While we’re celebrating the first post-apartheid elections held on this day in 1994, it is also a day to ask ourselves what freedom means to all citizens.
When everyone has a house to call their home- that’s freedom; when human rights violations like violence against, particularly, black lesbian women and transgender people, doesn’t occur on a daily basis- that’s freedom; when there aren’t threats, challenges and attacks on journalists and free speech- that’s freedom; when no child needs to go to school hungry- that’s freedom; when we don’t have close to 40% unemployed people in SA- that’s freedom; when we fully respect one another and each person’s beliefs-that’s freedom.
Our country has a Bill of Rights that is second to none, which is widely recognised as one of the most developed charters in the world. Let’s celebrate that and how far we’ve come. But let’s also think of all the challenges we need to overcome before we can truly celebrate Freedom Day.