On this day twenty-six years ago, a government based on the will of the people was voted into power.
The overwhelming majority of South Africans voted for the ANC and thus made a commitment to construct a society characterised by a decisive break with our ugly past. In so doing, South Africans responded to the Freedom Charter injunction that no government can claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.
April 27 1994 remains indelibly etched in our collective memory. It was a year in which we began in earnest the process of reconstructing and developing our country.
South Africans appreciate the significance of this day and the sacrifices that many of our country’s citizens paid for us to enjoy this freedom. Indeed, democracy did not come cheap. Our path to freedom was paved with the blood, tears and sweat of our people.
South Africans must be proud of the significant successes of the last 26 years. Today, we can say with confidence that out of the womb of an unjust and inhuman society has emerged a new society based on the values of justice, freedom and democracy. Our people were liberated from the evil policies that sought to condemn them to landlessness and poverty.
We have a collective duty never to take our freedom for granted.
Today, we can say without any fear of contradiction that we live in a country that truly belongs to all of us. Many now have access to decent health care, education and shelter. Their dignity has been restored.
However, despite the progress we have registered since 1994, much more still needs to be done. Today as we remember those who sacrificed for our liberation, we must recommit ourselves to working tirelessly towards eradicating the legacy of apartheid and colonialism.
Until all South Africans are free from unemployment, economic exclusion, hunger and poverty, preventable disease and crime, South Africa will not have attained the ultimate freedom for which many of our martyrs laid down their lives.
We are marking Freedom Day at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the entire world. The pandemic left our government with no choice but to declare a national lockdown to restrict the movement of people in order to halt the spread of the deadly virus.
Our caring government consulted with all South Africans on these measures and continues to engage with the people on a daily basis to update them on the progress we are making against the disease.
It is upon the rest of each one of us to continue to fight the spread of coronavirus by adhering to the regulations and practicing safe hygiene.
We may be separated from one another, but we are united in our fight against COVID19.
Protect Yourself. Defend Each Other: Let’s Do It Together
ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS, CDE ACE MAGASHULE
071 623 4875