'Using the Poor as Accessories'—South Africans Respond to #67Minutes
Every Mandela Day the world is called to spend 67 minutes to serve in honor of Mandela's 67 years fighting for justice—but South Africans are fed up with the hypocrisy of it all.
It's Mandela Day and South Africans are once again encouraged to take a day of service to continue Nelson Mandela's call for us to make the world a better place.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation spearheads the campaign, where they have asked the world of the following since 2009:
Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We're asking you to start with 67 minutes. We would be honored if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity.
Although this initiative appears to intend to spark the service bug in the global community beyond 67 minutes, many South Africans have used this action step hashtag on social media and beyond the digital realm to criticize those in privileged and political positions to make real change and a sustainable impact beyond an hour and 7 minutes every July 18.
Protestors and activists from the Housing Assembly Youth Collective built a shack with a portable toilet outside the official home of Western Cape Premier Helen Zille Wednesday morning. The came with the challenge encouraging Zille to spend her 67 minutes on Mandela Day inside the shack so she can experience what many South Africans are forced to utilize everyday, News24reports.
"We are sick and tired of living in these shacks," Mihlali Xalisile says to News24.
The youth collective also demand in a statement for "decent jobs and houses for all from the age of 18." The minimum age for one to apply for a home under the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) is 21.
"This has been the experience of our parents and grandparents, dying in overcrowded backyards and informal settlements," the collective adds.
Back on Twitter, South Africans continue to call out the hypocrisy #67minutes come with—including the photo ops of "service" as a means of baseless validation. Take a look at some of their thoughts below.