'67 minutes should be a daily activity'

Family members with Nelson Mandela on his 94th birthday in Qunu, Eastern Cape, South Africa on 18 July 2012. Picture: Peter Morey
Members of the Highveld Lions cricket team gave lessons to children from Lodirile Secondary School. Picture: Matshidiso Madia.
Members of the Highveld Lions cricket team gave lessons to children from Lodirile Secondary School. Picture: Matshidiso Madia.
A montage of some of the events in and around the Mother City on Mandela Day on 18 July 2012.
Learners sang Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela while volunteers gave of their time to do good in the community. EWN’s Taurai Maduna reports from Soweto
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale gives his opening address at the Nelson Mandela Museum on Madiba's 94th birthday on 18 July 2012.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille joined neighbourhood watch members in gang-plagued Lavender Hill to mark her 67 minutes for Mandela Day.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon encourages the world to commit 67 minutes to others, as part of Nelson Mandela Day.

JOHANNESBURG - As corporate companies rose to the challenge of providing for disadvantaged communities on Mandela Day, there were however hopes on Wednesday that this behavior will not be limited to only one day of the year.

Thousands of people dedicated 67 minutes of community service in honour of Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday.

Bidvest Bank’s Duncan Nkosi said every South African has a social responsibility to help those that are less fortunate.

“Nelson Mandela Day is not an event. It is a daily activity because it is 67 minutes everyday.”

The bank donated accessories and a new kit for the cricket team at the Lodirile High School in Kugersdorp where the Highveld Lions held a cricket lesson for the pupils.

More sponsors are expected to help the school erect cricket nets later in the year and assist pupils with its vegetable garden.

In Cape Town, Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said the spirit of service should not depend on an emblem like Nelson Mandela.

Manuel spent Mandela Day in his constituency, Mitchells Plain.

He helped build wheelchair ramps for the disabled and painted over walls defaced by vandals.

Manuel was schooled in the art of getting learners to listen to their elders and despite the interruptions, he managed to remind learners that they owe it to themselves, their communities and those like Madiba to stand up and take responsibility.

"That spirit of sacrifice lives on, and it lives on in each one of you. It's a day for celebration, but it's also a day to remember who we are and where we come from."

Manuel said we should serve beyond the 67 minutes highlighted on Madiba’s birthday.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said Madiba’s heart would bleed if he knew of everything happening in the country on Wednesday.

Addressing 250 of the world's emerging young leaders at the Free State University, Tutu said luckily Madiba is not fully aware of the country's political status quo.

Urging the youth to send old people to their graves with smiles rather than heartache, Tutu asked them to ensure that the country is not destroyed by certain people.

Along similar lines, Mandla Mandela said South Africa lacks the quality of leadership that Madiba had displayed.

Madiba's grandson spoke in Mvezo, Eastern Cape, where he spent most of Wednesday painting a school and planting trees at a clinic.

He said current leaders and young people must take lessons from his grandfather and work towards unifying South Africa.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort & Clare Matthes)