As South Africa joins the world in commemorating Nelson Mandela Month this July 2023, the government calls on citizens to contribute to turning the tide against food insecurity and climate change in honour of Nelson Mandela’s legacy.
Former President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela abhorred injustice. He is largely known for the personal sacrifices that he and fellow freedom fighters made towards the attainment of democracy in South Africans. Even outside of prison, Mandela continued the fight against injustice, especially poverty through various means, including mobilising local and international friends to support fundraising efforts for food insecurity and education, among others.
Mandela viewed anti-poverty efforts as the protection of human rights.
He once said, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” As such, South Africans will do well to honour him by emulating these ideals not only during Mandela Month but make them part of their daily lives.
President Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918. The year, 2023 marks his 105th birthday. The 18th of July is now known as International Nelson Mandela Day, and it is dedicated to acts of service by both local and international citizens who greatly admired and respected what he stood for.
The South African government has since dedicated the month of July to the commemoration of Mandela, thus naming it Mandela Month.
The 2023 commemoration takes place under the theme “It is in your hands”. Mandela made the declaration “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it” during his July 2007 speech delivered at the “46664” AIDS benefit concerts held in his honour by local and foreign musicians between 2003 and 2008.
During this month, the government will host several events led by Ministers, Premiers, Deputy Ministers, and Directors-General and public servants in all nine provinces. These events, which include planting of trees, donation of blankets, clothes and food; as well as supporting communities with starting food gardens will be made public by the respective departments through media advisories and statements as they take place.
Nomonde Mnukwa, the Acting Government Spokesperson said, “There is no doubt that South Africa is already experiencing the effects of climate change.
The devastating floods of April 2022 and recently have worsened our food insecurity challenge as many farmers could not produce”.
“Due to food shortages, the floods did not only push prices higher; they also left many in dire poverty and without shelter. Consequently, in the true Madiba spirit, as we commemorate Mandela Month and Mandela Day, we urge you to look around your neighbourhood and identify those that may be in need of your help and do something to better their lives”, added Mnukwa.
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