Bingo joins Ocean View kids clean-up for Mandela Day

Staff at the Ocean View library organised a clean-up with the children in the area as part of Mandela Day celebrations on 18 July. The event was supported by the City’s waste mascot, Bingo. Read more below:

A group of young children from Radiance Educare, an early childhood development centre in Ocean View, spent their Mandela Day inspiring others from their community to keep the area clean by participating in a clean-up event organised by staff at the Ocean View Library and the ECD principal, Isabel Petersen.

It is hoped that this effort from the youngest and most vulnerable in the community can help mobilise others against the problem of dumping. Too often people turn a blind eye against dumping by their peers, forgetting that dumping has victims, including children.

‘It is well known that Madiba had a very soft spot in his heart for children and saw them as the greatest asset to our country. If the adults in communities choose to litter and dump, it creates a negative environment, where it will be more difficult for children to reach the amazing potential that resides within them.

‘I am personally very inspired by the efforts of these children today to change their world for the better, and hope that all adults in the community can support these children in their efforts to change the world by helping to keep their community clean and healthy,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.


Report illegal dumping:


  • The City has a 24-hour toll-free number (0800 110077) to report tip-offs about illegal dumping activity. Those convicted of illegal dumping could be fined up to R5 000, have their vehicle impounded, or face a two-year prison sentence.


In addition, for every report that leads to a fine and conviction, the City is offering a reward from R1 000 up to R5 000, depending on the offence.


  • Please call 0860 103 089 to notify the City about dumping that needs to be cleared.


City support for community clean-ups

The City can provide support to community-led clean-up events in the form of refuse bags and removal of bagged waste to landfill. If you are interested in this support, please consult the relevant guidelines and disclaimers, and then fill out the application form.

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City commemorates Mandela Day cleaning up Langa streets

The City of Cape Town, led by Acting Mayor, Alderman Eddie Andrews, commemorated Nelson Mandela Day by dedicating 67 minutes to cleaning streets in South Africa’s oldest township, Langa, and planting a pomegranate tree at the Ikhaya leLanga centre. Read more below:

‘We are celebrating Mandela Day out in Langa, where we have partnered with the Ikhaya leLanga organisation. Our focus today is on cleaning, planting, feeding and of course sustaining,’

said the City’s Acting Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

This year, City officials came to Ikhaya leLanga armed with gloves, black refuse bags and brooms which were donated to the Sustainable Smart Street programme Langa ambassadors who clean the streets of Langa on a daily basis to keep the township ‘Clean, Green and Safe’. Sustainable Smart Streets is a programme and is supported by the City’s Smart Living campaign.

Ikhaya leLanga, which is isiXhosa for ‘Home of the Sun’, is a non-profit organisation which operates from an old primary school located on the corner of Ndabeni and Rubusana streets in Langa. The organisation is an innovative model that serves as a business incubator, tourism hub, gallery, provides various educational workshops, training and much more.

The theme for this year’s Nelson Mandela Day is ‘Clean, Plant, Feed and Sustain’, the City planted a pomegranate tree (more to follow soon) donated by the City’s Newlands Nursery and cleaned various streets in Langa.

‘Earlier today we planted a tree and spent 67 minutes sweeping some streets in Langa. We are doing our bit on Mandela Day and we ask that you do likewise, wherever you might find yourself, not just on this day but always be mindful of paying it forward as well,’

added Andrews.

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The best way to honour Mandela is to save our children from a failed education

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at Lotanang Primary School in Polokwane, Limpopo. The Leader was joined by DA Limpopo Provincial Leader, Jacques Smalle, and DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi.

Today, across the country, we remember the life and sacrifice of our first democratic President and the father of our nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. But if we are to truly honour his legacy, then we have to go beyond our symbolic 67 minutes of service on this day. We must fight, every day, for the values he stood for.

One thing that mattered to him more than anything else was looking after our children and preparing them for a better future through education. But judging by the way our children fare in international benchmark studies like the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), it is clear that our government has turned its back on young South Africans.

By failing our children in education, the ANC is betraying the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

The PIRLS test measures literacy in Grade 4 children, and this is significant because it is in the Foundation Phase – Grades 1 to 3 – that children must learn to read with comprehension. From Grade 4 onwards, as school work becomes more complex and the subjects increase, it is essential that they have this skill. They must learn to read before they can read to learn.

Our results in these studies are shameful. According to the most recent PIRLS study, only one in four South African children in Grade 4 can read with sufficient comprehension. 78% of our children cannot read for meaning in any language. They have fallen so far behind by age ten that they are unlikely to ever catch up. Of the 50 countries tested, South Africa came last.

And when you look at the results across different provinces, it is even more damning. Here in Limpopo, a staggering 91% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning, and it’s not much better in provinces like the Eastern Cape (85%) and Mpumalanga (83%). Compare this with the Western Cape (55%) and it becomes clear that not only are we failing to prepare our children for the future, but we are also condemning children from certain provinces to a life with precious few prospects. Make no mistake, 55% in the Western Cape still isn’t good enough by a long shot, but it is significantly better than anywhere else.

PIRLS is a comprehensive, nationally representative study. In 2016 it tested almost 13,000 children from 293 schools. Importantly, it tested in all South African languages. And it is in our African languages – Sepedi (93%), Setswana (90%), Tshivenda (89%), isiXhosa (88%), isiZulu (87%) and isiNdebele (87%) where our children fare worst. This is how the legacy of Apartheid is entrenched across generations.

In the most recent TIMSS study, which tests maths and science after Grades 4 and 8, we fared no better, ranking second-last out of 48 countries tested for maths in both these grades and last for science after Grade 8. We didn’t participate in the Grade 4 science test. This is an appalling indictment on the delivery of basic education in this country.

If Mandela Day should remind us of one thing, it is how far we have fallen short in preparing our children for the future. We all know Mandela’s well-known quote where he said: “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. But if we are not prepared to arm our children with this weapon, we cannot claim to be upholding the Mandela legacy.

There are many things we must fix in our schools. These include keeping our children safe, making sure those on school feeding programmes are fed, providing scholar transport for those who need it and providing all the reading books, work books and text books these children need. But the most important steps we must take immediately to ensure that our children – and particularly those in the Foundation Phase – don’t fall behind are the following:

  • Ensuring that all teachers are qualified to teach their subjects. This means getting a clear picture of the qualification of all our teachers, and urgently upskilling those who fall short.
  • Ensuring that teachers are present to teach. This means curbing the destructive influence of SADTU and declaring certain aspects of teaching an Essential Service.
  • Reducing classroom overcrowding. Adequate individual attention in the Foundation Phase is key to learner progress. This means not only creating sufficient teaching posts at all schools, but also ensuring a steady supply of qualified teachers as well as filling all the posts where they are available.

Our failed education is part of a system that locks black children out of opportunity. If we don’t change this system, these boys and girls will forever be left poor.

We must rescue our children from the fate this ANC government has condemned them to. Our future, as a nation, depends on it. But this will not happen if we continue to let SADTU hold our schools to ransom and deprive our children from their right to a quality education.

Until we do so, our symbolic gestures on Mandela Day will ring hollow.


Madiba’s dream will come after 2019

This op-ed first appeared in the City Press on 22 July 2017
This past Tuesday we celebrated Mandela Day, and millions of South Africans committed 67 minutes of their day to selfless work in honour of an extraordinary man whose generosity of spirit and unshakable commitment to the common good of our nation were so powerful that the very thought of him produces visceral emotion from even the hardest of hearts.
For our 67 minutes, my wife Natalie and I chose to visit and assist Tumelo Home in Ivory Park, Johannesburg – a home that cares for mentally handicapped children.
Our time there served as a stark reminder of the deep levels of injustice in our society that result in many people being left behind.
I was quickly reminded that South Africa is still a deeply divided nation of insiders and outsiders, the cared-for and the forgotten. A nation of haves and have-nots.
It was Madiba’s dream to see this unjust system of insiders and outsiders dismantled.
In the solitude of his small cell on Robben Island, he dreamt of a united, reconciled and nonracial South Africa belonging to all who live in it.
He dreamt of a country where injustice would make us uncomfortable, a country in which we would unite and fight for each other’s future – regardless of the colour of our skin or the circumstances of our birth.
My visit to Tumelo Home reminded me that this dream of Madiba’s is still alive.
I witnessed staff members and volunteers selflessly serving individuals whom society has forgotten.
But it cannot be the role of the nongovernmental or nonprofit organisation sector to single-handedly change the fabric of our society.
It is going to take all of us. Government, civil society, business, religious bodies. All of us.
Mandela’s legacy cannot be reduced to 67 minutes of random acts of kindness once a year.
Mandela’s legacy speaks to a life spent fighting injustice and fighting for outsiders.
The dream which Madiba birthed has not yet come to fruition. In truth, his long walk has not ended and it is for us to take up the baton.
What he began is now ours to complete.
Hopeful for the future
We must ask ourselves why, after 23 years of democracy, millions of South Africans are still treated as second-class citizens.
We must ask ourselves why quality healthcare is reserved for a small handful, or why more than 100 children die every month of malnutrition.
The status quo which produces haves and have-nots is being perpetuated by a toxic mix of poor governance and grand corruption.
This injustice should shake us to our core. It should make us uncomfortable.
In fact, it must create within us a bias towards the poor, the disenfranchised, the jobless and the outsiders. It should birth within us all an obligation to create a just and fair society.
It is when we are all moved by a deep conviction to see change that change will come.
Today, South Africa is not fulfilling the dream Madiba envisioned for our nation in that lonely cell on Robben Island.
It appears we have lost our way, and that we have in fact become leaderless. Yet despite this, I remain hopeful for the future.
Because I am convinced there is another way, another option, a post-ANC South Africa.
A future in which we as South Africans are brought together on the basis of shared values, rather than race, religion, ethnicity or culture.
I am privileged to lead a political party that I believe can be an effective vehicle for bringing the change our country needs to get us back onto Madiba’s path.
Under my leadership, his dream is the DA’s mission, his steadfast values are our moral compass.
People are not naive.
And I believe that come 2019, South Africans are going to take a hard look around, and decide that change is needed.
A post-ANC coalition government will come to power in 2019 with one mission: to reignite the dream of 1994 and bring Madiba’s ethics into national government.
His values of reconciliation, freedom and social justice will infuse every decision we take.
We will work to build a growing, inclusive economy that can bring real, material improvements to people’s lives.
We will focus on getting the basics right, laying solid foundations for long-term success.
We will promote and respect the independence of our constitutional institutions.
We will appoint proficient leaders and hold them accountable. We will create fertile conditions for growing an inclusive economy that can transform our society.
We will build a capable state and a professional civil service.
We will develop the infrastructure needed to connect South Africans to each other and the world. We will fix the education system, and strive for excellence.
We will build a stronger social safety net for the poor and marginalised, but we will never give up on drawing them into the growing, thriving economy.
We will work to heal the injustices of the past. We will promote peace and human rights in Africa and the world.
And above all, we will fight for the outsiders, the disenfranchised and the forgotten in our society.
I do believe that, together, we can continue our collective walk to true freedom.

The DA will continue fighting to keep Madiba’s dream alive

Note to Editors: The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane at Tumelo Home for the Mentally Handicapped in Ivory Park, Johannesburg, where he spent 67 minutes assisting with renovation projects and helping to care for the children. The Leader was joined by DA Shadow Minister of Health, Patricia Kopane.
Today, all across the world, millions of people are honouring the memory of South Africa’s first democratically elected President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
The father of our nation – who would have turned 99 today – is fondly remembered for his selfless leadership, his compassion, and his unwavering commitment to reconciliation in our nation, by leading South Africa’s remarkable transition from apartheid to democracy.
As we celebrate Mandela Day today, we must all reaffirm our mission for a reconciled South Africa, working together to build a movement towards a peaceful, prosperous, and safe South Africa.
Throughout his life, Mandela dedicated all his strength to building a better South Africa for all – Black, White, Gay, Straight, Muslim, Jewish, rich, and poor.
A nation in which you are judged not by the colour of your skin, but by the content of your character. A nation where freedom, dignity and reconciliation are not just talked about, but relentlessly pursued.
Although Tata Madiba is not with us anymore, his legacy and his dream for South Africa lives on, and endures from generation to generation.
Today I join millions of South Africans in “paying it forward” in Madiba’s honour. I spent my 67 minutes here at Tumelo Home for the Mentally Challenged, an NPO committed to caring for one of the most vulnerable groups in our society.
It is truly refreshing to see that amongst all the adversity, division and turmoil our country faces, there are many goodhearted South Africans who are committed to serving those less fortunate than themselves.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”. From what I have witnessed today, the employees and volunteers here at Tumelo Home are determined to do their part in building a caring society and a caring South Africa.
I am humbled by the efforts of those at Tumelo Home, and every other South Africa who is helping to realise Madiba’s dream of changing people’s lives for the better.
While Madiba worked his entire life for the dream of a reconciled and prosperous South Africa, he never saw his dream come to fruition. Instead he passed the baton on to us – ordinary South Africans – to continue to fight for the future we all deserve.  It is our responsibility to follow his example, because South Africa and its people can only rise when we build together, towards a future that belongs to every person who calls South Africa home. Our service to our communities and to our nation should not only happen for 67 minutes once a year.
Indeed, Nelson Mandela’s vision of a reconciled, prosperous and non-racial South Africa must still motivate us to work towards its achievement. And it is this vision for our country that I will pursue every day.
In fulfilling Madiba’s vision we need to ensure that we accelerate redress and continue on the path of reconciliation.
And – crucially – we must build a strong, thriving and inclusive economy, without which we will never address the injustices of our past.
This is what we are working for and working towards. And while Madiba’s values and vision have increasingly come under threat, we will continue to champion them.
Amid the tragedies of Marikana and Esidimeni, the injustice of Nkandla, the social grants crisis, the economic collapse and the rot of corruption and state capture – we will continue to fight for Madiba’s vision and protect the values he embodied and enshrined in the Constitution.
Come 2019, DA-led government will enter the Union Buildings at the heart of a government infused with and motivated by Madiba’s dream of a united, non-racial and prosperous South Africa for all who live in it – regardless of race, creed, colour, religion or ethnicity.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika! Let us live and strive for freedom in South Africa our land!