There were a few documents that guided some of us. The Freedom Charter – if you were sympathetic towards the ANC and its allies – was one such document, which was adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown, Soweto (in June 1955) at a gathering that roughly represented the demographics of South Africa.
The Freedom Charter spoke about South Africa belonging to “all who live in it”, about the doors of learning and culture being opened, about the country’s wealth and the land being shared, about everyone being entitled to “houses, security and comfort”, among other things, and boldly declared that “no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people”.
But while the Freedom Charter expressed some wishes in terms of a future society, it did not really say how we would get there and how long it would take.
But at least, for many of us, it served as a guiding document towards the future we would love to have.
We never expected freedom to come so soon and, when the ANC and other organisations were unbanned, and Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners released in 1990, many of us were unprepared for what was to come.
BENEFITS OF DEMOCRACY
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An inside job
Yusuf Ganief, Executive Chairperson of Cape Town Festival and lead singer and manager of the music duo Desert Rose, invites us to join his journey in search of freedom.
Mind Your Language
Shadrack Ncele, an undergraduate law student, articulates his inner conflict and double consciousness as a young man born into isiXhosa culture who is now immersed in the English language.
The Year Of The Ark
Bonang Mohale, a leading businessman and Chancellor of the University of the Free State, recently delivered a speech at a masters’ and doctoral graduation ceremony, from which many South Africans can draw inspiration. This is an edited version of his speech.
Two Lies And A Half Truth
Marketing Campaign Strategist Jordan Pieters delves into the disparities between the constitutional freedoms that young South Africans have been born into, and their lived realities.
A Question Of Liberty
While there is still much to be done to achieve true freedom for all South Africans, media veteran Ryland Fisher shares why we have reason to celebrate.
Careful What You Wish For
Former newspaper editor Gasant Abarder refl ects on past fantasies about freedom and the imperfections that come with living in a democracy.
Being Homeless Isn't A Crime
According to Statistics South Africa, ours is the most unequal country in the world. And this inequality is visible in all of our cities. Unless you are living under a rock, you’ll be aware that South Africa has a large homeless population.
Living Without Chaos
South African social philosopher and poet Athol Williams weighs up the cost of unfettered chaos.
Nicola Rabkin shares what a typical, environmentally conscious day looks like for her family, who is striving for eco-mindfulness.
BUBBLES SANS BOOZE
Zari Sparkling, an alcohol-free bubbly, has been creating a new niche in the beverage sector since 2010.