Countdown to 20 years of freedom
4 June 2013
The countdown to the 20th anniversary of South Africa's freedom and democracy
next year has begun, marked by the unveiling of a logo by Arts and Culture Minister
Paul Mashatile in Pretoria on Monday.
Speaking before unveiling the logo, with the message "20 Years of Freedom - South Africa 1994-2014", Mashatile said South Africans should remember that freedom and democracy came at a price.
"It was not free. Many [compatriots] sacrificed life and limb in order for us to enjoy
this freedom and democracy. Let us therefore continue to work together to defend
andexpand the gains of our liberation," he said.
"The countdown towards the historic milestone of our 20 years of liberation begins
today. We take this opportunity to call on all South Africans to participate fully in
the build-up programme towards our 20th anniversary celebrations."
Next year on 27 April, South Africa will commemorate 20 years of freedom and
democracy. Mashatile said the historic occasion presented an opportunity for the
nation to reflect on the path the country has walked towards freedom.
He said some of the activities that will form part of the build-up programme include
the recognition of unsung heroes and organisations that contributed to the demise of apartheid, and activities aimed at expressing gratitude to the international
community for supporting the struggle for liberation.
There will also be massive school essay competitions and a participatory process to
identify 20 big achievements that are collectively owned by South Africans.
Uniting South Africans
Also critical to the success of the build-up campaign and beyond is the on-going
implementation of a social cohesion action plan that was agreed to at the National Social Cohesion summit in Kliptown, Soweto last year.
"It is also an opportunity to look back at the road we have travelled since
deepen the gains of our freedom and democracy," he said.
"Going forward, it is an opportunity for us to work together to implement the National Development Plan - Vision for 2030 - as our nation's long-term vision and a basis for collective action and partnerships across society."
Struggle hero Andrew Mlangeni said: "A lot of houses have been built for the poor
since the dawn of democracy in 1994 and most of those houses have been
"While more people have access to clean water, however, my regret as a struggle
hero is that the service at our public hospitals leaves much to be desired. The future
to build this country is in our hands, so letís work together with government to
continue building a prosperous country."
Former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, said South
Africans should unite to tackle the struggle against poverty, hunger and
Human rights lawyer George Bizos,
who represented Walter Sisulu and Nelson
Mandela in the Rivonia Trial, said those who think that nothing has been done or
achieved since the dawn of democracy were doing the country a disservice.
Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Frene Ginwala, said while South Africans
should be grateful about their efforts to create a wonderful Constitution, government
should start printing comic books for the youth, explaining how the Constitution
"There must be civic education in all the public schools so that our kids can be
taught about the liberation struggle of this country. Again, all our public schools
should fly the national flag," she said.