The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is joining fellow South Africans in celebrating Mandela Day today.

“Each year we are reminded of the 67 years of his life that Nelson Mandela gave fighting for the rights of humanity, equality, justice and democracy all South Africans enjoy today. We are please to be one of many organisations donating 67 minutes of our time to make a difference in the lives of others. The IMATU National Office is participating in the Lead SA Schools Project and donating stationery items to the teachers and learners of the Jopie Fourie Primary School. Our KwaZulu Natal Region will be assisting with cleaning at the Addington Hospital in eThekwini, our Eastern Cape Region is hosting a party for Excelsior Junior School learners in Port Elizabeth and our Cape Town and Western Cape Region is making a considerable donation to their local HIV/AIDS foundation in the spirit of Mandela Day. The Johannesburg Region is raising awareness about Manddela Day in their communities and complementing petition forms to declare Mandela Day a public holiday,” explained IMATU Deputy General Secretary, Stephanie Carel.

Earlier this month, IMATU wrote to the President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuhma, to request that Mandela Day on 18 July be declared an annual public holiday.

“During our Mandela Day preparation it occurred to us that it would be very appropriate to nationally recognise both the man behind this auspicious day as well as the deeds of goodwill this day has come to represent,” she said.

By declaring 18 July a public holiday, South Africans would be able to honnour the great Maddiba and his legacy as well as having the opportunity to celebrate this day and what it represents to South Africa as a nation. Individuals will also be afforded the opportunity to donate far more than 67 minutes to a worthy cause.