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Source: North West Provincial Government
Title: Molefe: Freedom Day celebration
ADDRESS BY NORTH WEST PREMIER, DR POPO SIMON MOLEFE, ON THE
OCCASION OF THE FREEDOM DAY CELEBRATION, Orkney, 27 April
President Thabo Mbeki,
Minister Ben Ngubane,
Honourable Members of the NCOP,
Honourable Members of the Provincial and National
Mayors Executive Mayors and Councillors,
Our Honoured Traditional Leaders,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a great honour and a privilege for me to welcome all of you
to this important occasion today. A special word of welcome goes to
those of you who come from outside the North West province. I have
no doubt that your stay in this the 'platinum province' will be a
We are gathered here today to celebrate nine years of democratic
rule in our country. It was on this day in 1994, that for the first
time all South Africans took part, as equals, in electing a
government of their choice.
This historic day marked the dawn of a new era of hope and
prosperity for our country. It presented us as a nation with an
opportunity to make a decisive break with our colonial and
apartheid past. This was an opportunity to proceed with the
strategic task of nation-building and reconciliation.
As we are gathered here today we dare not forget those whose
relentless struggle and love for freedom made Freedom Day possible.
We salute the warriors led by Dingaan, Bambatha, Hintsa and
Sekhukhune and other heroic leaders of our people who fought bitter
wars in defence of the land of their birth.
We salute the brave sons and daughters of our country who swelled
the ranks of the liberation movement in an effort to engage the
apartheid state on all fronts. Many of them never lived to see our
In remembering and honouring their selfless contribution to our
liberation, we must make a solemn commitment never to betray the
cause for which they paid the supreme sacrifice.
Theirs was a struggle for a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and
prosperous South Africa. It is a struggle we must continue to
As we look back at what the democratic government has done since
the 1994 election breakthrough we do so with a sense of
satisfaction - satisfaction that we have made and continue to make
considerable progress in our ongoing effort to erode the legacy of
apartheid and colonialism.
Throughout the length and breath of our country our people are
experiencing a gradual, step-by-step, improvement in the quality of
their lives. More than ever before, the masses of our people are
convinced that indeed the future looks qualitatively better than
the past. They attest to the fact that the tide has and continues
The progress we are making is a result of united action by South
Africans from all walks of life that have put their collective
shoulder to the wheel in the national effort to broaden access to a
better life for all.
In this regard we salute the volunteers who continue to take part
in campaigns aimed at improving the lives of our people. We also
salute all South Africans of goodwill in churches, NGOs, the youth
and women movement as well as the private sector who continue to
partner government in its endeavour to roll back the frontiers of
These selfless actions by South Africans from all corners of our
country are proof that the people's contract for a better South
Africa is taking shape.
Programme Director, the achievements we have made so far, while
commendable, must not lull us into a false sense of comfort and
At all times we must be mindful that the legacy we seek to
eradicate is of a deep seated nature.
It will require collective and relentless action by all South
Africans to lift from the shoulders of our people the intolerable
burden of poverty and underdevelopment.
We have just emerged from a two-day Imbizo. I would like to assure
the people of the North West that we as government have listened
carefully to what they had to say during the Imbizos. The concerns
our people raised will be uppermost in our planning and
As we respond to the challenges we face, many of which were raised
during the Imbizos, we must strengthen the people's contract for a
better South Africa. More importantly we must ensure that this
contract encompasses all South Africans acting in unity to build a
better future for all.
I thank you
Issued by North West Provincial Government
27 April 2003