Speaking notes for Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President at the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day at Steyn City School on 11 May 2022

It is a real honour for me to be associated with the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day-project for yet another year.

To Mrs Carolyn Steyn, and the organisers, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this lovely initiative of yours.

Last year we did the blanket-reveal under very difficult circumstances.

It is very nice to have this year’s “combined” blanket reveal under a more relaxed atmosphere.

It however gives us pause to think why we are here; to celebrate those at the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.

• Those in the healthcare profession who work so diligently and selflessly. Thank you for your sacrifice.

• We think of the teachers and lecturers who teach our young people, despite the challenges they face daily.

• To the men and women in uniform who keep us safe each day despite the risks, we thank you for your dedication to your vocation.

• To the ladies and gentlemen who keep our streets clean, a special word of thanks.

It is a hard and sometimes thankless job, but for me, a person who values our environment, this is one of the most important jobs there can be. You are a feather in the nation’s cap.

It is my hope that 67 Blankets for Mandela Day will pool its resources and take this matter of campaigning for the environment further.

As our colleagues at the Gift of the Givers will attest to, this year’s floods in KwaZulu-Natal have driven the point of global warming to the fore.

Climate change is here to stay.

We urgently need to educate our people about the importance of preserving the environment and our biodiversity.

We can start with the little things e.g., how we should each take responsibility for our actions and that littering influences our environment and living standards. How recycling can have a positive impact on our lives.

As we face another winter, for many families the blanket they will receive from the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day-initiative is a wonderful piece of warmth and love they will receive this year.

A blessing, lovingly knitted by strangers from afar – a Rainbow Nation Blanket of Hope.

To all the KnitWits, thank you for your hard work and congratulations on this successful project.

Last year I was not sure how you were going to manage to improve on the next one, but you managed to do so. Congratulations! May next year be even better.

I thank you.