Estcourt winters are severe. Nestled in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, temperatures often plummet during winter.

Making the trek to work or school on foot each morning becomes a trying task when winter chills are prickling through layers of clothes.

It is with this in mind that the team from the Estcourt and Midlands News decided to base our annual Mandela Day 67 Minutes.

Each year, we lovingly prepare and distribute soul-warming soup to residents who are on their way to work or school on the morning of Mandela Day.

It is our way of showing that we care for our community.

Preparation begins the day before and our team of five women peel, cut, dice and cook the soup.

The afternoon continues with delicious aromas filling our office.

When the lights go out in the evening, each staff member is filled with excitement about the next day and plans to come in early and set up our distribution table takes flight.

On Mandela Day morning, everyone is at the office early, the stove is turned on and bowls, serviettes and bread rolls are set on a table outside our office in Connor Street.

Passers-by are taken aback when they are welcomed with a smile and a bowl of piping hot soup.

Words of gratitude are uttered as it becomes obvious that the soup not only warms them up but is also tasty.

We serve up to 60 bowls of soup each year and thoroughly enjoy serving the community.