Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) employees began a month-long book drive in honour of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Mandela Day calls on the world to "Take Action, Inspire Change. Make Every Day a Mandela Day." With the focus this year being on education, ATNS is giving students at disadvantaged schools access to books.

The ‘donate a book and build a future that’s full of goodness’ campaign has seen the creation of book drop-off points at all ATNS air traffic service units (ATSUs) across the country. Staff members contribute to the cause by donating books (old and new) and educational reading material, which includes printed and recorded material, such as CDs and DVDs.

On 10th April 2012, The South African National Department of Basic Education launched its 94+ Schools Infrastructure Project to address infrastructure backlog in schools. ’94’ refers to the age Nelson Mandela will reach in 2012. The Mandela Day Container Libraries are part of this initiative, taking forward Nelson Mandela’s commitment to children and education.

The collection of books is a perfect fit with one of ATNS’s ambitious corporate social investment (CSI) projects, which involves the supply of container libraries to deserving communities. This is an initiative by Breadline Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundations’ Centre of Memory and Dialogue: to bring books to impoverished schools across the country.

ATNS’s involvement is an infrastructure intervention that will have direct social and economic benefits. ATNS’s participation will help in addressing the current backlog of around 16,000 libraries countrywide and, most importantly, promoting the culture of life-long learning.

For the current financial year, ATNS’s target is three container libraries. These will be placed in the Limpopo, Northern Cape and Gauteng provinces. The exact beneficiaries will be identified at a later stage.

ATNS hopes to have a container in each province.

The Drive will end on Monday, 20th August 2012.