Freedom Day 2021: “Despite the huge service delivery challenges, significant strides have been made on all fronts to improve the quality of the lives of our people.”
NORTHERN Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul has assured residents of the Province that his administration is working hard on addressing the service delivery challenges faced by various communities.
Saul said during his Freedom Day message on Tuesday that the recent flare-up in protests is of great concern to the local government.
He pointed out that the protests are “not a solution” to the problems facing the Province.
The commemoration of Freedom Day comes just a day after protests erupted in Kimberley, with various communities barricading a number of roads to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the lack of service delivery.
Saul acknowledged residents’ rights to protest but urged them to find alternative ways to express their grievance.
“Over the past few days we have witnessed a number of community uprisings and protests in various parts of our Province. People do have the right to protest and to express their dissatisfaction over a whole lot of issues regarding service delivery. However, there is no right to destroy public or private property,” said Saul.
“We have a plan in place and have started working flat out to address the issues raised by communities. When we celebrate this day, we should bear in mind that our freedom was not free and therefore can never be taken for granted. All of us have the duty to safeguard it and extend it to the generations that will come after us.”
This year’s Freedom Day commemoration was held under the theme ‘The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: The meaning of freedom under Covid-19’.
Saul said that local government bears the responsibility of ensuring that all citizens are safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We celebrate Freedom Day at a time when we are still fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the huge service delivery challenges, significant strides have been made on all fronts to improve the quality of the lives of our people. Therefore, we all have the duty to build on the significant progress made in the past 27 years of democracy.”
Saul advised residents to continue to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations and he called on the elderly to get vaccinated.
“We call on the residents of the Northern Cape to play their part in the national effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we also make a plea to the elderly, who are of the age of 60 and older, to register and get vaccinated.
“We wish to end by extending our gratitude to our essential services and front-line workers who continue to give their all in the battle against Covid-19. Let us continue to fight the virus while striving for greater inclusion and social cohesion,” Saul concluded.