WASTE-PICKING OVERLOOKED BY GOVERNMENT DURING LOCKDOWN

South Africa fares well against other countries in terms of recycling with reclaimers commonly known as the waste pickers, accelerating the recycling rate. The recycling industry offers income opportunities to just over 60 000 South African citizens most of which are informal reclaimers. This hand-to-mouth opportunity for reclaimers has been recently challenged by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) which has forced the country to implement lockdown.

The lockdown stringent measures have been gradually and carefully eased off but that is not enough for reclaimers to provide for their families as they did prior the lockdown. The reclaimers receive little relief from the government and have their sole way of earning an income, put on halt. Earlier in April, an application that was submitted by Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) to the North Gauteng High Court on behalf of reclaimers to be recognized as essential workers was dismissed. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that the application was rather “opportunistic” and that the work they do does not entail waste and refusal removal but rather a “collection and sale of abandoned material.”

Luyanda Hlatshwayo, a reclaimer from Bekezela informal settlement in Johannesburg and the head of the African Reclaimers Organization (ARO), says that the government is not giving them eyeteeth in this devastating time but in fact overlooking them.

In a radio show called COVID-19 approach hosted by Madibaz Radio, Luyanda expressed that the work they do helps many families because it requires no interviews nor documentation but one to wake up very early and collect waste. It is a significant approach to not only pollution but also the unemployment rate in South Africa.

With the government not helping, reclaimers like Luyanda are left to wonder how they will survive if their only means of making money has been put on hold. The African Reclaimers Organization head says that the waste pickers stay in informal settlement where information from the media takes a while to reach them.

“Most of the reclaimers only found that a national lockdown was being implemented on the first day of the national lockdown,” Luyanda said.

In a study conducted by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), it was found that reclaimers save municipalities over R700 in landfill costs and waste pickers only benefitting on average, a meagre R75 per day. Recycling is an economy on its own, if the government recognized waste pickers as essential workers, alternatives ways of collecting waste could have been made that would have seen the government benefiting and waste pickers making off a living , Luyanda said. “We are environmental agents; we are the backbone of the recycling economy.”

By Ashley Malepe

23/06/2020

UNEMPLOYED YOUTH TAKING MORE HARD BLOWS DURING THE PANDEMIC

Millions of young people in South Africa do not have formal education or any form of training that could assist them in securing an employment. A report was released by Statistics SA in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), stating that just over an approximated 8 million out of 20.4 million youth in South Africa are without a job. The youth unemployment rate is only expected to rise henceforth due to the lockdown if the government does inject more money to agencies like the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) that tries to curb the rate from rising.

 The pandemic of COVID-19 has encumbered economic development and prospects aimed to improve the lives of young citizens in South Africa. NYDA CEO, Waseem Carrim told Madibaz Radio on the COVID-19 report that they have been tasked by the government to offer relief funds to youth of South Africa during the pandemic and lockdown. This forms part of the development of the youth intervention plan that was announced by the President, Cyril Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (SONA). This comprehensive intervention plan includes paid internships, opening of space that offers young people working experience and agile skills development. “the government has been trying to assist the youth of South Africa in many ways, one recent way was when they offered a special grant to the unemployed,” Carrim said.

The NYDA has a limited budget that they can spend to help young people and that is a backfoot as the budget cannot stretch to the lengths where all expectations of the youth will be met. When a relief fund was established by the agency, almost eight thousand of applications were received and only one thousand could be assisted. However, the NYDA still remain relevant and committed to assist the youth by running a handful of initiatives to meet the youth halfway such as assisting the youth in applying for the relief fund.

The NYDA CEO says that the COVID-19 pandemic has in the same breath helped the agency and the government set foot towards a positive path as far as the youth is concerned, “as much as the COVID-19 comes with its own challenges it also gives us a reason to be hopeful for the future.”

Waseem Carrim encourages the youth to be more active and entrepreneurial in their communities as employment in South Africa will remain an issue for some time and mostly affecting them.

By Ashley Malepe

24/06/2020

COVID-19 Return to Campus info pocketbook

To assist you in adjusting to new ways of working, studying, lecturing and living at Nelson Mandela University in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the University has produced a Return to Campus pocketbook.

The 20-page pocket-sized reference publication is available in both printed and electronic format. It is also in the process of being translated into isiXhosa and Afrikaans.

The COVID-19 Return to Campus pocketbook includes information on:

·     What COVID-19 is

·     COVID-19 prevention measures

·     Steps to take before returning to campus (acquiring your Personal Protective Equipment), mandatory online COVID-19 training for staff and how to book screening testing

·     Do’s and Don’ts as you return to campus, and

·     Key contacts 

The pocketbook is an abbreviated version of a comprehensive COVID-19 Nelson Mandela University Handbook, which is in development.

The Handbook will contain all new protocols, standard operating procedures and other guidelines to help each of us navigate the many behaviour changes and new ways of being during these unprecedented times.

The digital pocketbook is housed on the new Return to Campus webpage or by contacting Lyndall.sajoe-derrocks@mandela.ac.za for printed copies. 

It is also available on the COVID-19 online screening tool https://webapps.mandela.ac.za/screening site which staff and students need to use twice daily in monitoring their own wellbeing.

Download the pocketbook

https://www.mandela.ac.za/www-new/media/Store/documents/corona/RTC/home/Mandela_Uni_Covid-19_Pocket_Guide-(DIGITAL).pdf

Coronavirus Task Team

Communication and Marketing Workstream

Student activism had a substantial role on transforming education system

Students have always fought for their rights in South Africa and even during the implausible times of injustice, inequality and divisiveness, students have been agents of revolution. It is a continuous trend from its earliest existence and was associated particularly to the marginalized black South Africans.

Student activism may be understood as actions or practices that seeks to change the way the system functions and challenge the particular structure whether in politics, society or academia. Activism of students in the society played a significant role in corroding apartheid laws that continued to exclude black students. Throughout the late 1960’s and the mid-1970’s, South Africa encountered countercultural instances of political violence that revolutionized modes and ideas of uprising, breaking regulations in various ways, some expressly linked to anti-apartheid and racialized imperialism policies and others implicitly political in the context of counterculture .There was an upsurge in the protests against apartheid and its separate and unequal education system.

In protest against the introduction of Afrikaans as medium of Instruction in local schools, school students displayed their strong commitment to social activism and were activists in foremost way, leading in the 1976 Soweto uprising, which invaded black university campuses at the time. As far as South African struggle is concerned, it is usually considered a void on the graveyard between the mid-1960’s and the mid-1970’s. Many students were murdered and tortured for rising up for their rights. Within the prominent and prevailing textual criticism, the Soweto uprising of 16 June 1976 culminated in a prolonged period of civic peace. About one day after the Soweto revival massacre of 16 June 1976, approximately about 400 white students from Witwatersrand University were irritated by the reckless actions of the government of that time in Soweto for murdering students. They then joined forces and marched in response to the killing of students across Johannesburg’s City Centre.

Yet again, recent trends in 2015 to 2016, the students exhibited a strong commitment to opposing hiking university fees and to decolonize pedagogy which led to several institutions being closed down. Many students were penalized, killed, tortured, and subjected to multiple mishandlings. This was prevalent to practically all higher education institutions. Recent disorder on campuses may represent a strong connection between universities and social change, particularly as society is negotiating a conventional definition of social status, race, and ethnicity .Student protests are focused on issues impacting students on or off the campuses and the activism of students in higher education has been a key issue throughout the country challenging access to high quality free decolonized education . Signed into law in 1996, the constitution marked the end of South Africa’s apartheid and the charter of rights made it a duty for the government, by reasonable steps, to make more and more education accessible. The #FeesMustFall protest from students stimulated new initiatives at the higher education institutions and launched an ongoing national discourse for the promotion of tertiary access and achievement by predominantly disadvantaged black students in order to eradicate racial inequality and dismantle patterns of oppression. The higher learning institutions saw a significant push for structural racism, particularly during student protest. The shift in status of black graduates had been called for an academic programming that is perceived as Eurocentric to be revamped. Students demanded free education in many respects to abolish tuition rates and on the other hand to ensure that South Africa’s post-apartheid content, methods and teaching skills are free from Eurocentric influences.

The #FeesMustFall has rocked the politics pillars of South Africa. The higher education sector has been a failure in recent years. University systems has seen an ongoing violence in many institutions which have left some campuses infuriating students and the police. Developments in South African universities have given rise to a continuing national debate on increasing educational access and advancement for students of color, shattering ethnic inequalities and undermining the disparity of opportunities.

Universities haven’t done much since 1994 to open up various components and sources of information in a new way and exploratory ways. Although all universities have a new inclusion, justice and transformation and reform agenda but systems, institutions, and epistemology have not significantly changed. There may be policies, but they are not ready for implementation.

Since June is a youth month. It is very vital to remind ourselves of the noteworthy role played by students particularly on transforming the education system that directly impact them.Student activism encouraged institutions to focus on the fulfillment of these undertakings.Students demanded their outcries and their rights to be considered. Rights of Africanized and decolonized higher education emerged as a key criticism and activism aspect, articulated vividly by student movements in South Africa. Institutional practices are generally deemed non-democratic if students are excluded, especially when spoken from their structures and developments when not represented.

Imagery: Student marching for fees to fall

Source: The Conversation

Caption:  rights to free quality education in South Africa

Source: https://news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/nmmu-students-protest-to-demand-reopening-of-campuses

: Heleta, S,2016, ‘Decolosing Higher Education’:Dismantling epistemic violence and Eurocentric in South Africa’, Transformation in higher education 1(1),a9.

http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/the.v1i1.9

The Conversation

By Sanele Thwala

Planning critical to success, say Madibaz cricket graduates

Planning critical to success, say Madibaz cricket graduates

Forward planning to ensure they could handle both their academic and sporting commitments was crucial to their success, say Madibaz cricketers Matthew Christensen and Luphumlo Ncanywa.

The Nelson Mandela University student-athletes graduated this year, Christensen with a BCom in business management and Ncanywa with a doctorate in chemistry.

Their journeys through varsity life were quite different though, with the 23-year-old Christensen doing his degree from 2015 to 2109, while Ncanywa, 32, began his studies back in 2005.

Besides proving themselves in the academic world, both made their mark on the cricket field for Madibaz.

Batsman Christensen rose to play for the EP Amateur team and attended the national academy, while Ncanywa, also a batsman, showed his talent by hitting a century in his first match for the varsity’s George campus side.

Born in Middledrift, the same Eastern Cape village as former Proteas fast bowler Mfuneko Ngam, Ncanywa said an interest in science led him to Nelson Mandela University.

“I enrolled for a BSc in chemistry in 2005, but I wasn’t doing so well,” he recalled. “Rather than quitting, someone during open day introduced me to polymer chemistry.

“Without informing my parents, I signed up for that and ended up obtaining that qualification.

“After working at [tyre company] Goodyear, I returned to studying in 2012 to try to obtain honours. I met Prof Paul Watts who introduced me to continuous flow chemistry and that has led to my doctorate.”

He said his philosophy was that life would always present obstacles.

“You need to understand this and know that you have to overcome them to achieve your goals by planning in advance. Also, you need to balance this with taking time out for some fun.”

Christensen also emphasised how important it was to prioritise academic commitments, especially in the first two years.

“First-year students need to plan carefully and finish as many modules as you can as early as you can,” he said, adding that the challenges multiplied if you were considered for representative teams or academies.

“Don’t be tempted to take it easy during your first and second years because if you can get the bulk of your studies done you will enjoy your sport much more as there won’t be as much pressure.”

Both cricketers underlined the importance of receiving support from parents and friends, as well as lecturers and Madibaz Sport management.

“Sometimes I had to schedule my practices for odd times to fit in with my study commitments,” said Christensen, who grew up in Cape Town but now lives in Port Elizabeth.

“The coaches and management were very understanding and supportive. A big thanks must go to [EP Senior Provincial coach] Piet Botha as he was always willing to assist if I had to write a test or leave a practice early.

“Mr Riaan Osman [Madibaz Sport deputy director] also played a tremendous role, especially in my first few years, helping me with the logistics off the field and the admin side of things for missing classes.

“That was essential to create harmony between sports and academics, while most lecturers were also very understanding when there were clashes in our commitments.”

Ncanywa reiterated Christensen’s views, saying his “excellent support system” was invaluable in him realising his dreams.

“There were always challenges on the academic front, but excelling was my number one priority so I relied heavily on the support I received from all quarters.”

For Christensen, his parents’ approach to his development was a significant factor.

“They were always believers in a good education. They said although they would never be able to guarantee that I would be a professional sportsman, the one thing they could guarantee me was an education.

“But they never put pressure on me to perform and that, in a strange way, instilled a desire in me to make sure I performed in all aspects of life.”

Despite the various challenges of excelling in both spheres, the importance of team camaraderie is not lost on Ncanywa.

“In my first official game for NMU cricket I scored a hundred and my coach gave me the nickname Centjie [Century]. Everyone in the team knows me by that nickname.

“Since I have obtained this qualification they have begun calling me Dr Centjie,” he added, laughing.

Madibaz graduates driven to balance sport and studies

Drive, old-school discipline and time-management skills are shared traits of the latest crop of Madibaz Sport graduates.

That – along with support from their families, friends, lecturers and coaches at Nelson Mandela University – have seen these student-athletes excel in their chosen fields.

Rugby scrumhalf Dundre Maritz, who graduated with an honours (cum laude) degree in economics, believed an unwavering commitment across the board had been his key to success.

“My mantra was what my father always told me to do – ‘to show up’,” said the 24-year-old, who had been a key figure in Madibaz gaining promotion to the Varsity Cup.

“Every day you need to show up in terms of work ethic, commitment, loyalty and determination.

“Looking back to matric, I probably should have been the last person to make it to where I am today. But I made a choice to rebuke mediocrity.”

From the onset, Maritz associated himself with individuals from various spheres who could help with his progress.

“They have played a massive role in my development as a student and athlete. I always had and still have access to valuable expertise and wisdom that you simply cannot buy.”

Supporting his sense of commitment was netball player Lindokuhle Manyisa, who sported a diploma in civil engineering.

“It is all about having discipline,” she said. “I had to pitch up for every practice and game, while keeping up with my academics.

“My coach, who rooted for us to do well academically, also motivated me.”

She said her teammates were brilliant on court and in the classroom, which made her believe that she could do it too.

Her message was to be as dedicated in your academics as you were in your sport.

“It’s not easy, but it’s possible.”

Alex Penhall, who is busy with his honours in psychology, said it was important to absorb the holistic experience of varsity life.

“I would say students must enjoy every second they get because time goes by so fast,” said the hockey star who believed discipline on and off the field was key.

“Manage your programme well and know when it is time to have fun and when it is time for work.”

Penhall said the Madibaz management team lent plenty of support, especially when it came to handling the inevitable injuries.

“There was always patience and understanding and that, combined with my passion for the game and will to succeed, drove me.”

Hannah Werth, a BSc graduate and top water polo player, emphasised the importance of always delivering her best, a quality that netted her academic and sports bursaries.

“The sports bursary was a great help, but to reach your full potential you have to give absolutely everything in all aspects,” she said, pointing to the fact that the sports aid motivated her to study hard, which led to the academic bursary.

She also spoke about finding the right balance.

“There is a time to work and a time to train, but importantly, there is a time to rest and have fun.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t add to that pressure.”

By his own admission, soccer player Kaashif Jassen faced tough academic times, but the support structure in his personal life and at the varsity was instrumental in him graduating with a degree in human movement science.

“I was challenged in my academics – a lot,” he recalled. “I think my peers and lecturers can testify to that. But their support was critical.

“Also, my friends have been crucial to my growth and successes. It is very important to have people around you who not only make you happy, but push and motivate you.”

Volleyball ace Bogolo Moloisi, now with an advanced diploma in business studies behind her name, said the backing she had received on the academic front was essential to her growth as a player.

“The biggest thing was the letter [of permission] when you needed to go away for games. I am so thankful that I had such supportive lecturers, because I know that there are some who reject those letters.”

She also emphasised the importance of time management.

“Balancing academics and sports is not easy. On one side you need to get that qualification, but there is also this sport you are so passionate about.

“The fact that I had the same load of work as other students was hard. I just developed my time management skills and learned to prioritise.”

Commitment was non-negotiable, said Moloisi.

“It is not easy, but nothing that is worth anything ever is. There will be hard times but as long as you have the desire you will find a way to make it all worth it.”

Sprinter Aidan Tuohy, who graduated with a sports management degree, emphasised the importance of a support structure and the role his parents and coach had played in helping him balance the workload associated with sport and academics.

“My parents would motivate me before every race and they were always proud of me no matter where I came. They just knew how to take the pressure off,” he said.

“It was the same with the Madibaz coaching staff, who helped me to work on my weak points. They also understood the importance of studying, allowing us to re-schedule training when there were academic commitments.”

Tuohy is also a proponent of proper planning.

“You have to stick to a timetable to balance academics and sport, because if you don’t, your marks will slip and you may under-perform in competitions.”

He enjoyed meeting new people, but emphasised the importance of controlling your lifestyle.

“Go out and socialise, but you must learn to balance social and athletics life and never forget your priorities in order to meet your goals.”

Cleaning team steps up for University deep clean

Our cleaning teams are leading the way so that other University staff and students can return to campus in a phased approach when given the go-ahead.  A team of 20 cleaners have been sanitising areas that will be used by staff and students on their return from 1 June.

Last week, in preparation for the deep clean, all Cleaning Managers received COVID-19 specific training.

To ensure that the cleaning teams were protected, they were collected from home and deployed to various sites. At the end of each day, the cleaning teams return to the central point for a dress down, sanitisation and rescreening.  They are then taken home after leaving their PPE to be washed and sanitised.

Deputy Director of Support Services, Nikki Brown says “Cleaning in the “new normal” has required a lot of research, sampling and testing of various products together with an entirely new view on cleaning, in order to ensure that the cleaning that is done, is effective and compliant.

In addition, a major challenge has been that of finding new ways of working since many of the staff are unable to work due to age or pre-existing conditions, making them vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.

“We have tried to find solutions that will assist with the sanitising processes that do not require daily manpower.  For example, automated air sanitising dispensers, UV sanitisers and self-usage hand sanitiser stands.”

She says new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs and training have been developed and staff trained regularly on the basic COVID-19 rules.

“We have had to learn about decontamination, risk assessments, virus control and much more. Although a little scary, it has been a huge learning experience for all concerned,” she says.

(via the university portal)

How to Save Money at the Movies

Going to the cinemas to watch something that nobody else has seen, or something that you’ve awaited for a long time emits such a powerful feeling of excitement. Nowadays, it emits a feeling of excitement and sadness, because movie theatres are expensive! On an average day, movie tickets cost almost R100 and you’re still supposed to have snacks too?

Fortunately, there are ways for you to save money and have tickets and snacks for under R150. First, you would need to choose a cinema. If you choose Nu Metro, you’re better off going to see a movie on a Wednesday. Every Wednesday, Nu Metro runs a special with reduced prices, where you can see a movie for as little as R55 to R65! A regular-sized bucket of popcorn, on average, costs R38. Add snacks and a drink that you’ve bought beforehand from Spar or Pick N Pay (that you may or may not have to sneak in), and you’re in! You will then be able to enjoy your movie and snacks without hurting your wallet.

Ster Kinekor on the other hand, has been famous for their Tuesday special for years. After realizing that people came to the cinema more on Tuesdays, they decided to introduce a membership card. This ‘SK’ card, is free of charge, and can be applied for online. Every Tuesday, when you decide to see a movie, all you have to do is enter your membership number or swipe your card and you get an instant 50% off of your movie ticket! To add to this bargain, Sterk Kinekor also has a Tuesday snack special, where you can get a snack combo for as little as R40 (although all the snacks are small in size). So at Ster Kinekor on Tuesdays, you can enjoy a movie and snacks for under R100.

When cinemas are allowed to re-open, do not hesitate to get a Scene Card from Nu Metro and an ‘SK Club Card’ from Ster Kinekor, they may just earn you a free movie!

Sources of Information: Ster Kinekor, Nu Metro.

Caption : Nu Metro Cinemas 

Image Source : mybroadbad

By Leigh Jason

Madibaz coach instils combination of academics and sport

Madibaz coach instils combination of academics and sport

Madibaz squash mentor Jason le Roux believes a sensible combination of academic focus and sporting ambition can produce graduates worthy of making an impact on society.

The 37-year-old coach, who is also a leading player, has had an influential role in Nelson Mandela University’s squash fortunes since he moved to Port Elizabeth from East London in 2011.

After studying sport science and doing his honours at Nelson Mandela University, he was on the verge of heading to Cape Town in 2015 to become the UCT squash coach.

“However, in December [2014] an opportunity opened up at the Eastern Cape Academy of Sport, where I did my internship during my honours year,” he said.

“I was fortunate to get that position after applying and am now the acting co-ordinator for the Madibaz High Performance Centre at Nelson Mandela University.”

As a player for the varsity, Le Roux took over the coaching position when former Eastern Province player Richard Driscoll decided to leave.

“At that stage Richard was happy to move on and asked me if I would mind taking over the coaching of Madibaz squash,” said Le Roux. “Since 2013 I have officially been coaching Madibaz Squash and been the chairperson for the squash club.”

Competitive by nature, Le Roux, who has done the Ironman SA race in Port Elizabeth, said his aim for the players was to always achieve the best result possible.

But he acknowledged the top priority for student-athletes at the varsity was academics.

“As a mentor to them I want them to see that squash is a sideline to their future and studies,” he said. “But that does not mean you can’t give it your all on the court.

“Once you know the time you have for it, give it everything in that time and seek enjoyment out of improving and being the best you can be.

“I want players to create memories, stories and pride in themselves about what they achieved, both individually and for the team.

“Also the balance [with studies] is essential and the networking and what you learn from competition and training and how it develops you are vital. Don’t ignore it.

“The difference between you and the next person in the job interview can be your sport achievements and bosses like to see that you are a balanced and disciplined person.”

Le Roux emphasised the enjoyment side of the game rather than putting too much pressure on oneself as a player.

“My main goal as a coach is to keep these players playing squash and to help them enjoy squash and want to improve,” he added. “From there it is coaching them to improve and how to be their best.

“The most important issue I try get across is not to quit. Try to enjoy squash and the training, or the games only if that is what you want.

“If you can find the element of fun first, then you can look to grow in the game.”

The coach said the Eastern Cape region was blessed with considerable squash talent. Madibaz have gone through several years of success under his leadership.

From 2012 to 2015 they won the men’s Super league, a title they also claimed in 2017 and this year. They won the men’s first league title from 2012 to 2017, while the women’s team have been crowned first league winners in the past two years.

“There are plenty of exciting young players, but the struggle is to keep them in the Eastern Cape and to get them to study at Nelson Mandela University,” said Le Roux.

“At the moment four of our top five men and four women achieved top 10 rankings at schools level.

“But varsity squash is different and the maturity level and disciplined training takes over, so you don’t always have the top juniors coming through.

“For example, Kyle Schwarz achieved Madibaz No 1 and made the USSA squad without being a top junior.”

As the team’s No 1 player, Le Roux said he definitely tried to “lead by example”.

“It’s the best way to influence younger students,” he said. “It is more challenging now with the addition of a new baby, but rewarding seeing people grow in their sport.

“Seeing them wanting to be the best they can be while continuing with varsity and their futures is very encouraging.”

(communications)

Happy Freedom Day

This years theme is “Valuing Our Freedom In Difficult Times

”…And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future.”

On the first commemoration of the holiday, President Nelson Mandela addressed Parliament

On the 27th of April 26 years ago, South Africa held its first democratic elections. Freedom Day was set to mark the liberation of South Africa and its people from a long period of colonialism and White minority domination (apartheid). 

Before the elections, South Africans faced racial segregation which was enforced by the National Party to prevent inter-racial activity.

Here is a basic timeline that led up to the first elections:

1948 : Apartheid officially began. The National Party introduces it to enforce separate developments of racial groups. It banned inter-marriage and social integration between races.

1960: Demonstrations discarding their passbooks to protest apartheid. Police kill 69 people and injure hundreds in the Sharpeville massacre. The ANC and other organisations are banned.

1962: Nelson Mandela is imprisoned.

1990: ANC and other organisations are unbanned. Nelson Mandela released

1992: The Bisho Massacre and other protests which led to the negotiations that would end protests. A multiracial general election is agreed.

1994: The first democratic election is held. In May, The ANC is voted into power and Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as the president of South Africa.

The years after that led to further historic moments such as;

  • The adoption of the National flag and the National Anthem
  • Rugby World Cup
  • The development of the Coat of Arms
  • further elections

On this day, people usually celebrate by visiting historic places such as Robben Island and by hosting parties. However, due to the lockdown, we are all encouraged to stay indoors and to celebrate in our homes.

The theme this year is “Valuing Our Freedom During Difficult Times”

This theme is set to encourage us to stay home so that we may enjoy our freedom in the future. We are also encouraged to continue staying mindful and report abuses by those set to protect us in a lawful manner.

It is also important to be grateful for healthcare workers, cleaners, retail workers and all essential workers who continue to work despite the risks they are exposed to.

Freedom Day is about making history matter. About helping each other create a prosperous, just, equitable and equal society in which we protect and sustain each others humanity.

And lastly, this day serves as a reminder that the guarantee of our freedom requires us to be vigilant against corruption and to work towards eroding racism, inequality and enforcing our rights.

What is happening today?

Today thousands of prisoners are set to be released due to overcrowding and protests.

The President is set to address the nation via Live stream.

In conclusion, Freedom Day reminds us to stay united, remember our history and fight to enforce our rights.