Celebrating Mandela Day in the Community
14 August 2013
Nelson Mandela made it his life’s work to fight for every South African citizen’s human rights and spent 67 years of his life pursuing this ideal. In 2009, the United Nations declared 18 July as Mandela International Day and issued a call to action for the world to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.
Each one of the 67 minutes of voluntary service that is asked of us, represents a year that Mandela spent fighting for human rights. As South Africa and the world went out and played their part to honour Madiba on this special day, Wesizwe Platinum staff rolled up their sleeves and got down to some serious dirty work in the community!
The Bakubung Clinic was built in 1970 and the original building still survives, and is used as a youth centre. The facility was later extended, and officially re-opened in 1990, with added wards and consulting rooms. With the passage of time, it became clear that the existing structure was not able to meet the primary healthcare needs of the residents, and could no longer cope with an ever-growing population and demand for health-care as prescribed by the constitution. The building was also in need of serious repair and sprucing up. In response to the situation, Wesizwe Platinum has undertaken, as part of its Social Labour Plan, to extend the facility and build a brand new and bigger clinic. Construction on the new project will commence on 24 July 2013. This will entail the construction of a brand-new block, and a complete revamp and refurbishment of the existing one. It is estimated that the project will be completed by July 2014. Spurred on by the recognition that healing does not only depend on the administration of drugs and strapping of bandages, but also includes a healthy diet and an appealing environment, Wesizwe approached Top-Turf, a gardening and landscaping specialist company that has for the past thirty years or so maintained the grounds around the Sun City complex, to help regenerate the front garden of Ledig Clinic. Tshepo Serame, South Village Manager at Top-Turf, together with Cecil Thompson, Acting Resort Manager, gladly agreed to come on board. They not only donated trees, shrubs, and ground covers for the project, but also ensured that their crew joined in the revamp of the garden! “The plants we supplied are “water-wise”, and will survive in this area under harsh, dry conditions”, said Thompson. Once fully grown and developed, the plants will also act as a shield against the yearly dust storms that make life difficult for the medical and cleaning staff at the clinic.
As the crew got their hands dirty in the garden, other Wesizwe members got down to scrubbing floors inside the clinic. Learners from Ratheo Primary School also joined in and cleaned the windows, while others picked up litter around the clinic yard, and raked leaves and grass around the grounds under the guidance of their teachers, Mrs. Mathebula and Mrs. Motsaalore. Some members of the general public, who had come in to the clinic for a consultation, duly joined in, offering a helping hand. Mrs Lerofye, a traditional healer who uses the clinic grounds to provide herbs and healing plants for those that need them, gladly joined the crew and gave tips on the medicinal value of some of her plants.
Sister Nomsa Masilo, the Bakubung Clinic Manager, said: ‘’We are very happy and appreciate receiving this kind of help from all of you. A healthy environment and appealing surroundings are also a part of the standards we need to maintain as the Department of Health, and we will do our level best to try and keep both the garden and the yard as clean and waste free as we can.’’
Oratile Maitshotlo, a learner at Ratheo Primary School, added: ‘’I am very happy to be doing this good work for our clinic because it helps us a lot when we are sick. People should always engage in doing the 67 minutes, not only for today but it should be a daily thing, and it should not be spent doing wrong things such as drinking alcohol. It should be done on things that will benefit us in the future, just as Madiba did.’’
Meanwhile, other Wesizwe crew members went into the neighbouring village to clean water tanks. The company has over the past years, as part of its social responsibility programme, provided water tanks for the local Bakubung community. Although the provision of water and maintenance of tanks is a municipal function, the crew felt it was their duty to lead the way! The guys set out to bring the tanks down, treat them with disinfectant, and pressure wash and rinse them. They also repaired leaking joints and taps, as well as sealing inlets to the tanks to avoid contamination.
After a long hard day’s work, all crews regrouped at the clinic to congratulate each other and shake hands on a good day’s work done! Mrs Sekano, a village elder and member of the Bakubung Clinic board, thanked the crews for selflessly giving of themselves and their time. She said their work will help everyone to recognize their individual power to make an impact and help change the world around them for the better.