In commemoration of International Nelson Mandela Day, members of the Mpumalanga Department of Health (DoH) will spend their 67 minutes cleaning Middelburg Hospital on Saturday morning.

Health MEC, GP Mashego, and the Executive Mayor of Steve Tshwete local municipality, Councilor M Masina, are set to clean and paint the hospital along with a group of volunteers.

Middelburg Hospital has been the subject of a number of reports highlighting shortages in cleaning and laundry personnel, and rats in the wards. According to a press release issued by the DoH, the facility is one of the problematic hospitals in terms of cleanliness, which is why it has been chosen for the good deed.

The plans are a direct response to President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address where he urged all South Africans to take part in an “operation cleanup for Madiba.”

Nelson Mandela International Day was officially launched by the UN General Assembly on July 18th 2009 in recognition of Mandela’s birthday. The day was inspired by a call by Mandela for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now.”

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