SA to mark Freedom Day

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pretoria- President Jacob Zuma will lead the 23rd national Freedom Day celebrations on Thursday, 27 April, in Manguzi, Umhlabuyalingana Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.

The day will be used to reflect on the achievements that the country has scored since 1994 while reflecting on work that still needs to be done in building a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa, the Presidency said.

The celebrations also coincide with the centenary of the late President and national Chairperson of the ANC,Oliver Reginald Tambo, an international icon and hero of the South African liberation struggle.

The theme for this year’s celebrations is “The year of OR Tambo: Together deepening democracy and building safer and crime-free communities,” said the Presidency.

The focus will be on promoting community action working with the police and other law enforcement agencies in fighting crime and building safer communities.

The President has been running a national anti-crime campaign and has visited some communities around the country.

He visited the Umhlabuyalingana area in March to highlight the need for urgent action to arrest cross-border crime especially car hijackings.

“Our people have said we must grow the economy so that jobs can be created. We have heard the cry of many, especially the youth who are jobless.  Some have degrees, diplomas and technical certificates.

“They have also said they are tired of co-existing with crime in many communities as criminals have become brazen in their activities. We want to unite the country around building safer communities, while also continuing to address poverty, inequality and unemployment”, said President Jacob Zuma.

Despite the challenges facing Umhlabuyalingana, which is one of the remotest corners of the country, there is a tangible sense of the opportunities the democratic government has brought to the area, Minister of Communication Ayanda Dlodlo  said.

Through the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Programme, President Zuma put government to work to identify a range of areas which needed the attention of the public service, working with communities. 

As such, a lot of work is being done by government in the area to eradicate crime and attend to other issues raised by the community

“Government, through the Interministerial Committee on Cross-border Crime – kwa’Umhlabuyalingana has since the President’s visit been hard at work in addressing some of the concerns citizens have raised.  As part of the Freedom Day celebrations in this area, His Excellency, the President will be reporting to the community and the nation at large some of the interventions so far”, Minister Dlodlo  said on Saturday.

Additionally, in responding to safety issues, the Department of Arts and Culture will on Wednesday host a social dialogue to tackle the underlying root causes of crime and violence in this community. The dialogue will take place at the Tribal Court, uMhlabuyalingana Municipality from 18h00.

“Our democracy has restored the dignity of millions of South Africans and changed our lives for the better.  We cannot allow crime and criminal activities to derail us.  Let us join hands to preserve our freedom and SAY NO to racism, crime and corruption and substance abuse”, said Minister Dlodlo.

The minister urged all South Africans to join the celebrations either at uMhlabuyalingana or in their communities, as we remember that our freedom was not free, it was hard earned. 

There was struggle and bloodshed, and for this reason our freedom needs to be cherished and protected, she siad.

Citizens are ecouraged to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #FreedomDay and share their ideas of the South Africa they envisage to live in and show how they are willing to contribute to make it a better country for all its citizens. Follow @GovernmentZA @GCISMedia and @SAGovNews for updates on the proceedings on Freedom