Celebrating Nelson Mandela's Centenary

2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of South Africa’s greatest leader, our nation’s founding father Nelson Mandela.

In honour of Madiba, national government, industries and the Nelson Mandela Foundation - among other organisations - will host a number of events in celebration of his centenary in the lead up to his birthday on 18 July. Mandela day centenary celebrations

In celebration of Madiba’s life, the theme for this year’s Mandela Day is “Be the legacy”.

The theme serves as a reminder to stay true to his ideals, including his unwavering commitment to justice, equality and a non-racial South Africa. As Nelson Mandela said “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.”

Honouring Nelson Mandela

The 100 year anniversary of Madiba’s birth is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the principles he stood for and building the nation we envisioned at the start of our democracy. One that’s united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic.

The centenary will be marked with a series of awareness, educational and commemoration events that will build up to main centenary celebration on the 18 July 2018, on Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

You can follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #Mandela100 and #BeTheLegacy

The legacy lives on

To contribute to the centenary celebrations, the Western Cape Department of Health will perform an impressive 100 nose, ear, and knee surgeries as well as hip replacements.

The surgeries will be performed on patients who have been on a waiting list for general surgeries as patients who need emergency operations are usually given preference.

This contribution of 100 surgeries will also serve to reduce the backlog of wait-list surgeries. The operations will be performed at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) and will see medical staff work overtime to reduce the backlog of surgical waiting lists.

“Many of our patients who require general surgery or ear, nose and throat surgery have to wait a long time for these procedures as they are often postponed when emergency operations are given priority,” said Dr Anita Parbhoo, manager of medical services at RCWMCH.

“By extending the theatre schedule with two extra days, RCWMCH can significantly reduce the backlog for General Paediatric Surgery and ENT surgery.”

The first of the targeted surgeries were performed at the RCWMCH on Saturday, 2 June 2018.

Walk in the footsteps of one of the World’s greatest iconsNelson Mandela Centenary 2018

The Department of Tourism recently launched the Madiba’s Journey App . ​The App aims to connect people to the “must see” sites that have historical significance to Madiba’s life and will promote domestic tourism. The sites range from well-known Capture Site to the less popular and unknown experiences such as Mandela’s favourite restaurant and coffee shop.

The App give users the opportunity to view the different attractions on a map. They can also build their itineraries and share the experience of their own journey on social media.

Commemorative banknotes and coin

The South African Reserve Bank will honour Mandela with the launch of commemorative banknotes covering all denominations: R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 on 13 July 2018.

The SA Mint, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank, will also launch a commemorative R5 coin.

The commemorative banknotes and R5 coin will co-circulate for a limited time.

What can I do?

Nelson Mandela said "Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul, and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all."

No matter how small your action, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better, just as Nelson Mandela did every day.

As citizens, it’s our responsibility to promote freedom and defend our democracy in honour of Madiba’s life-long commitment towards a just and fair society for all, including the rights to dignity and freedom of expression.

There are many ways to make a difference.

Start with what you are passionate about and where you know your actions will have a lasting impact.

Here’s the list of suggestions:

  1. Make stationery packs (pens, stickers, coloured paper, scissors, etc.) for teachers at an under-resourced school.
  2. Donate old clothes, household items or non-perishables.
  3. Volunteer your time at a night shelter.
  4. Donate blood at your nearest blood transfusion service branch.
  5. Offer to fix things at a local school or organisation.
  6. Organise a fun outing for children in an HIV/Aids programme.
  7. Make “care kits”, including items such as a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face cloth, and so on, for patients at a government hospital.
  8. Throw a party for the children and carers at children’s home.
  9. Offer to mow the lawn and fix up the garden at a nursing home or hospice.
  10. Hold a teddy bear or book drive for a children’s home.
  11. Tutor pupils from under-resourced schools.
  12. Donate books to your local library.
The content on this page was last updated on 17 July 2018