The African National Congress (ANC) said that it would unite all South Africans to create a better country for all those who lived in it, by re-popularizing the Freedom Charter. This declaration came at the ANC’s 103rd anniversary celebrations at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday; roughly 60 years since the Freedom Charter was first introduced.
“Sixty years later we celebrate the unity of the people of South Africa, and the prescripts of the Freedom Charter find expression in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” said President Jacob Zuma.
“The clauses of The Freedom Charter refer to all South African regardless of which part of the country they are from. Therefore, what we are expecting to do as the ANC is to popularize the Freedom Charter, because it has always been there but has somehow been put on the back burner,” according to ANC National Executive Committee member, Lindiwe Zulu.
During the bash, the ANC stated that as the ruling government of the country, it would continue to govern with the ideals which were enshrined in the Freedom Charter, further stating that the charter would assist in alleviating the country of the plights left behind by the legacy of Apartheid.
“With the preamble it can be seen that the constitution has its foundations in the Freedom Charter. Let us recognize that, under the ANC government, indeed the people will govern,” stated Zuma.
To meet the ideals of the Freedom Charter, the party vowed to push ahead with the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), which they were hopeful would address the ongoing issues of poverty, unemployment, job creation, inequality, security and land restitution.
Furthermore, they were confident the NDP would assist in fostering social cohesion amongst all South Africans.
“This plan once implemented will put in place a South Africa that belongs to all who lives in it,” says Zuma.
Despite the promises, Zulu said the party would be unable to fulfill these ideals in the Western Cape so long as the province was still being run by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
“It’s a challenge for us to implement the NDP as long as the DA governs the Western Cape,” she said.
Celebrations for the event itself kicked off with an enthusiastic rendition of the national anthem, as well as prayers from the interfaith community. Crowds were treated to performances by the Cape Town minstrels, with several musicians also entertaining the audience.
“The ANC today has finally arrived (in the Western Cape), because this stadium is full. The last time this stadium was full was at the 2010 World Cup,” said Western Cape ANC chairperson Marius Fransman.
Most supporters who flocked to the stadium were confident about the ANC’s ability to deliver on their promises.
For Pumela(26), originally from Kwazulu-Natal, the ANC had delivered the required resources such as clean running water and electricity, to his village back home.
“Everything I know is ANC. There is a lot of development in my area thanks to the ANC. There was no electricity and now there is. What I would like to see going forward is the eradication of squatter camps in rural areas,” he said.
Busisiwe (26) from Khayelitsha said there had been major differences since the ANC took power in the country. She referred to quality education as one such right, once denied to people of colour.
“Now that the ANC is here a lot of things have changed. Now we have jobs and we can study,” says Busisiwe.
The ANC went into townships in the Western Cape to gain support prior to the anniversary celebrations. They claimed they wanted to go to the heart of the struggle.
“We go to townships because this is where the people have struggled. This is where most of our support comes from,” says Zulu. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)