Mattresses, clothes and groceries were donated to a needy educare centre as people around the country marked Mandela Day on Thursday July 18.
In honour of the Struggle icon and former president, Nyanga police in conjunction with the non-governmental organisation Gift of the Givers identified the creche as the beneficiary of their generosity.
In its years of existence Sinoxolo Educare Centre in Thabo Mbeki informal settlement had never seen its children enjoy the comfort of sleeping on a new mattress. But that changed last week when the creche was visited by police and the national deputy minister of police Cassel Mathale.
Gift of the Givers Western Cape co-ordinator Ali Sablay said Mandela loved children and so it was fitting to honour the former president by making children happy.
“Madiba himself told us that children are the rock of the society. He also told us that the true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children. Children deserve to live in a good environment,” said Mr Sablay.
He added that they were working with the Nyanga police because those officers are dedicated to their work.
He said there is too much negativity when it comes to women and men in blue.
“But these men and women have a lot to do for us. They are fighting crime for us but we do not appreciate that. We will continue working with Nyanga as we have done so in the past because they are doing a sterling job in this community,” he said.
Nyanga police spokesperson Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said the educare had been identified after numerous visits to the area.
Station commander Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata said they felt obliged to always celebrate Mandela Day with children.
“We are obliged by the Constitution to ensure that their rights are to be respected,” he said.
Mr Mathale said he was happy to see the women and men in blue doing something for their communities and encouraged the partnership between police and other stakeholders.
He said for crime to subside or be defeated everybody had to work together. “If we can grow these kids in a good environment, the future of them will not be doomed. It is upon us as parents to make sure we nurture them well,” he said.
But, he lamented that 25 years into democracy, people were still suffering and living in poverty – and that
informal settlements had become the face of the country.
“Generally the face of South Africa is not exciting. But the future of these children will be what we make for them. Let us produce people who will serve the world,” he said.
Speaking to Vukani, Mandy Hanqa, the principal of Sinoxolo exclaimed: “Wow, thank you so much. This is wonderful. I am at a loss for words. I am excited for my children and the community of Thabo Mbeki,” she said.