Nelson Mandela Day

Event date: 
2014-07-18 (All day)


Introduction and background


introduction - the beginning In 2009, President Jacob Zuma first introduced the concept of Mandela Day to motivate a nationwide campaign to get the public involved in charitable activities. In November 2009, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) paid tribute to Dr Nelson Mandela by adopting a resolution to make the international community aware of his humanitarian work.

From 2010, 18 July was declared by the UNGA as International Nelson Mandela Day. This day also coincides with the icon’s birthday. The celebration of this international day recognises and gives credence to the former President Nelson Mandela’s commitment to human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Nelson Mandela Day not only celebrates Nelson Mandela’s life, but it is also a global call to action for people to recognize their ability to have a positive effect on others around them.

These values include democracy, freedom, equality, diversity, reconciliation, and respect. An international campaign has been initiated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the International Nelson Mandela Day, which sums up what Mandela stands for. It gives all people in South Africa and all over the world an opportunity to do something for others, for only 67 minutes in recognition of the 67 years that Madiba spent fighting against apartheid.Many people and organizations around the world take part in many activities to promote Nelson Mandela Day.

These activities include volunteering, sport, art, education, music and culture. Various events are also held on or around July 18 to honor Nelson Mandela’s works and to promote the different projects that were inspired by Mandela’s achievementsCabinet on 1st July 2009 endorsed the call to declare 18th July as global Mandela Day. In November 2009 the United Nations once again declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day. All South African, civil society organisations and the citizens of the world supported the Mandela Day initiative by doing acts of good works in their communities.

President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address announced that this year (2014) Mandela Day would be celebrated by working to clean up the South Africa. The President encouraged all South Africans to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to clean South Africa. President Zuma said: “Let us begin planning for a major clean-up of our cities, town, township, villages, schools and beautify every part of our country”


Theme and messaging 


"All South Africans should dedicate at least 67 minutes on the 18th of July, to clean South Africa, which is our theme for this year. Let us begin planning for a major clean-up of our cities, towns, townships, villages, schools and beautify every part of our country.”  Mr. Zuma- President of South Africa.


South Africa's celebration


In Making a Clean South Africa a Collective Effort, The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) proposes clean-up activities that will raise awareness on the following three waste management themes:

o   Anti-littering

o   Separation of waste at source

o   Recycle, Reuse and Recover (3Rs)

On Mandela Day, The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, will host a key event in Cape Town, Western Cape whilst the Deputy Minister, Ms Thompson, will lead an event in Pietermaritzburg, KZN.

To access quick facts on waste management, click on the link below:

>> Quick facts on waste management.


Media related products


Related links / websites


International Nelson Mandela Day
Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
46664: it's in your hands
Moral Regeneration Month
 [back to top]