Durban - As the country celebrates 15 years of democracy and a successful fourth General Election, South Africans feel progress has been achieved in their communities.
Freedom Day celebrations took place around the country on Monday, with President Kgalema Motlanthe addressing the main event at the Absa Stadium in Durban. Throngs of people assembled to observe the day, singing jubilantly.
Talking to BuaNews on the grounds of the stadium, Thuthukani Msana from Umbumbulu said it was a big day for the people of the country as well those living in KwaZulu-Natal.
He said the province suffered immensely in the political violence of the 1980's and 1990's, especially those living in rural areas. However, change had now come to them and they were now free from the chains of poverty.
"We must celebrate and acknowledged the strides that have been made in this country. For us, as the people in the rural areas, we are now can see ourselves as the part of this country as we are free from poverty," said Mr Msani.
Gogo Ntombizodwa Mdlalose, 75, said she was happy to be part of this year's Freedom Day which celebrated the achievement of freedom and democracy in the country.
"I never thought one day I could be part of this historical event, let alone seeing the President of this country, Kgalema Motlanthe, in person."
While acknowledging that progress has been made, she said that rural communities wanted to see more development and job opportunities.
The stadium was turned into a colourful mass, as the crowds wearing different coloured clothes as well as traditional Zulu garb sat in the stands
Sixteen-year-old Zakhona Zama said much progress had come to her community, adding that she had been honoured to witness an event of such magnitude and importance to the nation.
"We as the country we are celebrating the lives of the people who died while fighting for this country - that is something of great importance."
She said it was good to hear people relating their stories about freedom struggles as she had always been enthralled when listening to the elder people in her community tell their tales.
Government hopes that on this Freedom Day, South Africans will renew their commitment towards building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and democratic society.
This year's theme, "Together celebrating a vibrant democracy and building a better life for all", aims to invoke a spirit of hope and resilience. It is also a call to all South Africans to be proud of their vibrant democracy.