Witness Reporter
2 minute read
28 Apr 2021
06:20

Our viewpoint | Freedom Day

Witness Reporter

April 27 is a day that should hold great significance for South Africans because of what happened in this country 27 years ago but it’s been reduced to just another public holiday.

OPINION:


April 27 is a day that should hold great significance for South Africans because of what happened in this country 27 years ago but it’s been reduced to just another public holiday. Freedom Day is now a day where the governing party publicly pats itself on the back for its attempts to do right by the citizens of the country.

In 1994, South Africans eagerly anticipated their newfound democracy, hoping for profound social and economic change, but the country has remained highly unequal, with the situation worsening each year.

In 1994, South Africans eagerly anticipated their newfound democracy, hoping for profound social and economic change, but the country has remained highly unequal, with the situation worsening each year.

Unfortunately, the promise that April 27 once held when millions went to cast their votes in the first democratic elections has remained an elusive dream for many who are trapped in poverty and have no choice but to continue living in squalid conditions without access to even basic service delivery. The frustrated middle-class are forced to watch on helplessly as their taxes are plundered by those in government.

Meanwhile, the widespread youth apathy towards voting threatens what’s left of the country’s democracy.

The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture has given the world a glimpse of the rampant maladministration where resources that were meant for the development of the country were looted in collusion with those in government.

To say those who lost their lives fighting for this democracy must be turning in their graves would be an understatement.

There’s always a chance that, at the end of the commission, no one will be prosecuted for treason or corruption, just as has happened with many other inquiries into allegations of graft which ended up being a waste of taxpayers’ money.

There’s always a chance that, at the end of the commission, no one will be prosecuted for treason or corruption, just as has happened with many other inquiries into allegations of graft which ended up being a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Until those in government stop politicising and racialising service delivery and economic empowerment, the challenges that beset this country are only likely to worsen. A good place to start would be to end the exploitation of the poor for votes so that the upcoming local government elections can be truly democratic.

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