President Cyril Ramaphosa has highly criticised government officials who have been found to have used public funds for their own benefit.
Delivering his Freedom Day message in Botshabelo, Free State, Ramaphosa said it could not be, that 27 years since the first democratic elections, there were South Africans who still lacked basic services.
“Our people are still being deprived of the most basic services like water because of poor planning, incompetence of some of us and corruption by some of us,” said Ramaphosa.
“Those tasked with service delivery do not care enough. Our people expect that those put in charge of improving their lives use the resources for that purpose. They should not steal resources that belong to our people and put them in their own pockets.
“Our people deserve better, they deserve the best that this country can give. We need to reflect on some of those missteps. We need to remind those in power that their preoccupation must be SA people, not themselves.”
Though Ramaphosa criticised corrupt politicians, he also highlighted the legacy of apartheid still affecting South Africans today.
“Even after almost three decades, the legacy of apartheid still determines what assets people can own, how safe they can feel and what schooling they receive and what jobs they can do,” said Ramaphosa.
“We must celebrate this day because it was hard fought for. Young people need to be told about the day. Today we have a country where all enjoy freedoms and human rights. We have a great constitution that is a shield and protection for all South Africans. We made great progress towards realising the rights of our people to a better life and advancing human dignity.”
The President further dedicated the day to women for playing a major role in the fight for freedom. He urged the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to create space for women in higher positions.
“Let us unite and celebrate together” – the rendition of the AU Anthem followed by the our national anthem “Nkosi sikelel’iAfrika” is accompanied by a Salute Flight by 3 Oryx Helicopters displaying the National Flag, the #SANDF Flag and a 21 Round Gun Salute.
#FreedomDay ???????? pic.twitter.com/abazOAe4dY
— Presidency | South Africa ???????? (@PresidencyZA) April 27, 2021
“Mbokodo, we salute you. We honour you and thank you for the struggle you waged to get our country to where it is today. The freedom that we enjoy today that we celebrate on the 27 of April is in large measure the result of the struggles that were waged by the women of our country,” said Ramaphosa.
“Do make sure that we see more and more of women in key roles in the defence force because we know they’re there. We want to see more women rising to higher positions in the military just as men do.”