President Zuma leads Freedom Month celebrations

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has appealed to South Africans to use Freedom Month to unite the nation towards building a society that is caring, dignified and has a sense of humility and mutual respect for one another.

Zuma is leading the nation in marking Freedom Month. Celebrated in April, Freedom Month marks the dawn of freedom and democracy, and the achievements of all South Africans in moving away from hatred, divisions and a painful history to build a common future together.

This year will mark 19 years of the country’s democracy, which is being celebrated under the theme, Mobilising society towards consolidating our democracy and freedom.

According to the Presidency, this year’s celebrations must promote unity and a common agenda of building a united and prosperous South Africa.

“Activities will promote the National Development Plan as a long-term vision which should serve as a basis for partnerships across society to attain the South Africa that is eloquently articulated in the Constitution and historic national documents such as the Freedom Charter of 1955,” the Presidency said.

The celebrations will also recognise and celebrate the strides that have been made since 1994 and recall the country's rich human rights tradition.

“More importantly, Freedom Month also celebrates and proclaims the preamble of the Constitution, especially the unifying assertion that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.”

Since political freedom in 1994, South Africa has strived to correct the wrongs of the past.

The country still faces a number of challenges such as poverty, unemployment, sexism and inequality, among others.

In this light, the Presidency said the month should also be a period of reflection of what else needs to be done collectively towards the goal of building a prosperous society and an improved quality of life for all, especially the poor and the working class.

The high office said Freedom Month should remind the nation of the need to work hard continuously to ensure that every household has water, electricity, sanitation, a good school, clinic, police station, roads and all other basic services.

“The celebration will also reflect on what else needs to be done better to improve social cohesion and the building of a nation united in its diversity.”

Government said it would use the month to also reflect on the outcomes of the Summit on Social Cohesion, which was hosted by the Department of Arts and Culture in July last year in Kliptown, Soweto. 

The summit in its declaration acknowledged that social cohesion depended to a large measure on society’s ability to address the challenges of poverty and inequality.

Several events are planned to mark the month. They include the meeting with South African Heads of Mission (Ambassadors and High Commissioners) stationed in Africa and abroad, the awarding of National Orders and the actual Freedom Day celebrations on 27 April. –

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