Life in South Africa has improved after independence – President

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Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa’s standard of living, including access to clean water, electricity and education, has immensely improved after independence, said President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday during Freedom Day celebrations in Mpumalanga Province.

He said before independence, people were segregated according to skin color. The blacks were even not allowed to be buried in the same graveyards as Afrikaners.

Ramaphosa said there is no forced labor like during the Apartheid era. There is now free tertiary education. The government is distributing the land to the previously disadvantaged blacks to correct the imbalances of the past.

“In democratic South Africa, 81 percent of people live in formal housing. Nine out of 10 South Africans have access to clean water and more than 85 percent have access to electricity. In democratic South Africa, basic education and health care is no longer the privilege of a few, but available to all,” said Ramaphosa.

He said 96 percent of children of school-going age are at school while two-thirds of these learners attend no-fee schools.

“Today all South Africans are free to practice their cultures, all our eleven national languages enjoy equal recognition, and there are efforts underway to make sign language an additional national language. The South Africa of today is democratic and open. Government is based on the will of the people, and every citizen is equally protected by law,” he said.

He stated that there are challenges that the government is working hard to address like corruption, unemployment, poverty and the COVID-19.

Ramaphosa called on the people to fight against COVID-19, saying the pandemic is still within the South African shores.

South Africa’s Freedom Day celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on April 24 in 1994. It was the first non-racial national election where everyone of voting age of over 18 from any race group was allowed to vote. Enditem

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