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Mandela Day Celebrations
EThekwini residents and government leadership, from both the Province and the City, came together to make Durban a better place on 18 July, as the world commemorates the lifetime of service the late former statesman Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world.

EThekwini Municipality used Mandela Day to showcase the giving spirit of the late iconic leader and to demonstrate that Durban is the most caring City. 

Speaking at Etafuleni, Inanda, where she handed over four newly built houses, Mayor Zandile Gumede said Mandela Day, which is commemorated on 18 July, is an opportunity for the City to show that the legacy of Madiba still lives on.

"We do not just show up when we want votes, but our Municipality is one that cares about service delivery and the wellbeing of its people," she said. 

House recipient, Phumzile Mbambo, who previously lived in Ematikwe Area 8 said she had been anticipating the day. “I thought this day would never come,” she said beaming and appearing to be in awe of the new house handed over to her family. 

"We have always lived in a mud house with no toilet. We are grateful for the assistance given to us by the Mayor and our councillor." 

Mayor Gumede also celebrated resident, Gogo Duma's birthday who turned 87-years-old today and shares the day with Mandela.

During the day’s proceedings, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube and City officials, under the leadership of Mayor Gumede brought smiles to the faces of many residents as they handed over houses and partook in several acts of kindness.

As part of the day’s activities, a massive clean-up at all 110 Municipal wards was conducted by councillors, community members, ward committees and war rooms. 

Highlighting the importance of cleanliness, Mayor Gumede called on eThekwini residents to take pride in their areas. Cleanliness, she said, should be embedded in all our conscience. “We should make cleanliness part of our daily lives and not just a once off on Mandela Day,” she said, calling on all residents to roll up their sleeves and clean-up their wards. 

The clean-up was part of the massive Operation Khuculul’iTheku campaign also known as Operation Spring Clean eThekwini. 

MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said she supports and recognises the good work being done by eThekwini Municipality. "It is important that we keep Madiba’s legacy alive. He fought for our freedom and by keeping our spaces clean, giving our time and helping those in need we help keep the legacy alive," she said.

MEC Dube-Ncube, Mayor Gumede, Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer and other eThekwini Executive Committee members then proceeded to clean-up around the Cato Manor precinct.

In other wards there was a stream clean-up and planting of trees, where members of the community were educated about the negative impact of littering on the environment and infrastructure such as stormwater drains.

Running parallel to the Municipality’s programme, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi distributed blankets and vanity cases to the elderly, while the City’s Youth Office visited young people in various hospitals. 

The power of private and public partnership in uplifting communities was also evident at Pentecostal Revival Church in Ward 71, Shallcross. About 150 children from Bottlebrush Informal Settlement were ecstatic after receiving gifts from the Municipality, Chatsworth Pick ‘n Pay as well as the church. 

Councillor Sne Sishange said they chose to celebrate the day with the church because it promotes the 'spirit of ubuntu' which was preached by Mandela. 

The church also offers additional lessons on Saturdays to learners as an effort to improve their academic performance. 

Because of the church’s dedication and positive response from beneficiaries, Councillor Sishange said the Municipality is now facilitating funding to assist them through the City's Grant-in- Aid programme. 

At City Hall, Church Walk in Ward 28 residents were educated about the City’s Supply Chain Management Policy and the Radical Economic Transformation Framework. Safer Cities Unit hosted a dialogue on the scourge of socials ills such as women abuse and drug addiction. 

A mobile clinic was in the area to offer free health screenings, while the City Integrity and Investigations Unit informed residents about basic human rights and how to report any violation of these rights. There was also a 67 minutes aerobics session where residents were encouraged to “work-out for Madiba”. 

The aerobics session aimed to promote health and fitness as well as highlight the importance of regular exercise.

A brand new kitchen was donated to a drug rehabilitation centre and an elderly organisation, while the City revamped dilapidated structures belonging to non-profit organisations. Free health screenings and eye tests were the order of the day in several communities throughout eThekwini. 

Accompanied by City officials, councillors and local musicians, MEC Dube-Ncube and Mayor Gumede were on a mission to improve the lives of those in need through robust social upliftment initiatives in honouring Mandela. 

The day’s proceeding started at Ward 101, where the entire Cato Manor precinct was cleaned. 

The delegation then made their way to Ward 17 where 300 title deeds will be handed over to Mawelewele residents. Four homes were also handed over to wheelchair bound people at Grassland Savannah Park. An old age home and a crèche at Klaarwater received blankets, towels, linen and other donations. Jessie Duarte, who served as a special assistant to Mandela was part of the delegation. 

City leadership then proceeded to Abalindi Welfare Society in Ward 56 where they gave the facility a much needed revamp. 

Mayor Gumede called on all councillors to work hand-in-hand with residents and ensure that they actively participate in all service delivery programmes taking place in their wards throughout the year.

WEATHER

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