Today, exactly 64 years ago, the African National Congress (ANC) led all patriots and peace-loving South Africans under the banner of the Congress of the People to adopt the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, Johannesburg.
We, therefore, make a clarion call on this day to all patriots in our beautiful country, Africa and the world to join us as we commemorate the Freedom Charter, which became the hallmark and rallying point for national liberation.
The Freedom Charter sets out the vision for a free, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. It remains significant in the consolidation of our freedom and democratic dispensation.
To this day, all progressive forces in our country have embraced the Freedom Charter as an expression of their aspirations. Through the Parliamentary Adhoc Committee on the amendment of Section 25 of our Constitution – work is underway to ensure that the land is ultimately shared amongst those who work it. The toiling masses of our people; the ordinary men and women who shape history deserve security of tenure.
As a nation inspired by the Freedom Charter, we have collectively worked tirelessly and consistently over many decades towards building a country where the doors of learning and culture would be open to all regardless of race and creed.
This document continues to guide the ANC as we seek to accomplish the historical mission of the liberation movement to ensure that all our people share in the wealth of the country.
The ANC has over the years, guided by the Freedom Charter, continued to work harder towards the realization of its vision. We must use this day to reflect on our achievements in advancing the vision of the Freedom Charter and changing the lives of our people for the better.
As we reflect on the revolutionary journey we have travelled since 1955, we must also pay tribute to the United Democratic Front and the Mass Democratic Movement, for popularizing the Freedom Charter during the mass mobilisation campaigns of the 1980s.
As we celebrate the progress freedom has brought and the restoration of our dignity, let us rise to the challenge of accelerating service delivery and building a South Africa that we want as part of realising the vision of the Freedom Charter
While millions of lives have been transformed, the ANC acknowledges that eradicating apartheid’s legacy of poverty, inequality, unemployment and racism will require concerted efforts by all South Africans. Anything less will amount to a betrayal of the pledge we made during our liberation struggle that we would never consider our mission accomplished until all our people govern and are able to share in their country’s wealth.
The Freedom Charter is our compass as we navigate our way towards a better South Africa. It represents the hopes and aspirations of all progressive and freedom-loving people of South Africa.
Over the next few years we will forge ahead in earnest to build the South Africa we want through a people-centered government providing decent shelter for the needy, secured neighborhoods and comfort for all.
Together, we must make a solemn pledge to defend and advance the ideals of the Freedom Charter until all our people are able to taste the fruits of our democracy and freedom.
Issued by the Secretary General of the African National Congress
Cde Ace Magashule
071 623 4975