jda.org.za-JDA spruces up township schoolsThe Johannesburg Development Agency spent their 67 minutes on Nelson Mandela Day in July brightening classrooms and painting school walls.

The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) staff took time out in July to transform Alexandra’s Ntokozweni community centre and Bram Fischerville’s Julius Sebolai Primary School into colourful imaginative places as part of their 67 minutes initiative.

The 67 minutes initiative takes place every year on Nelson Mandela Day (18 July), with people around the world spending 67 minutes doing something positive for their communities. The day commemorates the 67 years that former South African president, Nelson Mandela, spent fighting for social justice and a democratic South Africa.

Ntokozweni community centre is one of the oldest community centres in Johannesburg. Built in 1944 to care for the elderly and vulnerable children in Alexandra, it is now a pre-school and offers day care. Nelson Mandela also trained as a boxer at the centre with former Mr Universe Reg Parks.

The JDA staff members, including Board members Popo Masilo, Professor Wellington Didibhuku Thwala and Dayalan Naidu, spent their 67 minutes sprucing up the centre’s walls with a fresh coat of paint.

Students from the United States’s University of Philadelphia also visited the centre, painting the outside walls, while the National House Building Council replaced broken windows and painted window frames.

Plans to revitalise the centre are in the pipeline, with the agency planning to make a second trip.

In Bram Fischerville, JDA staff members swept and painted classrooms at Julius Sebolai Primary School, with jubilant students marvelling at the new look.

The JDA also talked to school pupils about its corporate social investment policy, and the Dobsonville Rea Vaya depot Greenway programme and its relevance to the community. Finally, JDA chief executive officer, Thanduxolo Mendrew, handed a plaque to school principal, Zandile Mafata.