President Jacob Zuma on Friday urged South Africans to use the upcoming Nelson Mandela International Day to take forward the fight against poverty.
“In honor of Madiba (Mandela), South Africans are encouraged to engage in meaningful and constructive community work by dedicating themselves to improve the lives of poor people and uplift the lives of those in need, to build a united and more caring society for a better life,” Zuma said in a message to the nation.
The Nelson Mandela International Day, which falls on July 18, is celebrated in honor of late South African president Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The day was formally recognized by the UN General Assembly in 2009.
This year’s Mandela Day is observed under the theme “Action Against Poverty”.
Too many South Africans live in poverty in spite of progress that the government is making in fighting poverty, inequality and unemployment, the president said.
“We must work together to intensify poverty alleviation programs and initiatives to ensure that our people receive basic human needs, especially food production to ensure access to food,” Zuma said.
Zuma encouraged all to promote food gardens for households, support for cooperatives, small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and other initiatives that will help alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life.
Poverty alleviation programs run by the SA government include the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which has since 2014 created more than 2 million work opportunities.
On the Mandela Day, millions of people in South Africa and across the world spend 67 minutes of their time cleaning up the environment and doing community work for the good of others.
The 67 minutes symbolize the 67 years that Mandela spent fighting for social justice. Enditem