Parliament’s Presiding Officers, led by newly-elected Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Amos Masondo, join millions of Africans in celebrating Africa Day.
Being cognisant of the importance of this day on our African calendar, Parliament wishes to pay homage to the forbearers who, on 25 May 1963, took the historic step and formed the Organisation of African Unity, an institution that would be the vanguard of the African people’s aspirations for freedom, unity and solidarity. As such, a free Africa would not have been possible without the sacrifices of the founding fathers and those African heroes and heroines, who fought to liberate our continent from the vestiges of colonialism, racism and apartheid.
As Parliament, we note the considerable progress our continent has achieved in social, economic, scientific, technological and cultural development as well as our increasingly prominent role in building a just and democratic world order. However, more still needs to be done to realise the vision of our forebears, as our continent remains plagued by poor governance, corruption and violent extremism.
Further, we reiterate the importance of youth and women in African discourse and development, noting Africa's population is the youngest of all the continents, with an average age of 19 in comparison to the global average age of 30.
With numerous celebrations planned around the continent to mark this historic day, for South Africa, Africa Day comes as the nation celebrates 25 years of democracy. The day further coincides with the inauguration of the 6th democratically elected President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.
Those who will form part of the 6th administration shoulder the hopes and aspirations of an entire nation and by extension, a continent, due to South Africa's significant role in Africa.
The Presiding Officers of Parliament, who will lead a delegation of Members of Parliament from both Houses to the presidential inauguration, urge South Africans to form part of this important event in celebration of yet another key milestone in our Constitutional democracy.
The inauguration follows the President’s unanimous election at the first sitting of the NA on Wednesday.
Happy Africa Day, Africa.
Issued by Parliament of The Republic Of South Africa