SOUTH Africa commemorated 29 years of self-rule in the wake of an incessant energy crisis, millions beset by unemployment, crime and the scourge of gender-based violence. President Cyril Ramaphosa conceded to the challenges as he addressed the nation from the town of Matlosana in the North West province on Thursday. April 27 is marked yearly as Freedom Day.
“Freedom cannot be meaningful when South African homes and businesses are without electricity for several hours in the day,” Ramaphosa said.Millions perceptibly missed his televised address amid no electricity during the so-called load shedding that plunges communities in the crime-riddle country for hours.On Thursday, Eskom implement load shedding between stages Two and Four.
This is worsening the unemployment crisis, in a country denounced as being the most “unequal” in the world.“Freedom cannot be meaningful when more than 10 million South Africans
are out of work,” Ramaphosa said during an address at the local stadium.
“Freedom cannot be meaningful while communities live in fear of gangsters and women live in fear of men,” he added.South Africa gained independence in 1994 after decades of Apartheid, one of the most horrendous systems of government, which oppressed the majority black.
The African National Congress (ANC)-led government is criticised for presiding over a corrupt administration that has worsened the woes of the majority in the country of 61 million people.Sifiso Mkhize, a Johannesburg-based commentator, mirrored South Africans’ loss of trust in government.
“So nothing said by the government should be taken seriously because they excel in lying,” Mkhize said.
Ramaphosa is himself embroiled in scandal after vast amounts of allegedly undeclared foreign currency was stolen in his farm in Limpopo in 2020. The main opposition, Democratic Alliance (DA), on Freedom Day urged South Africans to register and vote in next year’s elections.
“This is meant to be a day to celebrate the gains made towards the realisation of our economic freedom, but unfortunately, we have nothing to celebrate because we are still not free,” Nicholas Nyati, interim DA
Youth Leader, said. He was speaking in the impoverished and crime-infested township of Nyanga in Cape Town. Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, extended congratulations on behalf of the administration of President Joe Biden.
“The magnitude of South Africa’s first democratic elections, in 1994, has never diminished, and it remains a beacon for so many people around the world who aspire to freedom, democracy, and self-determination,” Blinken stated.