22 April 2004
Next Tuesday will mark a seminal point in the history of South Africa. The inauguration of the country’s third democratically elected President will be combined with the celebration of the ten years of freedom on 27 April 2004, the exact day democracy was born in South Africa.
This ceremony will involve over 6 000 guests among them Heads of State, international icons, diplomats and statesmen as well as an estimated crowd of at least 40 000 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. There will be eight big screens on the grounds to provide visuals for the expected crowd.
In order to avoid congestion on the day, international guests, with the exception of Heads of State and Government will be shuttled from Centurion Sports Ground to the Union Buildings.
In terms of mass mobilisation, the City of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni Metros in conjunction with the Gauteng government will provide transport from different destinations to the Union Buildings and the Caledonian Stadium where there will be a big screen showing the proceedings as they unfold.
Related to the above, the Caledonian Stadium will operate as a spill over venue to cater for people who may not necessarily be accommodated at the Union Buildings due to a lack of space.
In addition, there will be a live link up to over 100 big television screens mounted across the country and at Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs) in both rural and urban areas.
The event will also be marked by the traditional military salutes, a massive music concert and a gala-dinner, featuring the country’s top musicians drawn from all musical genres, sharing the stage with fellow international singers. This will also be marked by the rendition of a special ten-year song, composed by the Creative Collective. Linked to this, the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) is assisting all artists with their logistical needs. They have been a critical partner throughout this process and have already erected a stage at the Union Buildings with sound and lighting to be finalised tomorrow.
Accordingly, we are pleased to announce that after many months of hard work and swift planning, all systems and logistical preparations are almost complete to enable the nation to celebrate pride and dignity our achievements since 1994, and who we are and what we are becoming.
We would like to re-assure all South Africans that the inauguration and celebrations would be conducted in a safe and secure environment. Although there is no indication of any security threats, the security services have contingencies in place to deal immediately with any security incident or potential security threat. For security purposes, some of the main streets to and from the Union Buildings would be cordoned off and all the residents in the vicinity of the Union Buildings have been informed and arrangements have been made to accommodate their movements.
Given the massive nature of this event, we are confident that every attempt has been made to ensure that South Africans participate in this ceremony in a manner that will harness a sense of inclusivity, humility and a common nationhood in our pursuit to build a country united in its diversity. The celebration of our ten years of freedom is a tribute to the triumph and achievements of the nation to build a better life for all.
We call upon all South Africans to join hands to mark the maturing of our democracy and the inauguration of the President in a manner that gives a concrete expression to our continued unity as a people, for a better South Africa and a better world. In the spirit of peaceful celebration, weapons and bottles will not be allowed at any of the venues where the proceedings will take place.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)