KZN kicks off 20 years celebrations

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pretoria - Celebrations to start the countdown to South Africa’s 20th Anniversary of Freedom and Democracy got off to a spectacular start in Durban on Tuesday.

Huge crowds clad in rainbow colours turned up to receive the 20 Years of Freedom flame, which has become a symbol of KZN celebrations, as it criss-crosses various districts within the province. The flame symbolises the progress that has been made in the last 20 years, while also preparing communities to celebrate the country’s 20th year of freedom on 27 April.

The aim of the celebrations is to bring citizens together, raise the spirit of national pride and showcase the best that South Africa and Durban have achieved in the past 20 years.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, together with eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo received the freedom flame from Arts and Culture, Sport and Recreation MEC Ntobikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha and the mayor of Ilembe District Municipality Siyabonga Mdabe.

In her address during the event, MEC Dube-Ncube called on residents to embrace and celebrate the achievements which the country has made in the past 20 years.

“This flame represents the progress that we have made as a country. During the past 20 years, our government has, working together with our communities, improved significantly the standard of living for all citizens,” said Dube-Ncube.

He singled out the R29-billion Cornubia human settlements development, which will provide over 25 000 houses for eThekwini residents. The project was launched by President Jacob Zuma at the weekend.

“Today, townships that were previously neglected by the apartheid government have access to water, electricity and decent roads. This is all through the hard work that government and our community have put towards building a better province and country.

“We are now counting down to 27 April 2014, which is the day in which a new South Africa was born,” MEC Dube-Ncube added.

Mayor Nxumalo welcomed the Freedom Flame, saying the city has many good stories to tell. 

“It is a world class city, where all its people across the racial divide live together in harmony. People of all races must celebrate living in a vibrant democracy, which values human rights and dignity of all people. In this city, we have defied the odds and delivered essential services to all people and the city is growing every day and is the envy of many.”

The flame will cover the length and breadth of the municipality until Saturday, 12 April and will be taken to various communities across eThekwini, including Phoenix, KwaMashu and Hammarsdale.

There are also service delivery initiatives that will be launched during the flame's tour.

Freedom Day is an annual celebration of South Africa's first non-racial democratic elections in 1994. Since the dawn of democracy, the country has been commemorating Freedom Day on 27 April every year. – SAnews.gov.za

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