ANC ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE FREEDOM CHARTER

Today, the African National Congress (ANC) proudly commemorates the anniversary of the Freedom Charter, a timeless document adopted on 26 June 1955 at the Congress of the People in Kliptown. The Freedom Charter remains a foundational pillar of our democratic principles and continues to inspire our pursuit of a just, inclusive, and equitable South Africa.

The need for the Freedom Charter arose in an era of profound oppression and injustice. Apartheid was systematically denying black South Africans their basic human rights and freedoms.

Recognising the urgency of unifying the nation under a common vision, the ANC, along with other progressive organisations, sought to articulate the aspirations of all South Africans. This vision built on earlier documents such as the African Claims of 1943 and the 1949 Programme of Action.

The Freedom Charter was crafted through extensive consultations with ordinary South Africans, ensuring it reflected the collective will of the people. It boldly envisioned a South Africa where all citizens, regardless of race, would enjoy equal rights and opportunities, directly challenging the apartheid regime’s ideology.

We honour the legacy of key stalwarts who shaped this charter and our movement, including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Lilian Ngoyi, and Yusuf Dadoo. Their courage and vision continue to guide us today.

The Freedom Charter outlines our collective vision through its key clauses:

1. The People Shall Govern!
2. All National Groups Shall Have Equal Rights!
3. The People Shall Share in the Country’s Wealth!
4. The Land Shall Be Shared Among Those Who Work It! 5. All Shall Be Equal Before the Law!
6. All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights!
7. There Shall Be Work and Security!
8. The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall Be Opened! 9. There Shall Be Houses, Security, and Comfort!
10. There Shall Be Peace and Friendship!

These tenets are a clarion call to action, embodying our unwavering commitment to a South Africa where every citizen enjoys dignity, freedom, and prosperity. They reflect our dedication to non-racialism, non- sexism, and the upliftment of all marginalised people.

The impact of the Freedom Charter was profound. It galvanised the anti-apartheid movement, providing a clear and compelling vision for a democratic South Africa. Despite brutal repression, its principles continued to inspire resistance and played a crucial role in shaping the democratic South Africa that emerged in 1994.

On this significant anniversary, we reaffirm our commitment to the ideals enshrined in the Freedom Charter. We are reminded of our responsibility to address ongoing challenges such as inequality, unemployment, and access to education and healthcare. Together, we strive to build a nation that truly belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

The Freedom Charter is more than a historical document; it is a living testament to our shared values and our ongoing quest for a better future. Its spirit continues to inspire us to fight for justice, equality, and peace in every part of our beloved country. It remains the lodestar of a just and equitable South Africa.

Let’s do more, together!

Amandla!

END//

ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri
NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON

MEDIA ENQUIRIES CAN BE DIRECTED TO:

Martina Della Togna
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
082 355 3645

Mothusi Shupinyane Ka Ndaba
MEDIA LIAISON OFFICER
084 498 0105

Bonnie Ramaila
MEDIA LIAISON OFFICER
072 573 7583

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