Preparations underway for unveiling of Mandela blanket

The Madiba portrait blanket is expected to be large enough to be seen from space.

South Africans voluntarily lending their hands through crochet and knitting for the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day project are on the cusp of revealing their 7‚000 square metre portrait‚ big enough to be seen from outer space‚ at the Zonderwater Maximum Correctional Centre in Cullinan‚ Gauteng.

The laying out‚ and sewing together‚ of the Madiba portrait blanket had taken weeks of planning with the final touches being added on Monday ahead of Tuesday's unveiling.

All blankets will be distributed to communities in need‚ throughout South Africa‚ after the event.

Dearest KnitWits for Madiba, Do you also have those butterflies in your tummy?? Is your heart also in your throat? Can...

Posted by Carolyn Steyn on Saturday, 21 April 2018

Correctional Services has partnered with Carolyn Steyn's project.

The department said in a statement the initiative offered value to inmates.

"Crocheting does not only give inmates a sense of pride‚ but also has therapeutic value for offenders with significantly large psychological‚ and social‚ benefits which can improve their wellbeing and quality of life. It also offers them a great sense of purpose to give back to communities they harmed."

A 27km scarf will also be rolled out at the Mandela Capture Site in KwaZulu-Natal on July 29.