South Africa commemorates 67th anniversary of the Freedom Charter

Sunday marks the 67th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. The Charter was adopted in an open field at the Congress of the People in Kliptown on 26 June 1955.

“We the people of South Africa declare for all of our country and the world to know that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. Black and white and the no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of our people”, the Charter reads.

The Charter which serves as a blueprint of the political, economic and social structure that the people of South Africa demand, continues to guide the governing party in its service delivery program. In addition, it has also been used as a foundation in drafting the National Development Plan (NDP).

Reflecting on the progress of the Freedom Charter today, the Chairperson of the ruling party, Gwede Mantashe says that the adoption of the mining charter led to the state and the people being the custodian of minerals which is an achievement for the Freedom Charter.

“I’m a mine worker by background and when we adopted the mining charter, one of the things we achieved was to give all minerals below the surface of the sand to the state on behalf of the people. The custodian of minerals in the state and the people as a whole which is an achievement for the freedom charter”, says Mantashe.

The document states, amongst others, that education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children. Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit. Mantashe is of the view that access to education has improved dramatically.

“Everything else will always depend on the work we do, for example, look at access to education has improved dramatically. We produce graduates that is why the biggest problem is no longer, that we don’t have access to education. The problem is, we graduate and struggle to get jobs so that means there is progress that we are making but as we make that progress we must also look into other aspects.”

Political parties, including the ANC and the EFF, are expected to commemorate Freedom Charter day.

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