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March 2021 1st edition

Learn more about freedom

Written by More Matshediso

Take a trip this Freedom Day to understand a little more about the history of South Africa and why we celebrate this great nation on 27 April.

Visiting historical sites across South Africa can help you to better understand the country’s rich history and give you a greater appreciation of Freedom Day.

Freedom Day is celebrated annually on 27 April to commemorate the first post-apartheid national and democratic elections held in South Africa on that day in 1994. It was the first time that anyone over 18 could vote, regardless of their race.

Vuk'uzenzele highlights some of the affordable places you can visit to learn more about South Africa’s history, including its stormy past, unique architecture and languages:

The Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum illustrates what life was like for South Africans under the apartheid system. It brings together a collection of dramatic photographs, videos, press clips, personal artefacts and moving stories.

The museum is situated at the Gold Reef City campus in Ormonde, Johannesburg.

The museum has permanent and temporary exhibits put together by a team of designers, historians, curators and film-makers.

Visitors can either book a guided tour or view the exhibits at their own pace.

Admission

  • Adults: R85
  • Pensioners, students and children: R70
  • School children: R40
  • Teachers: R45

Visiting hours

Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

For more information, visit www.apartheidmuseum.org, call 011 309 4700 or email info@apartheidmuseum.org.

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is situated outside Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. It commemorates the day former President Nelson Mandela was arrested on 5 August 1962.

It gives visitors a moment in history with a visitor centre and a world renowned sculpture. Following his arrest, the late President spent the next 27 years of his life in prison.

Admission

  • Under 12: Free
  • Aged 12 to 18: R30
  • Adults: R100
  • Adults 60 and over: R60
  • Scholars and teachers: R30

Visiting hours

Monday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm.

For more information, email: info@thecapturesite.co.za or call 072 351 0967.

The Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa.

It was built between 1666 and 1679 as a maritime replenishment station, but became a thriving settlement for military personnel and civilians alike.

The castle was the local headquarters for the South African Army in the Western Cape and today houses the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for the traditional Cape Regiments.

  • Admission
  • Adults: R50
  • Pensioners: R25
  • Children: R25
  • Booked school groups: R8

Visiting hours

Monday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm.

Email: info@castleofgoodhope.co.za call: 021 787 249 or 021 461 4673.

The Nelson Mandela Museum

The Nelson Mandela Museum in the Eastern Cape records the life of former President Nelson Mandela and his struggle for democracy, as well as the end of the apartheid regime.

The museum is housed at both the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu and the Bhunga Building in Mthatha.

The museum opened its doors 10 years to the day after Mandela’s release from prison. He insisted that it should not be a static collection and tribute to him, but rather a living memorial to his values and vision.

For more information, call 047 501 9500 or go to www.nelsonmandelamuseum.org.za

The Anglo-Boer War Museum

The Anglo-Boer War Museum is situated in Bloemfontein and tells the story of the major conflict between Britain and the two Boer Republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State, which raged from 1899 to 1902.

The museum is next to the Women’s Memorial, which commemorates those who perished in the British-run concentration camps.

Admission

  • Children: R5
  • Adults: R20
  • Pensioners and students: R15

Visiting hours

  • Weekdays: 8am – 4.30pm
  • Saturdays: 10am – 5pm
  • Sundays: 11am – 5pm
  • Public holidays: 9am – 5pm

For more information, email: museum@anglo-boer.co.za or call 051 447 3447 or 051 447 0079.

There are few more historical sites you can visit across the country, including the Cradle of Humankind, Robben Island, the Big Hole, Isandlwana Battlefield, the Afrikaans Language Monument, the Huguenot Memorial Monument, Union Buildings and the Voortrekker Monument.