South Africans across the political divide on Friday celebrated the Freedom Day with a call to work to build the country.
South Africa attained its independence in 1994 and on Friday the country turned 24.
The opposition political party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called for speeding up the redistribution of land. South African Parliament is currently in the process of amending the Constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation. The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) said the ruling party has made progress since independence which should be celebrated.
Mlondi Mkhize, ANCYL national spokesperson, said, “A significant number of social, economic and educational gains has been ushered in by the ANC-led government to benefit the youth of our country.”
“Over the years, the ANC headed government has rolled out social grants to dent poverty amongst South Africans and youth; doors of learning have been opened so that the youth of our country can acquire the necessary skills to partake in the economy and be employed in various sectors of the economy, school feeding scheme has been made available for those coming from poverty-stricken households,” he said.
The ANCYL also praised the youths who participated in the liberation of the country.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, EFF national spokesperson said freedom without land means nothing to the black South Africans.
“The fundamental point of the struggle for freedom was always about the return of the land. This is the reason the liberation movement was formed following the defeat of our people in the colonial wars of land dispossession. We, therefore, call on land expropriation without compensation for equal redistribution. The South African constitution must be amended to allow this process to take place peacefully and in adherence to the rule of law,” said Ndlozi.
EFF said land will ensure economic and political freedom. They called for the redress to correct the historical injustices where the white minority rule perpetuated dispossession of land from blacks.
Ndlozi also called for the people to use their votes to transform the economic conditions with the aim of total economic emancipation.
He added, “The land is the alpha and omega of freedom, therefore until we have the land, we remain in the indignity of being foreigners in the country of our birth. The EFF reiterates that Freedom Day will only be the day our people have land so as to truly have the ability to call this country their home.”
The leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane addressed some party supporters in Soshanguve during Freedom Day.
He stated that they support land ownership by blacks but not the way the government intends to do it.
He said, “That’s why the DA believes in real land reform, where the ultimate goal is for South Africans to own their homes and their land, and where their right to own their property is not threatened by government. The DA wants you to own your home or the land you farm on. We want this to be your weapon against poverty.”
DA said the country have made progress since independence. Maimane called for an inclusive economy to include those left out. Enditem