In the spirit of helping address social justice in South Africa, Vodacom has renewed its support of the global movement for #action against poverty in celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day 2017.
In each of its seven regions Vodacom employees, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Gift of the Givers, Kaizer Chiefs FC, Blue Bulls, Wheelchair Basketball SA and members of the media will collectively race against the clock to pack as many as 50 000 food parcels in 67 minutes for Mandela Day.
This initiative forms part of a larger project facilitated by the Vodacom Foundation, building on its annual food security drive in honour of Nelson Mandela Day International launched in 2013. This year, the project will see R5,2 million spent on providing nutritional food and necessities to children and families in need, distributed to previously disadvantaged schools across the country.
In Midrand the volunteers were divided into groups of 100 people per session and asked to pack  food parcels in 67 minute over three sessions per day spread over two days. Each bucket contains canned beans or vegetables, jam, pilchards, tea, soup, mielie meal, stock and cerevita cereal as well as a stationary pack for learners consisting of an A5 exercize book, a pen, pencil, ruler, sharpener, eraser and a lollipop. A total of 15 000 food parcels were packed in Midrand alone.
Taki Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer Corporate Affairs, says: “As the world reflects on Madiba’s legacy, we give thanks for his life, his leadership, his devotion to humanity and humanitarian causes. We salute and honour the sacrifices he made for our freedom and our future.”
Netshitenzhe adds: “Ubuntu is one of the values that we embrace at Vodacom and, as such, the genesis of Vodacom joining the Nelson Mandela Foundation in celebrating Mandela Day is because Vodacom Foundation’s work stems from Mandela’s passing on of the torch of public service to everyone. It was Madiba who famously said: “We can change the world and make it a better place, it’s in your hands to make a difference.”
Chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang, said: “This year marks the 5th year with Vodacom as a dedicated partner, helping to take Madiba’s legacy forward.”
Since the launch of the Nelson Mandela Food Packing programme in 2013, Vodacom employees and stakeholders have packed in excess of 193 000 food parcels.