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Wednesday, July 17, 2013 | 00:00

South Africa, 16 July 2013 -   As South Africans and the world send well wishes to Nelson Mandela, Airports Company South Africa will honour the living legend by giving back to the communities in and around its airports. With this year’s Mandela Day celebrations coinciding with the company’s twentieth anniversary, over 7 000 lives will be touched on the day in line with the anniversary theme ‘20 communities in our 20th year’.

Airports Company South Africa is working closely with Sbusiso Leope Education Foundation (SLEF), Ster-Kinekor, Robben Island, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Health, the Department of Women Children and Persons with Disabilities, Gordonia State Hospital in Upington as well as the airport community, to extend themselves more fully within the communities.

Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, Airports Company South Africa spokesperson said, “Mandela Day gives us the opportunity to extend our commitment to improving the lives of people living in communities around our airports. Reaching out to 20 communities in our 20th year allows us, with our employees and our partners, to take responsibility and help improve the lives of people in communities around us”.

The Airports Company South Africa activities lined up for Mandela Day are as follows:

Airports Company South Africa’s Corporate Office
The team from the company’s Corporate Office, in partnership with SLEF, will spend the afternoon at J.B. Matabane Secondary School in Ivory Park doing volunteer work.1 311 learners will benefit from the maintenance work, and food parcels that will be donated to the school. The team will put up signage, bookshelves for its two libraries and two staff rooms.

In addition, Airports Company South Africa’s Women Volunteer Programme will take care of 70 disabled children at Sithandiwe Home for the Disabled in Lombardy East. Over and above planting a vegetable garden that will provide fresh vegetables for their meals, the women will also prepare meals and look after the children for the day, while the Home’s caregivers will be pampered for their everyday labour. A donation of blankets and car seats will also be included.

O.R. Tambo International Airport
The O.R. Tambo International Airport team, in partnership with SLEF, Top Turf and Ster-Kinekor will continue with their Winter Warmer Shoe Drive Campaign. The team will donate a total of 370 pairs of school shoes to the neediest learners from Chivirikani Primary School in Katlehong. A vegetable garden will be planted by Top Turf to provide fresh vegetables to the school’s feeding scheme.

In addition, Ster-Kinekor, through their relationship with SpecSavers, will provide a mobile clinic to conduct vision testing for the 1 400 learners at Chivirikani Primary School. Children found to be in need will each be provided with spectacles and use their new-found vision at a Ster-Kinekor cinema. In addition, the children will receive popcorn and other refreshments.

Cape Town International Airport
The Cape Town International team will take 67 learners from five schools to Robben Island. The learners will spend the night of 17 July at the Robben Islands dormitories. On Mandela Day, they will be exposed to panel discussions and tours of the island with former prisoners. An apple tree will be planted and a plaque placed by the learners in an area where former President Nelson Mandela used to hide his letters. In addition, the learners will create a Mandela mural made up of motivational letters from the schools which will be exhibited at Cape Town International Airport.

King Shaka International Airport
King Shaka International Airport will donate their winter warmer collections to over 500 children who live in homes around the airport as well as a home in central Durban. Last year’s Mandela Day venue, KwaMama Day Care Centre in Shakashead Township, will be revisited by the team. The donation of the airport’s winter warmer collection is scheduled to be completed at the end of July.

Bram Fischer International Airport
The Bram Fischer International Airport team will hand over full school uniforms and backpacks to 120 needy children identified from the rural areas of Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu near Bloemfontein. The children, aged between five and 13 years, will have a supply of new school uniforms that will motivate them to attend school. In addition, representatives from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities have been invited to assist in providing IDs for those children without; this will assist them in accessing benefit programs.

Port Elizabeth International Airport
The Port Elizabeth International Airport team will be spending 67 minutes preparing food, dishing up and cleaning for over 150 disadvantaged and underprivileged members of the community at the Zizamele Soup Kitchen in Walmer Township. In addition to the non-perishable food supplies that will be contributed to the soup kitchen, a donation will be made of pots, crockery, cups, plates, soup bowls, utensils and a gas cylinder to increase Zizamele Soup Kitchen’s capacity and output.

George Airport
The George Airport team has adopted Geelhoutboom Primary School, which has 109 children and is situated. Each child will receive a full winter uniform and a backpack with stationery supplies. The school’s covered assembly area, built by the airport, will be painted, while their ablution facilities will be revamped to include separate facilities for boys and girls. The Grade R class will receive junior tables and chairs and the George Airport team will restore the damaged floor surfaces of all seven classrooms.

In addition, the Department of Home Affairs has been invited to register children and allow them access to services relevant for children in the area.  The Department of Health has also been invited to provide relevant vaccinations.

East London Airport
East London Airport will reach 3 254 children from five primary schools and a crèche that will benefit from their Mandela Day activities. This team will do volunteer work that includes fixing window panes, painting classrooms, replacing broken doors on lockers and donating school bags to the children. The team will also donate chairs, tiling, burglar bars and carpets for some of the schools. The crèche will have carpets fitted and a ceiling installed, as well as the donation of foam mattresses.

“Airports Company South Africa is committed to taking action by expanding its efforts and inspiring change in 20 communities in our twentieth year,” concluded Batyashe-Fillis.



For more information, please contact:
Unathi Batyashe-Fillis
Airports Company South Africa Spokesperson
Direct: +27 (0) 11 921 6087
Cell: +27 (0) 79 882 7307
Email: unathi.batyashe-fillis@airports.co.za

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