Media statement: South Africans urged to make every day a Mandela Day on the eighth anniversary of Nelson Mandela International Day

In marking Madiba’s birthday on 18 July, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is inviting all South Africans and citizens of the world to use Nelson Mandela International Day (Mandela Day) as a renewal of commitment to making a sustainable difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Reflecting on words from Nelson Mandela spoken at Walter Sisulu’s 90th birthday celebration where he said “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Chief Executive of the Foundation Sello Hatang says “It is important that one consider their ability to be of service in a manner that makes a difference.”

In addition to volunteering, as has become the norm, the Foundation urges South Africans and those taking part in Mandela Day activities to continue with their effort well beyond July 18 in our quest to make every a Mandela Day.

This year’s theme is: Taking #ActionAgainstPoverty.

“Today allows us to recommit ourselves to taking action and inspiring change so that we can make every day a Mandela Day. As we go out to plant gardens, build houses or feed pupils, we must know that it does not stop there; July 18 is the start of taking action, not the end. We want South Africans and people around the world to commit to long-term, sustainable projects that will tackle poverty.” says Hatang.

The Foundation has adopted the message #ActionAgainstPoverty this year as a firm call to take action towards meaningful intervention in the lives of those facing poverty and inequality in our society on a daily basis.

“Poverty and inequality are eroding the foundations of the democratic and just society that Madiba fought so hard to establish, and for which he laid the building blocks. Unless we tackle poverty, on a sustained and committed basis, Nelson Mandela’s dream of a better life for all will remain just a pipe dream.” concluded Hatang.