Freedom Day is celebrated in South Africa annually on 27 April. The main purpose for this celebration is to mark the liberation of our country and its people from a long period of apartheid.
On 27 April 1994, the nation finally cast its vote in the first democratic election in the country. The ANC was then voted into power, and Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the President of South Africa on 10 May. This election paved a way towards a new democratic dispensation and a new constitution for the country.
The elections took place in a peaceful and festive atmosphere, though there were threats of political violence and for the majority of South Africans who had never voted before their dignity was restored and the vision for a ‘’better life for all” finally seemed possible.
After his appointment as the president ,Nelson Mandela introduced housing, education, and economic development initiatives designed to improve the living standards of the country’s black population and also oversaw the enactment of a new democratic constitution in 1996.
WHAT FREEDOM DAY MEANS IN 2020
On this day, South Africans should celebrate the fact that we have covered some distance on the road to freedom, but we still have a long way to go.
Today, South Africa is one of the most consistently unequal countries in the world. More than half on the population lives in poverty, while a staggering 27% of people are unemployed. It is important to remember that “freedom” should mean emancipation from poverty, unemployment, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.
Freedom Day should be a reminder of the unfinished business of such rights and it is up to us as South Africa to work together with the government to ensure that everyone gets the freedom we fought so hard for over 20 years ago.
Freedom Day affords South Africans the opportunity to make a pledge towards fighting against the legacy of racism and economic inequality as well as renewing their loyalty to their country and their commitment to its future.
Last modified: June 17, 2020