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South African Airways (SAA) has, for the third consecutive year, partnered with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (Mandela Foundation) to commemorate Tata Madiba’s birthday. 

In the first year, SAA flew 92 children from Qunu and Mvezo in the Eastern Cape to celebrate Tata’s 92nd birthday at the Centre of Memory. Last year, 93 children were selected from all nine provinces of South Africa to join in the annual celebrations and a reflection of the lessons learnt from Tata’s life at the Centre of Memory.

This year, in line with the theme for Nelson Mandela Day 2012: Youth of the World, Take Action Inspire Change; SAA flew a total of 19 youth representatives from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London, Polokwane, as well as from Zimbabwe, Zambia (Ndola and Lusaka), Dakar, the United States (Washington), Malawi, India (Mumbai), Accra (Ghana), Kinshasa (DRC) and Maputo (Mozambique) to Johannesburg where they participated in a Mandela Youth Day programme  on Saturday 14 July 2012 at the Johannesburg Mayoral Chambers.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assisted in selecting participants who are active in youth programmes in their respective countries.

The main objective of the dialogue was to inspire the youth to Make Everyday a Mandela Day, and it focused on Mandela’s ideals through structured discussions based on themes such as his early life, prison years, presidential years and his retirement. The youth also shared some practical ideas of what they will be doing during their 67 minutes.

In addition, on Wednesday 18 July 2012, along with the rest of the world, a significant number of SAA staff members participated in various activities as part of the global call for people to participate in the 67 Minute campaign. SAA employees volunteered their 67 minutes to various projects ranging from a visit to Charlotte Maxeke’s Children Oncology unit, Soweto Home for the Elderly as well as at a Day Care Centre in Alexandra Township. Further, SAA through a donation by Swissport International (ground handlers), handed out six hundred and seventy blankets to the homeless at various points in Johannesburg.

Moreover, SAA will also host a Mandela Day fundraising breakfast for the Mandela Foundation on Tuesday 7 August 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg. The event, with the theme “Shared Futures”, aims to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Funds will be used to roll out the much needed Mandela container-libraries to poor schools around the country.

SAA acknowledges our sponsor companies, without whom hosting the learners would have not been possible: IFE Services, Servopak, Jade, Cellini, Panceira, Birchwood Hotel, Mc Donalds, Hansa Photography, Life College, Royal Events, UNDP, City of Johannesburg, Coca Cola, Dole SA and Woolworths/MySchool.

**ENDS**
For more information contact:
Dileseng Koetle
Head: Communications
Tel: +27 11 978 2298
Mobile: +27 83 400 0041
Email: DilesengKoetle@flysaa.com
 
Or

Kabelo Ledwaba
Communications Manager (External)
Email: kabeloledwaba@flysaa.com
Mobile: +27 (0)83 414 4720
Tel: +27 (0)11 978 2760

About SAA
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC). SAA CEO Siza Mzimela is the first woman to be appointed to the IATA Board of Governors in its 67 year history. Siza Mzimela is also the President of the African Airlines of Southern Africa (AFRAA). SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for nine consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for two consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on time airlines.spots as South Africa’s most on time airlines.
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