Nkonzo Mhlongo

Tongaat Hulett in partnership with the Nzuza traditional leadership council celebrated the Nelson Mandela International Day by investing in the lives of 50 learners from the socially and economically challenged backgrounds under the Nzuza communal area. 

The event was triggered by an engagement between Tongaat Hulett and one of the local contractors, Moses Gumede. The learners were from Hemfane, Wombane, Nxenjane, Magumbomane and Vutshini primary schools. 

The event was attended by representatives from the Nzuza traditional leadership council including Inkosi Nzuza; representatives from the Department of Education including the Circuit manager, Mandla Mabaso; representatives from Simamisa; local sugarcane growers; and the independent contractors operating in the area. The event was also attended by the learners, parents, other community members. All the speakers recognised Gumede particularly for his role in making the day a reality for the vulnerable learners and their families. 

In his remarks Steven Saunders, Tongaat Hulett Director, recognised Nelson Mandela’s commitment to changing the lives of all South Africans, particularly children. He encouraged the learners to stay in school. In his speech, Inkosi Nzuza said that such an event was a first in his community. 

He acknowledged Gumede for ‘bringing development closer to the community’. He further recognised Tongaat Hulett for the investment it had made in the lives of the young children. In his address, he urged the learners to stay in school and to stay away from drugs and any other activities that would negatively impact on their growth and education. 

Nelson Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela celebrated each year on 18 July which is Mandela’s birthday. In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

Nkonzo Mhlongo
SED Manager, Cane and Rural Development Unit, Tongaat Hulett