30 years of freedom belongs to all of us - Kodwa

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa says the achievement of 30 years of freedom in South Africa belongs to each and every South African.

The Minister was speaking during the National Dialogue on 30 Years of Democracy held at Freedom Park on Tuesday evening.

The celebration commemorates the eclipsing of the separatist agenda driven by the apartheid government and the ushering in of democracy and unity in the country.

Kodwa said democracy does not belong to any government or political party, but the entire population.

“Thirty years must be a celebration not of government, not of a governing party but of all South Africans because it is… South Africans who brought about this freedom. A South African who is in the villages, who is in town, who is in urban areas must feel part of the 30 years and must be given a voice,” he said.

The Minister said the dialogue is the beginning of a series of debates that will be held in the country to stimulate conversation around not only democracy but what defines a nation.

“One notion that we must always remind ourselves… is the notion of a nation. It’s only in our Constitution of 1996, which calls upon us to build a nation of all South Africans and the idea of a nation had never existed before.

“There are significant moments that define a nation, from a Sports, Arts and Culture perspective… we have seen what our national teams have done recently. We must celebrate significant moments that define us as a nation; one of which is the national flag.

“We are united around the flag. We are united around the national anthem. These are the important milestones that define this notion of a nation,” he said.

Turning to the upcoming National and Provincial Elections, the Minister emphasised the importance of the right to vote and the responsibility it bears.

“A right to vote is not just enough. It’s important that you must understand the manifesto of a party because… any party and leader that wins any election must give expression to the Constitution.

“Failure to give expression to the Constitution will result in issues… [of] people protesting, people just electing leaders on the basis of emotions, people electing leaders on the basis of populism and rhetoric. But it’s important that people must elect leaders who give expression to the Constitution…which states 'building a non-racial South Africa, which is united and all peoples belong to it'.

“People deciding not to vote must never be an option because an option to vote is a right that was denied for many years. I call upon all South Africans to exercise their right to vote and elect people that will give expression to the will and aspirations of the community,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za