Berg honours Mandela Centenary

The late president Nelson Mandela was born one hundred years ago this year. In honour of his legacy the Western Cape Canoe Union decided to join in his centenary celebrations expected all over the country this year.

“The Berg River Canoe Marathon Management Committee thought it fitting to stage a series of five Nelson Mandela Centenary Freedom Walks to co-inside with the 57th Berg River Marathon from 11 July to 14 July next week.  All of them will finish at Berg Marathon viewpoints where spectators can watch the paddlers in the Marathon pass by,” says André Collins chairman of the Management Committee.

“We have obtained the permission from the Nelson Mandela Foundation to use their official logo and secured the buy-in of various tourism organisations, sports clubs, youth groups and numerous schools for these various walks along the way. Transport and food parcels will be provided for school children in remote areas such as Hermon, Goedverwacht, Wittewater, and Broodkraal.

“Each participant will receive a specially designed commemorative Freedom Walk Medal on completion of a walk. Entry is free and each participant receives a wrist band with our emergency number on at the start and exchange this at the end for a medal. Officials supplied by the local communities will help us administer the walks. We are grateful for the financial contributions of Wesgro and Cape Winelands Disctrict which made all of this possible, ” says Collins.

The 5 planned walks are:

  • 11 July @ 8:00 Paarl Arboretum 2.5/5km;
  • 11 July @ 10:00 Rondeheuwel Primary Hermon to Du Vlei Farmstall 2.5km;
  • 13 July @ 10:00 Carl Schreve Primary Wittewater to Moravia 3 km;
  • 13 July @ 10:30 Broodkraal Primary to Moravia 2 km;
  • 14 July @ 9:00 Velddrif Carinus Bridge to Bokkomlaan 4km;

More information on the Freedom Walks can be found on their Facebook page at or contact

The 57th Berg River Canoe Marathon will start at 9:00 on Wednesday 11 July at Market Street Bridge in Paarl and finish  240km and four days later on Saturday, 14 July in Velddrif.  Drakenstein Executive Mayor Councillor Conrad Poole will officially start the marathon.