Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has called on the nation to use Freedom Month to reflect on the country’s democratic gains as the dignity of millions of South Africans continues to be restored.
Addressing the launch of Freedom Month on recently, the Minister said this year’s commemoration will be used to reflect on the progress since 1994.
Freedom month takes place every year in April.
Minister Mthethwa said this year’s Freedom month theme is “Consolidating Our Democratic Gains”. This year marks 28 years since the dawn of democracy in 1994.
He said that under apartheid black people were neglected. “It therefore stands to reason that the provision of basic services such as electricity, clean running water as well as provision of other basic infrastructure to previously disadvantaged communities was at the very core of the first development blueprint,” said Minister Mthethwa.
The 2019 Baseline Survey of the Foundation for Human Rights shows South Africa’s progress since 1994.
According to the survey, 82% of the adult population live in formal housing.
Progress has been made in sanitation, water and electricity.
Minister Mthethwa said only 10% of adults reported to have access to water outside of their yards or their places of dwelling. With regards to electricity, an overwhelming majority of 92% had access to electricity.
Opportunities for young people
More recently, the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention has allowed young people to access opportunities.
Through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, government has made it possible for a vast majority of the black poor youth to access higher education, which remains one of the foremost channels to break the cycle of generational poverty.
The Minister said that through the geographical names project, government has also deliberately set the country on a path towards healing by changing names of towns and cities.
“Symbolism is extremely important. It is also through symbolism that people feel part of a community and the broader society and geographical name change is one of those potent assistive we have available as a department in effecting the desired social change,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za