Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said on Saturday that every person had the ability and responsibility to make a positive change.
“No matter how small the action, the aim was to practice a healthier and cleaner way of living.
“This Mandela Day South Africans showed a spirit of selflessness, unity, volunteerism and dedication by participating in clean-up initiatives.”
Earlier, the Nelson Mandela Foundation thanked the world for carrying out good deeds in memory of the former president, whose birthday was celebrated on Friday.
“We have been heartened by the number of sustainable projects still thriving. At the same time it has been inspiring to see the range of innovative new projects to emerge,” foundation spokesperson Danielle Melville said.
“We welcome the degree to which structures of the state, of civil society and in the private sector are working together for the campaign.”
Melville said people in 126 countries participated in Mandela Day, and more 1 200 positive deeds had been registered on their website.
Melville said in South Africa almost half a million food parcels had been distributed to needy people, and more than a million sanitary towels handed to schoolgirls.
Habitat for Humanity in South Africa built 67 houses in one week for the poor.
More than 15 000 books were also donated to school libraries.
Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday, when people are encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time and of themselves to help those less fortunate.
Mandela spent 67 years of his life working for social justice.
Courtesy of SAPA