President Cyril Ramaphosa 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 decimated by unrest and mass 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.
On Saturday, government leaders joined volunteers to clean up shopping centres and areas destroyed during the week-long riots. Ramaphosa will be in Soweto on Sunday to help clean up Ndofaya Mall in Meadowlands, Jabulani Mall in Jabulani and Maponya Mall in Pimville.
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.