Mandela Day 2018 – Celebrating 100 years of Madiba’s Legacy

We must use time wisely, and forever realise that the time is always right to do right – Nelson Mandela

 Madiba’s legacy

It’s hard to quantify the power and emotion evoked by the name and the legend of Nelson Mandela. To the world, he was an icon of statesmanship, a great moral leader and advocate for social justice, equality and human rights. To South Africans, he was the father of our nation, and a man of vision, humility and greatness who led our first democratic government. No matter what your politics or nationality, he is universally recognised as someone who led by example, and whose life was lived in service to others.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

International Mandela Day is celebrated every year on the commemoration of his birthday – 18 July 2018 – and on this day, people across the world are called on to volunteer 67 minutes of service to their communities. The symbolism of the 67 minutes refers to the 67 years Mandela gave in service to others. This year we celebrate the 100 year marker of Madiba’s birth, and we are called on to ‘Find the Madiba in You’  – ie, to take action, inspire change, and make a sustainable difference to the lives of others.

 SAP celebrates Mandela Day

SAP is rich in people capital – our employees are filled with talent, initiative and an endless energy to step up, get involved and be part of the solution to problems – whether that’s in the office, at customer deployments, or in their personal lives … So we decided to harness all that great energy and direct it for the good of others on Mandela Day. Here’s what’s going down on Mandela Day in South Africa on Wedensday 18 July:


In Johannesburg, the CSR and Government Relations team has put together an awesome calendar of activities at the Dieplsoot Skills Centre, to enable employees to lead with purpose. Diepsloot is a densely populated community north of the city. It is home to about 140,000 people, many of them living in shacks 3m by 2m assembled from scrap metal, wood, plastic and cardboard. Some families lack access to basic services such as running water, sewage and rubbish removal.  This is an amazing opportunity, presented in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Siyafunda Community Technology Centres, to get involved with the Diepsloot community, understand their challenges and do something constructive to improve conditions, even on a small scale.

What are we doing on Madiba Day, 18 July?

In collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Siyafunda Community Technology Centres, our focus on 18 July is to impact the Diepsloot community. 100 employees have volunteered to do 100 minutes of coding at the Siyafunda CTC Community Development Centre. They need our help and we can make a significant impact. Read more about their initiatives here.

Essentially employees will be given opportunities to teach young children to code, engage with senior citizens and read to children.  In addition, SAP employees will also be engaged in a greening activity at a neighbouring community centre.  The Mandela Foundation has informed SAP that plans are afoot for President Ramaphosa of South Africa to visit the Diepsloot community.

BWN activity: Care packages for the community

This is an additional volunteer activity for Mandela day, which includes the  BWN (Business Womens Network) but is not restricted to BWN members or to women only.)

This activity is taking place at our offices and gives those employees who are deskbound, but who still want to contribute service in honour of Mandela Day, to take part in the celebrations. We will be putting together pack family packs of supplies to distribute to families in hardship – supplying them with some desperately needed essentials  to help them through the winter.

Cape Town

In Cape Town, employees will be able to share in the fellowship of the day, join in commemorating the legacy of Madiba, and have a lot of fun, all while contributing something positive to the local community.  They will be actively engaged with packing Family Care packs at the Cape Town Science Centre for the benefit of destitute families in the greater Cape Town area.

We look forward to sharing photographs and reportbacks of all the activities as they roll out, and to share in the unique and very special fellowship of the day as we honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela.