The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality says it is ready for Friday’s Freedom Day celebrations and it is looking forward to hosting the nation’s leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa will be joined by Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthetwa, as the two are expected to make their addresses to the people of Bloemfontein.
According to the municipal spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, the city has been working tirelessly to ensure that there will be sufficient security and that traffic will flow at a provincial and local level, as 18 000 to
20 000 people are expected to attend the event.
“Our Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, will also be present as the host to welcome the city’s guests,” Khedama said. The metro is currently seeing to it that members of the media are accredited and also states that there will be high police visibility on the day to facilitate law enforcement processes. Meanwhile, there have been activations all throughout Bloemfontein, including at the Central Business District as well as in the Bochabela and Rocklands townships as a means of raising awareness of this event and mobilising the masses to attend.
Free State Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) MEC, Mathabo Leeto, also expressed her pride in the fact that the province will host this year’s national Freedom Day celebrations.
In a statement issued earlier this month, Mthethwa said the celebrations provide an opportunity for South Africans to work together and unite around a common agenda to build a united and prosperous country as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP).
“Freedom Month (April) commemorates the historic occasion in 1994 when SA achieved freedom and democracy, where all its citizens became free from the discrimination and oppression, moving away from hatred, divisions and a painful history to build a common future together,” he said.
He further added that this celebration marks the strides made since the dawn of democracy and said while there have been significant improvements, challenges remain. The theme for the 2018 Freedom Month celebrations is “The Year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: United for a Radical Socio-economic Transformation”. This theme coincides with the centennial celebrations of late struggle stalwarts, Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, who would have turned 100 years old this year. This mass event will take place on Friday, 27 April at the Dr Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium in Rocklands, Bloemfontein.
The event is expected to start at 08:00.
There will be speeches from esteemed members of government as well as performances from various South African artists. Entry to the event will be free of charge.