3 April 2014
Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane has called on all South Africans to uphold the freedom the country has enjoyed since 1994.
“Our freedom came at a tremendous cost and must be jealously guarded,” Chabane said on Thursday. “We must never lose sight of the sacrifices of those who came before us, so that we can be free today.
“It is up to us to carry the torch of freedom that so many of our fellow countrymen and women fought and even died for. Let us be the generation who celebrate their legacy.”
Chabane was speaking in Pretoria following a session of the National Communication Partnership (NCP), which brings together stakeholders in the communication field to discuss ways of uniting the nation around the 20 Years of Freedom celebrations.
The session coincided with the launch of 2014 Freedom Month.
Chabane said the fact that South Africa was now a better place to live in before 1994 was not empty rhetoric, as everyday life was full of examples of how things had changed since 1994.
“This is not simply a feel-good declaration,” he said. “It is evident wherever we look. It is tangible and very real for millions of South Africans as they go about their daily lives.
“We have worked tirelessly to build a better life for all our people, especially those who were deliberately underdeveloped and sidelined by apartheid.”
Chabane said South Africa’s 20 Year Review, released last month by President Jacob Zuma, confirmed the progress the nation had made.
He added that over the past 20 years the country had forged a national identity built on mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance, which formed the basis for nation building and social cohesion.
“We have much to celebrate and be proud of in this regard. At one time, we were a nation at odds with each other. Our peaceful transition stunned the world [at a time] when some predicted that the country would be divided by a civil war.”