President Cyril Ramaphosa reminded South Africans that despite much progress made since the dawn of democracy, the country is not yet where it should be.
Ramaphosa was delivering the keynote address during the official Freedom commemoration event held in Kees Taljaaed Stadium in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.
With the country celebrating 28 years of democracy on Wednesday 27 April, Ramaphosa said he understands many people will question the value of the freedom that so many fought so hard and died for.
“Many people today will be saying what is this freedom worth? Yes, they are right to ask themselves that question. What are we celebrating?”
“We have achieved much, [and] much has changed in our country, but we also admit that we are not yet where we want to be. We want to be much better than where we are right now.”
“We want to be where the Freedom Charter, a document that underpins our constitutional architecture, where the Freedom Charter wanted us to be is where we want to be,” said Ramaphosa.
The president said South Africans have shown that they are determined to restore their vision in 1994.
“That vision has been blurred a little bit over time because there are a number of other developments that have come in.
“There have been forward movement and backward movement, but much as we have had diversionary events along the way such as corruption, state capture, other policies that may not have taken us where we want to be, we are determined and in the process of rebuilding that vision to ensure it takes us where we want to be.”
Ramaphosa also said South Africa has also recognised the injustices of the past.
“We are implementing a program to restitute and redistribute land to those who were dispossessed of their birthright. The land issue is still a burning issue among many South Africans and we are addressing it.”
Ramaphosa said the South Africa of today is democratic and open and based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law.
The president reminded South Africans that the country will no longer undergo oppression again and that it is our collective responsibility to build this nation and to continue holding the flag of our freedom high.