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You can save three live this Mandela Day

Every year, on 18 July, people around the globe do their bit in support of Mandela Day to make the world a better place. But how many will be able to say they saved the lives of three people?

“You will be able to donate blood, if you visit any of our hundreds of Mandela Day sites around South Africa,” says Silungile Mlambo, national marketing manager at the South African National Blood Service (SANBS).

Mandela Day has been celebrated has been celebrated every year since 2010. In 2009, on former Pres Mandela’s birthday, the United Nations declared July 18 to be Nelson Mandela International Day.

At first the call was for people to dedicate 67 minutes of their time – representing the 67 years of his life that Mandela gave to social justice – to volunteering and community service. The campaign has now shifted to encouraging individuals and organisations to act throughout the year, and not just on one day.


“By donating a unit of blood every eight weeks, blood donors are able to live up to the ideal of Mandela Day by performing voluntary service throughout the year,” says Mlambo.

“And every time they do, they are potentially saving the lives of three people. What better way to honour the life and service of Nelson Mandela??

“The SANBS’s theme for Mandela Day is, It’s not just blood, it’s saving a nation.”

As its commitment to Mandela Day, the SANBS will be hosting blood donation sites at hundreds of locations all over South Africa. To find out where your nearest donation site is, please call the SANBS on 0800 11 9031, email or click on