Nelson Mandela Foundation

The 18th of July 2023 marks 105 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, and now, more than ever, we need to focus on the existential threat of the climate crisis and how it places food security at risk. With the theme Climate, Food & Solidarity, we are calling on our partners and the public to take action against climate change and create food-resilient environments in solidarity with communities across the world facing crisis due to climate change. This year, the call to action is, “It’s in your hands”. 

For the past year, the focus of Nelson Mandela International Day has been on sustainable interventions such as fruit and indigenous tree planting and promoting community food gardens as well as home-based food gardens. This year, the Mandela Day team aims to re-ignite the global reach of Nelson Mandela International Day through global partnerships that will carry out tree planting, and capacitation of home-based and community food gardens. On the 18th of July 2023 our vision for the world to unite and decisively act against the intersection between global climate change and food insecurity, by planting trees, establishing or working in community and home-based food gardens, as the sun moves from the east to the furthest most reaches of the west.

With government, civil society, business and communities, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has formed a global network of partners spanning China, England, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Zambia Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, the Seychelles, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and many other countries. On Mandela Day this year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation will see the world unite and decisively and take the first step to act against the intersection between global climate change and food insecurity.

If you are in South Africa, join us in advancing the legacy of Madiba over the month of July in the following programmes:

  • Resourcing a community food garden, Diepsloot, Johannesburg

Date: 18th July 2023

Venue: Diepsloot (Details to be announced soon)

Time: 09:00 AM to 14:30 PM

  • Mandela Day Houghton Run, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg

The Nelson Mandela Foundation will host the second edition of the Mandela Day Run in Houghton, in honour of the global icon, Nelson Mandela. This year, the race begins at Houghton Primary School and follows the route Nelson Mandela walked for exercise when he lived in Houghton. Houghton Estate is also the suburb that hosts the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory.

This year the Mandela Day Walk and Run will include 5km, 10km and 21km routes and will be held in partnership with Balwin Properties, Supabets, Discovery Vitality, Clover, Vision Tactical, Mahindra & Brand SA.

Date: 16 July 2023

Venue: Houghton Primary School

Time: 08h00 onwards

The race will be timed with Discovery Vitality who are offering points for Vitality members who participate.

Tickets are available at, starting at R100 for the 5km walk, R150 for the 10km run and R200 for the 21km run.’

  • Mandela Day Commemoration with Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, Eastern Cape

An integral partner of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Nelson Mandela University, will be commemorating International Nelson Mandela Day at Gelvandale High, in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, along with Nelson Mandela University, the Community Chest in Gqeberha and other partners will be capacitating the food garden the learners at the school established through their own initiative at the school hostel. The learners live under challenging circumstances, with the hostel building requiring intense renovations, the learners’ safety and security needs to be prioritised and the food garden requires expansion to secure their long-term nutritional needs.

  • Capacitfication of a Food Garden, Western Cape, Athlone, Cape Town

The Nelson Mandela Foundation will be joining Shoprite - anchor partner for the capacitation of the nine community food gardens across South Africa one in each province – at Mhani Gingi Vegetable Garden, in Athlone, Cape Town in the Western Cape, where soil cultivation and 

Visit to download this year’s social media and branding toolkit. 

See the below brochure for official Nelson Mandela Day merchandise.