Media Statement - 18 July 2013

Deputy Minister Kota-Fredericks was accompanied by the Executive Mayor of the Drakenstein Municipality Gesie van Deventer who also to part in the march that involved at least 1000 people.

Victor Verster is where Mandela spent some of his time following a transfer from Robben Island as a political prisoner before his release on February 11, 1990.

The Deputy Minister said the Department marked the Mandela Day as part of showing commitment to its plan to eradicate homelessness and poverty in the country.

The Deputy Minister called on all South Africans to love and help one another. "Community service is a humble act of humanity. Tata Mandela once said freedom is meaningless without security at homes and our streets. The eradication of poverty and homelessness should never be a mere act of charity but an act of humanity and charity," she said.

Before the march, the Deputy Minister and van Deventer participated in the planting of food gardens and handed over a house to disabled, 80 year old Jeanette Charlie.

From Charlie’s house, they proceeded to work at Mr Seleku James Xontwana who will be celebrating his 103rd birthday on Saturday.

Kota Fredericks praised Mandela for his fight against racism and segregation in South Africa saying people ought to appreciate that the ailing statesman had lived to realise his dream of a free, non racial and democratic country.

"Never again shall we allow hatred to prevail in our country. Never again shall we allow the spirit of supremacy to prevail, the world admires our resilience, our history of fighting apartheid and injustices. The world celebrates the achievements of South Africa through the selfless struggles of our heroes and heroines" said Kota-Fredericks.

The Deputy Minister said government encouraged people to work as a collective and to uphold Mandela’s principles of love, hope and peace. "We thank all our partners, stakeholders and communities for reaching out to lend a helping hand to the poor, the homeless and the hopeless," she added.

Issued by the National Department of Human Settlements: 18 July 2013

Contact: Isaac Skhosana on 061 425 3560

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, July 18, 2013