Freedom not meaningful without social progress, says President Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says freedom cannot be meaningful when the broader society faces a slew of social ills, including unemployment and inequality.

Addressing the 2023 Freedom Day celebrations in Klerksdorp, North West, the President said many more gains stand to be realised to give true meaning to the concept of freedom.

“Freedom cannot be meaningful while communities live in fear of gangsters and women live in fear of men.

“We have done much to improve the effectiveness of the police and strengthen the criminal justice system, but we need to do much more,” President Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

President Ramaphosa said there is a need to build durable partnerships based on respect and cooperation between the police and communities.

“We need to unite as a society to end the violence that is perpetrated by men against women and children. This is a fight that we must all take up – both men and women -if we want to achieve equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities for all.

“As we undertake these great and difficult tasks, we are encouraged and inspired by those who brought freedom to our country and built our democracy,” President Ramaphosa said, adding that South Africans of all races remain committed to working together to build the country of their dreams.

President Ramaphosa said South Africans cannot build a better South Africa of equality, freedom and social justice for all if “they are a family that turns on itself”.

“Let us focus on what unites us. Let us always remember just how far we have come. Let us take counsel from the elders among us, understanding that it is a desire to be of assistance that motivates them.

“As elders, let us listen to the hopes and dreams of the young and take their concerns seriously,” President Ramaphosa said.

This year, the 27th of April marks the 29th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Freedom Day is commemorated every year to honour those unsung heroes and heroines who fought for freedom and paved the way for an equal, representative and non-racial society.

The national day also honours the masses of South Africans who resisted and suffered under the apartheid regime, faced death, injury and repression from the security forces. –

Source: South African Government News Agency