By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to join clean-up efforts on Sunday and help rebuild the country as part of Mandela Day celebrations.
Parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were destroyed by unrest and looting that left businesses destroyed and turned large areas into rubbish heaps.
"This Sunday, South Africans will join people across the world in celebrating Nelson Mandela Day. As we reaffirm our commitment to our democracy, let us use Mandela Day to provide food to the most vulnerable in our society, to clean up our streets and to start the task of rebuilding," Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by government.
Ramaphosa was in Soweto on Sunday to help clean up Ndofaya Mall in Meadowlands, Jabulani Mall in Jabulani and Maponya Mall in Pimville.
On this #MandelaDay, we join all South Africans who have been engaged in cleanup and rebuilding activities in Gauteng and KZN following the devastation caused by the public violence and looting that took place. We say thank you for defending our democracy. #CleanUpSA #RebuildSA pic.twitter.com/nBzEyZLNlY— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) July 18, 2021
As part of Mandela Day celebrations, members of the public have been asked to donate non-perishable food items to the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s #Each1Feed1 initiative at participating shopping malls. This initiative will run for six months.
This year’s commemoration is themed "One hand can feed another".
According to government, the theme has been chosen to respond to problems faced by many families who cannot afford basic necessities due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.