23 April 2010
"Together deepening our democracy and celebrating our freedom”
Freedom Day is celebrated annually as a reminder of the struggle for a free and just South Africa, culminating in the first democratic elections held in 1994. South Africans of every walk of life participated in the making of our new country. This year, the celebrations will be held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and in line with the expression of Cabinet, we call upon all South Africans, as they did in 1994, to claim this day as their own.
On 27 April 2010, we celebrate 16 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa and the achievements we have made as a nation.
- 27 April marks another milestone in the history of our nation. It is time to reflect and celebrate the journey that we travelled to achieve our freedom and democracy.
- On this day, we remember the sacrifices of heroes and heroines from all walks of life in South Africa who sacrificed so much to ensure freedom for all of us.
- Nation-building requires every South African, young and old, to recognise the values and principles enshrined in our Constitution and avoid behaviour that may impact negatively on society.
- We celebrate the Bill of Rights, which distinguishes us among the nations of the world and guarantees all South Africans freedom from the repression and hatred that characterised our past. We celebrate living in a system that guarantees that never again will our humanity be taken from any South African, irrespective of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation.
Hosting the first FIFA World Cup on the African continent offers us an opportunity to share our humanity, heritage and the beauty of our country
- South Africa and indeed the entire African continent will display our dance, music, rich culture and heritage during the FIFA World Cup. The billions of people who will be tuned in will have no doubt that this is truly an African World Cup.
- Our national symbols and orders should serve as catalysts that unite us as we work together and become good hosts to our visitors.
- Our country is a proud home to eight world heritage sites and several museums. These include the famous Robben Island and Cape Floral region, Mapungubwe, Cradle of Humankind, Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park and Vredefort Dome.
We should not take our freedom for granted; we must continue to improve our lives through hard work and education
- Government is determined to ensure people acquire the requisite skills to build a winning nation. We will continue to steadily increase our investment in education, housing and the health of our nation.
- Government has adopted an outcomes approach to the delivery of its programmes and these are fundamental in pursing social justice and freedom.
- We should create conditions for economic empowerment for all our people and decent work and social programmes such as the Expanded Public Works Programme and social security.
Freedom Day is for all South Africans
- In the spirit of patriotism and promoting social cohesion, we call upon all South Africans, political parties, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, civil society, religious groups and old and young, to be part of the Freedom Day celebrations this year. The Government reaffirms its commitment to consolidate democracy and promote cultural diversity and social cohesion in South Africa.
The Minister of Finance has presented the Budget and currently each Parliamentary Committee is holding hearings with each department for which that committee is responsible. The committees also verify whether departments fulfilled their mandate in the previous financial year through the implementation of various programmes and whether they spent the taxpayer’s money properly.
There was a celebratory atmosphere in the Northern Cape city of Kimberley on 21 April as the provincial capital celebrated the 50-day countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. President Jacob Zuma got into the spirit of the 50-day celebrations by learning the Diski Dance, a specially created football dance with five unique African moves, which many South Africans are adopting ahead of the World Cup. As the countdown to the tournament kick-off continues, let us embrace the Fly the Flag Campaign and Football Fridays.
100 000 World Cup tickets sold within 24 hours
The first 24 hours of over-the-counter-ticket sales saw a total of just over 100 000 tickets being sold at the 11 ticketing centres across the host cities and the 600 FNB branches nationwide. Due to the high demand, tickets to many matches are sold out.
World Cup could pump R21 billion into the South African economy
Tourism South Africa Chief Executive Officer, Thandiwe January-McLean, says the FIFA World Cup will pump over R21 billion into the country's economy. “R12,7 billion of it will be from direct foreign spending in the travel and tourism industry and about 160 000 jobs will be created for South African citizens”, McLean said.
Renewable energy generation
The launch of the One Million Solar Geysers Campaign on 28 Aril 2010 should be widely communicated as a definitive move of the country towards renewable energy generation
South Africa to spend R15 million to fight child pornography
The Department of Home Affairs will spend R15 million on a public awareness campaign aimed at protecting children against paedophiles and child pornography in the run-up to the Soccer World Cup. The move is in line with the Films and Publications Amendment Act, 2009, which makes the use of children in pornography a crime
New King Shaka Airport ready for 1 May take-off
The Durban International Airport will handle its last international flights at the end of April as it makes way for the new R6,7-billion King Shaka International Airport. The new KwaZulu-Natal Airport will be officially opened on 1 May and will be inaugurated by President Jacob Zuma on 8 May.
South Africans break bread for peace and unity
People of all races, cultures and religions came together across the country to join hands and break bread in pursuit of peace and goodwill in South Africa. Simultaneous events in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Polokwane served meals from some of South Africa's best chefs to raise money for children in need.
R120 million saved by Human Settlements
The Department of Human Settlements has managed to save close to R120 million since Cabinet's call for government departments to contain their operational costs. The Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, told Parliament that cost-cutting was a key part of his drive to ensure the best possible returns on allocations from the fiscus.
South Africans hand in 30 000 guns
Over 30 000 firearms were surrendered during the firearms amnesty envisaged to remove a large number of illegal firearms from circulation. Of the 32 169 guns recovered, 27% were found to be illegal. This project is in line with government’s initiative to reduce the proliferation of firearms in the country.