Vanderkloof Dam to be renamed

SOUTH Africa’s second largest dam, Vanderkloof Dam, in the Northern Cape, will be renamed after Struggle icon Nelson Mandela as part of his centenary celebrations.

This was revealed by the Inter-Ministerial Committee as it announced plans to celebrate the centenary events of Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.

Chairperson Jeff Radebe said Mandela and Sisulu, born respectively in July and October 1918, had dedicated their lives in the Struggle and contributed immensely to the birth of a new nation.

“We celebrate the birth of the founding father of our democracy, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, under the theme ‘Be the legacy’, as well as Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu one of the shining examples of our Struggle under the theme ‘A woman of Fortitude’.

“These celebrations are a major milestone in the incredible story of both Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu in our nation’s journey to freedom and liberation,” Radebe said.

Gauteng and the Eastern Cape will organise their own events as the two spent most of their time in those provinces.

Radebe urged South Africans to observe the last Friday of the month as #MandelaFridays and help those in need. He listed a series of events dedicated to Mandela, including the June 16, 1976, commemoration, to be held in Limpopo.

The renaming of the Vanderkloof Dam will be in September.

“On July 18, the government will hold a national event at Nasrec in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day and the centenary of his birth.

“On this day too in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, the 64th and final antenna of the MeerKat will be dedicated to Nelson Mandela.”

Other events dedicated to Mandela include the Nelson Mandela football challenge on September 29 and the 2018 Big Walk co-ordinated by the Department of Sport and Recreation on October 7.

The 2018 Comrades Marathon will also be dedicated to Mandela.

“The 16th Nelson Mandela annual lecture will be delivered by former US president Barack Obama at the Ellis Park Arena on July 17.”

Radebe said a Nelson Mandela tribute seminar and dinner will be held on the margins of the UN General Assembly and there will also be the unveiling of the statue in the UN complex in September.

Detailing plans for Sisulu, Radebe said a special orchid will be named after Sisulu on May 19, adding “it was first discovered in Gauteng in 1918 and last observed in 1956”. Other events would be a debate in June with leadership of #FeesMustFall and community organisations as well as a search for the living participants of the 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings.

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