Even Covid-19 did not stop Independent Media from doing its bit for Mandela Day this year.
Colleagues in each region rolled up their sleeves and participated in various activities in Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg. All health and safety protocols were observed.
The marketing team packed 670 goody bags for health workers at Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria and Ramokonopi Community Health Centre in Katlehong on behalf of all the titles in Gauteng.
Health workers have been under tremendous strain and pressure and the goody bags were a small token of appreciation for their hard work and effort.
Various sponsors such as Roman’s Pizza, Omni Project, Vision Tactical, Venga Drinks and Lahers Silkscreen & Embroidery donated goods.
Speaking to The Star Mpho Nxumalo, a nurse from Ramokonopi, said Mandela Day always takes her back to the principle of ubuntu.
“It takes me back to the importance of giving back to the community. For once, we feel appreciated as healthcare workers – even if it’s just for one day. We genuinely appreciate this gesture.
“It’s been a challenging time for the health sector. We are just treating symptoms. If you live in a poor environment, it will be difficult for you to have a balanced diet, sanitise constantly. You are underprivileged, as opposed to middle-class South Africans who can afford to keep a balanced diet,” she said.
A message she has for all South Africans during this difficult time is to “wear a mask, constantly wash and sanitise your hands, as well as your surfaces”.
Responding to the plight of many schools without water in the peri-urban areas of Gauteng, Independent Media’s marketing team negotiated with a supplier of boreholes to sponsor boreholes at Namo Primary School Trust Farm in Hammanskraal, Pretoria, and Lawley Secondary School in Lawley, Johannesburg, both nominated by the Basic Education Department. The official handover of the boreholes took place on Friday.
The principal of Lawley Secondary School Sehanka Oupa, said their borehole came at the right time.
“For 10 years now we’ve been celebrating Mandela Day. Most companies would come to clean the school and then leave. A couple of months down the line, we’d have nothing to point at. What Independent Media has done means a lot to the school community. This borehole will not only benefit the learners and teachers but surely the community around the area,” Oupa said.
Speaking at the event was the chief executive of Drill Direct, Mohammed Ishmael. He said giving back to the communities was key.
“Covid-19 has come and changed the way we live. Mandela Day has always been special to everyone. It’s about giving back to the community and this is what we do as a company. We collaborated with Independent Media, asking them to identify a school we could assist.
“Water is something so precious. If you look at the protective measures of dealing with Covid-19, it is all based on the washing of hands and constant sanitisation. If people don’t have access to basic sanitisation, access to basic water, how do we expect them to live a healthy lifestyle?” Ishmael said.