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City Parks is going all out this year to celebrate Madiba’s 94th birthday. It is planting 94 trees in each city region, among other humanitarian efforts.

mandeladay_sideExecutive Mayor Parks Tau plants a tree in honour of Nelson Mandela 93rd birthday NELSON Mandela’s 94th birthday is just around the corner, and City Parks is caught up in a flurry of activities as it puts the final touches to its celebrations. Mandela’s birthday is on Wednesday, 18 July, a day that City Parks has traditionally marked by planting trees.

According to spokesperson Jenny Moodley, the parks entity will mark the day by planting 94 fruit trees in each of the seven regions of the city. The 94th tree will be planted in an orchard at Soweto’s Thokoza Park, dedicated to Nelson Mandela, where he planted a tree on his 90th birthday in 2008.

Moodley, who urged people to come out in their numbers to give 67 minutes of their time, added that different activities had been organised in each region to celebrate the day.

“International Mandela Day affords us the wonderful opportunity to walk in the shoes of the great legend by putting our shoulders to the grind, to build a society that is morally conscious of the needs of the most silent stakeholders in the city.”

The day is observed worldwide as International Nelson Mandela Day, an annual international day of humanitarian action in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. People are encouraged to devote 67 minutes of their time to doing good for others. This is to mark the 67 years he devoted to improving life for all.

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009 with the first UN Nelson Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.

Happy birthday

mandeladay_side1Unveiling a plaque in Nelson Mandela's honour City Parks staff will kick off celebrations by singing happy birthday to Mandela early in the morning at its office in Braamfontein, before heading to Sandton. They will be accompanied by the member of the Joburg mayoral committee for community development, Christopher Vondo.

In Sandton, City Parks will partner with Dermalogica, the cosmetics group, to wrap 67 trees in green along Rivonia Road to highlight the plight of the environment.

From Sandton, the group will proceed to Alexandra High School in Alexandra to develop a food garden with local radio station 94.7 Highveld Stereo before heading to Thokoza Park in Soweto, where they will plant the 94th tree to mark Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

Every year since 2007, City Parks has planted a tree in Thokoza Park in honour of Madiba in his birthday month. The first 89 trees were planted in 2007.

After the tree planting ceremony, officials will proceed to Persevere Until Something Happens (Push), an orphanage in Kliptown, Soweto that cares for unwanted and orphaned children in difficult circumstances.

At the orphanage, the delegation will use their 67 minutes to unveil a multipurpose court, install fences, paint play equipment, plant fruit trees and start another vegetable garden.

Other activities that will take place in other regions on the same day include:

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