The South African National Blood Service is encouraging people to donate blood this Human Rights Day as stocks are low.

The SANBS is hosting a #NewBlood blood drive to encourage people to donate blood on Human Rights Day on 21 March.

The SANBS is implementing the mass blood drive to recruit new donors and ensure there is sufficient stock of safe blood available in South Africa. The #NewBlood campaign aims to collect 4 500 units of blood on the public holiday.

“Currently less than 1 per cent of South Africans donate blood, even though it demands little more than giving up 30 minutes of their time at least twice a year,” said Silungile Mlambo, chief marketing officer for the SANBS.

“That means that we often experience shortages which places lives at risk – lives of babies born prematurely, lives of accident victims, lives of women giving birth and the lives of people fighting cancer. We are therefore calling on anyone who has never donated or has not donated in over a year to heed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plea and to become an agent of change and lend a hand by becoming a blood donor, starting on Human Rights Day.”

Mlambo added that the beauty of blood donation is that virtually anyone can do it. You don’t need to have money or have a graduate degree or a fancy car. If you’re over 16 years old, weigh over 50kg and practice a safe lifestyle, you can be a blood donor.

By donating blood you can save up to three people’s lives – so something that costs you nothing is absolutely priceless for someone in need of blood.

She says that the SANBS is launching the #NewBlood campaign on Human Rights Day because it signals the start of the Easter holiday period.

“Holidays are unfortunately the time when we traditionally run short of blood because we are not able to host our regular drives at schools and university campuses. However, this year, the SANBS wants to start turning things around. We want to lend a hand, as President Ramaphosa asked us to do, and ensure that there is enough safe blood available in the country. The #NewBlood campaign is asking you to lend us a hand by becoming a regular blood donor,” concluded Mlambo.

Visit or call 0800 11 90 31 to find out where to donate on Human Rights Day.

Will you be donating blood this Human Rights Day? Tag us @eskilzcollege and @eskilz and share your blood donating stories with us #NewBlood