstock will be visited on July 25 and 28 respectively.

It is through participation in commemorative activities like the Mandela Day that Parliament is able to demonstrate its responsiveness to the needs of the people. Each year in July we get to reflect on what has been done and what still needs to be done. Making every day Mandela Day celebrates Madiba’s life and legacy in a sustainable way that will bring about a caring society and enduring change.

Our collective freedom will only be fully realized when we assist others to create a conducive environment for them to meet their basic needs. We must do everything in our power to rid the world of social ills like poverty, inequality, unemployment and gender based violence.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930

PROGRAMME: MANDELA MONTH 2017 CAMPAIGN

14 July 2017 (Squash Club Clinic)
17 July 2017 (Deputy Chairperson book donations to Library, Kimberley)
18 July Speaker donates blankets to senior citizens in Ekurhuleni
18 July 2017 (Organisational Wellness Programme)
18 July (Visit to Saartjie Baartman Centre)
25 July (Visit to Ons Plek)
28 July (Visit to St Anne’s Home)