Freedom Month Key Messages

Posted on Monday, 16 April 2018

By Communications

Category: Latest News

South Africa will celebrate Freedom Month in April to mark the country’s transition from the oppressive apartheid regime to a free democratic country. This year’s theme is “The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: towards full realisation of our freedom through radical socio-economic transformation”. 

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. Since then we have embarked on a joint journey to build a country that belongs to all who live in it. 

While much has been achieved over the last 24 years, our freedom remains incomplete without the economic emancipation of the majority of South Africans. Government is therefore advancing radical socio-economic transformation to create the type of society envisioned in the National Development Plan. 

Freedom Month activities will culminate in National Freedom Day celebrations on 27 April 2018 in the Free State. This year’s celebration coincides with the centenary anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. 

These struggle stalwarts epitomised our struggle for liberation. South Africa is the country it is today because of their countless sacrifices and that of many other South Africans who fought tirelessly to overcome the brutal apartheid system. 

Freedom Month is also an ideal platform for reflection on the progress made thus far in transforming South African society. Nelson Mandela said: “Let us never be mindful of the terrible past from which we come, memory should not be used as a means to keep us shackled to the past in a negative manner rather as a joyous reminder of how far we have come and how much we have achieved.”


Supporting Statements

Our freedom and the transformation of the economy are interlinked. 

  • South Africa has made significant progress in transforming from an apartheid state into a democratic one.
  • The freedom that many had fought so hard for however remains incomplete without the corresponding economic emancipation.
  • Transforming the economy is part of a process that began in 1994 to structurally change the economy to undo the deep rooted inequality.
  • Our transformation initiatives are helping us deracialise the economy and ensure the majority of South Africans enjoy the economic gains from our liberation.
  • Our country’s transformation is about positive change that is guided by the Constitution to create a society that has equal opportunities across all areas.

Building a free and prosperous society requires all South Africans to play their part.

  • In the spirit of Thuma Mina (Send Me) sweeping across our nation let us work to build the country envisioned at the start of our democracy.
  • Our nation is founded on the values of human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism, the rule of law and universal adult suffrage, as enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Over the last 24 years our democracy has restored the dignity of millions of South Africans and changed our lives for the better.
  • Let us continue to build a nation where the values of human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism, and the rule of law remain paramount.

The legacy of Madiba and Mama Sisulu inspires our freedom celebration.



  • Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu left an indelible mark on our society having laid the foundation for a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.
  • Through their selfless dedication in the struggle for freedom they helped secure the right for all South Africans to be a part of our democracy.
  • Their legacy lives on in our commitment to ensure a just and fair society for all, including the rights to dignity and freedom of expression.
  • We must pursue the dreams and aspirations of Madiba and Mama Sisulu as we continue to respect the basic human rights; and remain committed to the rule of law.
  • Let us stay true to their ideals, including his unwavering commitment to justice, equality and a non-racial South Africa.

All South Africans must continue to remove the barriers that still divide us.

  • South Africans must work together to remove all obstacles which still divide our society and strive to build on the many ties that bind us together.
  • Freedom did not automatically heal the divisions of the past, we must work to remove the obstacles that still divide our society.
  • There is more that binds us together as South Africans than that divides us, let us strive to build on our many ties.
  • We are now forging a national identity that is built on mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance.

Our actions are guided by the Constitution.


  • The Constitution is the foundation of our democracy; the very essence of what freedom means as defined in the Constitution.
  • 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.
  • It refers to the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion. It includes the right of freedom of expression and of association.
  • We must continue to strengthen the freedoms and protections we enjoy under our Constitution.


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