Masses brave cold to celebrate freedom

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Giyani – Scores of people have braved the morning cold and started arriving at the Giyani Stadium, in Limpopo, to celebrate the country’s Freedom Day.

Despite the morning drizzle, the masses are determine to celebrate their freedom. Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabathe is among those who have arrived for the celebrations.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to address the crowd later this morning.

Driving on the streets of Giyani, scores of people mostly the youth are seen heading towards the stadium.

Every year on this day, the 27th of April South Africa celebrate its Freedom Day. The day has since been declared a public holiday.

The 2016 celebrations are to be held under the theme "Together Building Better Communities - Local Government is Everybody's business”.

Among those who have arrived at the stadium is Tinyiko Rikhotso, 31, from Giyani, who is very excited to celebrate her freedom.

“The day means we are free from the apartheid regime,” she told SAnews, adding that it is important that people celebrate the country’s freedom.

Echoing the similar sentiments is Humphrey Shikwambana who travelled all the way from Elim to celebrate the day.

“Freedom Day means we are free from the apartheid government. Today one is free to stay anywhere in the country, there is no more racism,” he told SAnews on Wednesday.

Senior government officials and representatives of various political parties represented in Parliament are also expected to attend the event.

Freedom Day is celebrated annually to celebrate freedom and democracy and also to commemorate the first post-apartheid elections held on 27 April 1994.

The elections were the first non-racial national elections where everyone of voting age from any race group was allowed to vote. The month of April is observed as Freedom Month for the symbolism that 27 April 1994 represents.

This year's commemoration of the Freedom Day coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, the 40th anniversary of the June 16 uprising and the 60th anniversary of the Women's march to the Union Buildings.

"We call on all South Africans to mark this important day on which the nation triumphed over racism and subjugation. On this day we will be promoting unity and working together to build a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa,” said President Zuma in a statement ahead of the day.

Final touches are being made at the stadium. Guests attending the event will be entertained by local musicians. In the background, traditional groups are seen rehearsing their performances.

Godfrey Maluleke told SAnews that he is excited that this year’s Freedom Day is being celebrated here in Limpopo.

“I am happy that government has brought the celebrations here to our province, this means we don’t have to travel to Gauteng. We fought hard for our democracy, we need to celebrate our freedom and democracy,” he said. 

This year's celebrations are very important as they are held on the year in which South Africa holds its fifth Local Government Elections on 3 August 2016. South Africa holds election without fail every five years.

The 2016 Freedom Day theme encourages South Africans to play a constructive role in local government, especially in ensuring the building of united and better communities where people work together with government to meet developmental challenges.

It is meant to encourage citizens to participate in governance and in the implementation of the Back to Basics programme aimed at strengthening municipalities. –