Special Mandela Day on Sunday
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July 18, Mandela Day, traditionally a day on which South Africans show the world their spirit of kindness and generosity, holds special significance this year.
On this day we give up an hour (67 minutes) of our time to serve communities and support charitable efforts.
With entire towns in KwaZulu-Natal devastated in this week’s looting, there has been no greater need in recent memory, for such united efforts.
Many have not waited for Mandela Day to be of service in the aftermath of the devastating unrest. Pictures circulated yesterday show a spotless Queensmead Mall, courtesy of locals supporting the mall’s own clean-up effort after it was looted, and of a huge consignment of donated milk and bread being delivered to KZN.
In order for the provincial economy to get back on its feet ‒ for people to work again, to buy basic essentials ‒ damaged and destroyed businesses need to be, up and running again as fast as possible.
And we need our public spaces clean for life to begin returning to normal.
So let’s do our bit by joining groups, or working alone, to help out where we can.
Grand gestures are not needed. My neighbour dropped off potatoes and onions at the door of each unit in our complex yesterday. It could be that simple ‒ and that effective.
Certainly this week's events were a huge step back in our effort to build this country, but this is a country which rose from the ashes of apartheid and, working together, we will overcome this tragedy too.
The Independent on Saturday