Freedom Day commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on 27 April 1994. This day celebrates our freedom of choice, democracy and the freedom to vote in South Africa.
What does Freedom Day celebrate?
The 27th of April marks the first democratic election in 1994, freedom from colonialism and the courageous men and women who fought to liberate the oppressed. This was the first national election in SA in which the permission to partake did not depend upon race and has been a day of celebration for South Africa ever since.
In the words of old president Nelson Mandela
Speaking at the first Freedom Day anniversary President Mandela said; “As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1995, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future. On this day, you, the people, took your destiny into your own hands. You decided that nothing would prevent you from exercising your hard-won right to elect a government of your choice. Your patience, your discipline, your single-minded purposefulness have become a legend throughout the world…”
What does Freedom Day mean to you and me?
Since political freedom was achieved in 1994, South Africans have endeavoured to correct the wrongs of the past. While we have come a long way to securing equality and democracy there remains a large portion of our community that does not experience Freedom Day as they should. Poverty, crime and corruption are just a few of the many hurdles that South Africans face in their everyday lives and quests for freedom.
How can I make a difference?
Freedom Day affords us all the opportunity to make a pledge towards fighting against the legacy of racism and economic inequality as well as renewing our loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future. Click here to find out how you can volunteer and be part of the idea of a free and democratic South Africa.