South Africa celebrates Freedom Month under the theme: “Consolidate our Democratic Gains Gains”, to mark the country’s transition from the oppressive apartheid regime to a free democratic country. The first democratic elections on 27 April 1994 gave birth to our constitutional democracy.

For the majority of South Africans who had never voted before their dignity was restored and the country transformed to a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. It led to the emergence of a national identity built on a respect for each other and our love for the country.

Planned activities through the month will culminate in a national commemoration on 27 April 2022 in the Free State. This year’s Freedom Month celebration takes places as the country emerges after two years under the weight of COVID-19.

In the spirit of the month, it is time to come together as one nation to rebuild our country from the devastating effects of the virus. We call on everyone to use Freedom Month and Freedom Day celebrations to pull together.

There is more that binds us together as South Africans than that divides us, let us strive to build on our many ties. We have a national identity that is built on mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance.

During the month, South Africans are also encouraged to reflect on the progress made over our democratic journey. It is a time to recommit ourselves to the Constitution, which is the foundation of our democracy and the very essence of what freedom means.

The Preamble of the Constitution refers to a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law. The Bill of Rights reaffirms that everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.

Freedom Month forever resonates as a turning point in our history.The struggle freedom and the sacrifices many endured for our liberation led to our country’s first democratic elections on 27 April 1994. Through the power of the vote, South Africans made their stand against tyranny and changed the course of our nation. Our freedom was entrenched with the adoption of the Constitution of South Africa in 1996, which ushered in a new social order of constitutionalism. The Constitution enshrines the rights of every South African and explains our obligations as citizens to each other that allow us all to enjoy our freedoms.
We can never take our freedom for granted.  Our celebrations over Freedom Month reminds us that our freedom was not free.Our road to democracy required untold sacrifice, and many paid the ultimate price for us to be free.We will never forget how Black South Africans were systematically marginalised and exploited by unjust apartheid laws. They were stripped off their human rights including the right to vote, dispossessed of their land, their livelihoods undermined and freedom of movement curtailed. Our democracy has restored the dignity of millions of South Africans and changed our lives for the better. It is incumbent on each generation to safeguard our freedom and extend it.
Consolidating our Democratic GainsSouth Africa has made significant progress in transforming from an apartheid state into a democratic one. The values of human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism, and the rule of law remain paramount in our nation. Let us continue to work for freedom from poverty, unemployment, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.As a nation, we are stronger together and have more in common than that which divides us. Each citizen has a responsibility to take charge and play an active role in building the South Africa we want.
Together we can create a better tomorrow! Our history of division, injustice and suffering should inspire us to build a better and more united nation.We must continue to address the triple threat of poverty, inequality and unemployment.We must work to create a nation that has equal opportunities across all areas of society.We must also do more to create a society in which women feel safe and fully enjoy their freedom as men do.Abuse against women and children goes against the founding values of our constitutional democracy, which is built on human rights, human dignity and equality for all.As we commemorate Freedom Day, let us redouble our efforts to end the injustices wherever it emerges.

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