The 18th of July is a significant day for South Africans, as thousands across the country valiantly prepare for their 67 mins charity contributions in honor of the iconic, Nelson Mandela. Mandela was a great philanthropist and 67 marks the number of year’s he gave his life to public service.

Our team at West African Group commit to upholding this tradition and participate in the yearly act of service. This year we teamed with approximately 285 employees at the Lion Match Office Park and engaged in a plogging session with multiple groups, each assigned a specific area from the Durban promenade up to and surrounding the Moses Mabida Stadium. The concept of plogging birth by Erik Ahlstöm in the Swedish capital city of Stockholm, in 2016, involves picking up litter while jogging. Today it’s become a global trend even recorded as workout activity on certain lifestyle apps.  Admittedly, after the first experience the activity can become easily additive. However, the hypothesis is truly appreciated when one is confronted with the astounding pollution statistics in our country.

Plastic pollution is destroying our planet and as incredulous as it appears, there are some ways in which the average South African can assist to incrementally rehabilitate this process. Volunteers at our 67 Mins effort used some of the litter that was collected to make Ecobricks.  An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle packed tightly with clean, dry, non-biodegradable disposable waste. These bottles can then be used as building materials to create insulative structures and colourful furniture. This ingenuity is a dead simple way for every South African to make a valuable contribution to the journey toward a non-recyclable waste-free life by turning disposable waste into green construction material and keeping it out of our ocean and landfills. Motivation comes from Madiba himself when he said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Ultimately, the spirit of Mandela Day is amplified and sustained with the realization that together we can make a difference to save our country.

Written by,

Ronelle Govender