thinking beyond

Communiqué to the CUT Community: Mandela Day 2020

This year, more than ever before, we can truly experience and understand the importance and significance of Mandela Day. On the 18th of July of every year, we commemorate the legacy of Nelson Mandela – a global icon representing peace, justice and equality as true values that are the hallmark of a free nation. Nelson Mandela’s call to the next generation was to take up the leadership burden in addressing social injustices. The effects of COVID-19 have not only accentuated our social inequalities, but also highlighted our innate solidarity and goodwill.

For us as the CUT community, the Mandela Day plight is more than a 67-minute dedication once per year. We are continuously seeking out areas where our assistance can make a difference, and to follow through. One way in which we aim to alleviate strain, is through our Student Support Fund, which was recently transformed into the CUT COVID-19 Relief Fund (CCRF). Whilst the usual Mandela Day activities may not be possible this year, we invite you to donate R67 to the CCRF (or any amount you can afford). We also welcome in-kind contributions. To date, we have paid out almost R0.5 million from our CCRF to assist those in need. Your contribution will help us to continue this worthy cause.

Furthermore, this year, the CUT community is once again called upon to exemplify 67 minutes of a life lived in a struggle for human rights and social equality. Sanitation, food and nutrition are amongst the key Mandela Day Goals for 2019 to 2029, and have a direct bearing on COVID-19. Under the current global pandemic, we believe we have something we too can share with the less fortunate. We are most grateful to the CUT community, especially the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, for being instrumental in realising our commitment to contribute in this way.

We also invite you to partake in our book drive for the elderly. This vulnerable part of our community is especially lonely during the lockdown. We are aiming to collect 67 storybooks (English, Sesotho or Afrikaans) to distribute at needy old age homes to help them fill the lonely hours. To personalise this gift, you can write a short message of encouragement to the reader of the book on the inside sleeve. Book donations can be dropped off at the ZR Mahabane Building at the CUT campus, or at the access gates on both campuses by 31 July 2020. Security staff will move the books to the designated storage area before distribution.

Towards the end of July 2020, we will share an infographic with you that summarises CUT’s Mandela Day contributions. May we always remember and be in awe of the example that Nelson Mandela set, and may we continue to honour his legacy in a way that he would have wanted us to. Remember that you are always able to add value to another person’s life – no matter how dire your own situation is. Whereas some people may need substantial support to see them through, others may only need your kindness to carry on.

Let us be a community that Nelson Mandela would have been proud of!

Kind regards / Ditumediso tse mofuthu / Vriendelike groete
Prof. Henk de Jager
Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Download the VC communique, 17 July 2020 (PDF)

Uploaded: 17 July 2020
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