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The best way to celebrate Mandela Day ‘22: help clean Jozi’s historic Hillbrow

Officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, Mandela Day is an annual international celebration in honour of Nelson Mandela, and celebrated each year on Madiba’s birthday, July 18.

CleanCitySA is a non-profit company founded in February 2020 with two primary objectives: protecting the environment from pollution and fighting hunger in its local community; in particular, its operations focus on the Joburg suburbs of Berea and Hillbrow.

Says CleanCitySA CEO Dalu Cele: “By clearing litter from our streets, waterways and open spaces while educating residents to change attitudes towards pollution, we can realise the dream of restoring the city to its former glory. In the process, we unite the citizens of Johannesburg in working towards a common goal.”

An active Joburg City councillor, Cele was also recently elected chairman of the Greater Hillbrow Precinct Partnership (GHPP). He has worked for the past three months with eventing veteran Graham Bobrow on custom building a plan to integrate CleanCitySA goals with this year’s Mandela Day commemoration.

The nutshell version of event mechanics is that companies are being challenged to elect teams of employees that will participate in the cleaning of an estimated 5.5 km stretch of Claim Street, and some adjacent Hillbrow blocks, on July 18 (10am-1pm).

Each participating organisation will be issued with branded T-shirts, industrial brooms, rakes, sanitiser, disposable gloves and masks, recyclable and non-recyclable refuse bags, and bottled water. All participants will be able to compete for prizes to assist in meeting the objectives of the first-ever Mandela Day 2022 Hillbrow Cleanup (MD22HC).

Security personnel will be allocated to each designated area assigned to participating organisations throughout the event, and a dedicated team of competition judges will be on hand to decide the day’s winners in various categories, these accolades to be awarded during a prize-giving event to conclude proceedings.

“We have secured Constitution Hill as safe venue for participants’ cars, with a park and drive system in place to transport everyone to Claim Street, and back again before the prize-giving,” explains Cele, adding that this occasion will also serve to launch the GHPP, and introduce its vision to a captive audience of likeminded industry leaders.

He thanks these sponsors for already having pledged their MD22HC support: Ingelosi Security Solutions (event security), Plastics SA (cleaning supplies and packaging industry support), Johannesburg Innercity Partnership, and Hillbrow eKhaya Improvement District. Also on board is Smart Communities – an important group within the packaging industry, as they include all stakeholders in solving community problems.

“So, everyone is invited, but especially those businesses responsible for producing the products that end up on our streets and in our oceans, while effectively causing destructive global climate change. This is your chance to show that you care for the environment and, like Madiba, for the dignity of your fellow citizens.”

Email Dalu Cele at to find out about sponsorship opportunities and company participation on July 18, and click on to register.

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