South Africa celebrates Freedom Day

South Africans come together on April 27th to celebrate Freedom Day and 21 years of democracy.

This year also marks the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter, the historic road-map to the country’s struggle for freedom and ultimately the achievement of democracy.

President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the national event at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. However, the event will begin early with interfaith prayers being offered at Freedom Park.

The mood is sure to be more serious and sombre this year, especially in the midst of the xenophobic violence of the past few weeks.

In fact, the annual practice of awarding National Awards on Freedom Day has, in the aftermath of the violence, been postponed.

The theme of the event too is a relatively serious one: “Celebrating the Third Decade of our Freedom through Accelerating Radical Economic Transformation”.

The country is not without challenges. Poverty, unemployment and inequality remain a source of conflict and distress. Despite some very deep inroads into infrastructure development, education, health and social welfare, many attribute these challenges to what emerged as xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals.

Despite the challenges, however, there is much to celebrate. The twenty year review, released in March 2014, is proof that South Africa is now a much better place to live in than it was before 1994.

The formal programme at the Union Buildings is scheduled to begin at 09:45 on Monday. An afternoon programme of entertainment, which included the likes of Casper Nyovest and Beatenberg will follow.

Source: The New Age (TNA)