Picture: Twitter
Picture: Twitter
Photo: ANA
Photo: ANA
Photo: ANA
Photo: ANA

Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille joined Zelda le Grange, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on Saturday to send off 500 bikers from the Grand Parade in Cape Town as they rode to Drakenstein Prison between Paarl and Franschhoek to raise awareness and funds to keep girls in school.

The mayor joined the Bikers for Mandela Day as they collect sanitary supplies for the three million young female school pupils who miss up to 50 school days a year because they do not have access to sanitary pads. The City of Cape Town is providing logistical support to the event organisers of the Bikers for Mandela Day rally.

Speaking at the City Hall start point for the ride, De Lille said the city was a proud partner of the Bikers for Mandela Day and the good work they did to help "keep a girl in school".

"The sanitary pads collected today [Saturday] will go a long way to assist the three million young female learners who miss school annually because they cannot afford basic sanitary products. Like Zelda le Grange said, a donation as little as R180 can provide enough sanitary pads to keep one young girl in school for an entire year," she said.

It was significant that the ride would end at the Drakenstein Prison, the place where former president Mandela took his first steps to freedom after 27 years of imprisonment by the apartheid government.

"Today you are all emulating his example of selflessness and doing your part to give dignity to others through compassion. We as ordinary South Africans will never be able to live up to the immense sacrifice Mandela and his generation of leaders made, but doing our 67 minutes of service is a good start," De Lille said.

"We must do more to take our work beyond 67 minutes and Mandela month because if we all do something small to help someone in need every day, we will ensure that more people taste the fruits of our hard fought democracy.

"In just a few days we will unveil the statue of Madiba at this exact spot where Nelson Mandela addressed thousands of South Africans more than 28 years ago. I welcome you to return to City Hall and this balcony when the statue is here. But you must also return here every year to ride for Mandela. Let today be the start of a yearly ‘Bikers for Mandela’ event in Cape Town," De Lille said.

African News Agency/ANA