Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane joined hundreds of active citizens at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Friday 29 January, in a drive to provide urgent relief to drought stricken communities across South Africa.
As part of the Operation Hydrate initiative that seeks to collect and distribute drinking water to desperate communities, Mokonyane joined volunteers, businesses, schoolchildren and others from all walks of life in a bid to reach a target of more than 70-million litres of water donated by the end of this weekend.
That might appear to be an overly ambitious goal at first glance, but Mokonyane’s announcement brought that target well within reach.
“I have received confirmation that the National Lottery Board will hand over a cheque of R50-million to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, so that through Operation Hydrate and its partnership with the Foundation and Proudly South Africa, we are in a position to make a real difference,” she said to massive applause.
Part of this donation will go towards the renovation and upgrades of important infrastructure in key areas, ensuring that communities are never again forced to live without drinking water.
“Water is life. The access to fresh water is a constitutional right for every South African, and Operation Hydrate is an [important] initiative that helps realise this.
“We thank everybody here – volunteers, institutions, individuals – everyone who is making a donation. Every drop helps.”
Throughout the day, members of the public and other organisations dropped off thousands of litres of fresh water that will make its way to thirsty communities over the next few weeks.
Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang, said that such overwhelming gestures of support were helping to reimagine the legacy of Madiba.
“Of course, this initiative goes beyond the donation drive here at the Foundation. In the spirit of Mandela Day, we need to look at how we can make this sustainable, and continue to provide assistance to communities in need on a daily basis.
“We are calling on all South Africans to help us reach our goal of donating over 70-million litres of water by the end of the weekend.”
You are invited to drop off any donations at the Nelson Mandela Foundation over the weekend, and help lend much needed support to an urgent cause.