Are We at Liberty?

By: Sive Matholengwe

If freedom is the right to act, think and speak without the restraint and absence of a despotic government, then what type of freedom have the legends of South Africa fought for?

South Africa did not start on the same footing as many other developed countries, and it is common currently as there have not been any major developments since the country was made democratic in the year 1994. True liberty is supposedly the freedom from poverty and deprivation, yet it is so strange that the freedom the national government has awarded its citizens has an unemployment rate so concentrated amongst the youth and black Africans, that continues to rise daily.

Citizens continually allow their guards down and enter unrecognized governmental contracts where they are unable to practice their rights as means to free themselves and their families from poverty. In doing this, there is hope in their hearts that their children will move to higher institutions, get better jobs so that everyone can live unobstructed lives.

Every parent’s prayer is for their child to live without any hindrance, a life that is not less than anything they ever desired. Now they sit with a saddening issue that these children must forget their dreams and fight for free education and the expansion of equal education opportunities for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, background, or religion through student-led protest movements like #FeesMustFall.

The question remains: Is it really freedom, even when the youth must continue the fight, brawling for what the government declares to have given the citizens? Once again, the government has shown that it would rather prioritize meaningless things over free education.

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life” – Bob Marley.

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