'ANC a threat to true democracy,' says party in Freedom Day message
An array of suggestions on how to achieve greater freedom for South African society were made by various organisations in marking the anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.
"Parliament, as the legislative arm of our democratic state, has a special role to play in achieving the South Africa for which so many sacrificed so much," said Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.
"Parliament prides itself in having repealed apartheid legislation and built a formidable new legislative framework with about 2 000 laws designed to help realise a better life for all."
Mothapo said that its oversight role continued to be deepened with inquiries into alleged irregularities at state-owned entities, ensuring greater transparency with certain state processes as well as ensuring legislation that best served South Africa’s needs.
'A new socialist society'
Meanwhile, the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said it continued its "fight for a new socialist society".
It called for "exploitation, unemployment, insecurity, poverty, hunger and inequality" to be thrown into the "dustbin of history".
It termed the country’s capitalist system "inherently corrupt".
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said, in a speech prepared for delivery in Soshanguve, that owning a house was the key to real freedom.
"Property ownership is about much more than simply having a roof over your head. It’s about building an investment in your future, and the future of your family."
Home ownership allowed one to unlock capital, create a sense of pride, and ensure an inheritance, suggested the DA head.
"At the stroke of a pen, poor people’s lives can be transformed across many generations. That’s real freedom."
Maimane said that when land expropriation without compensation was cited as a path to freedom: "Whose freedom exactly?"
Instead he suggested that: "Expropriating land so that the state can own it and lease it out to the poor won’t empower anyone."
The Freedom Front Plus also used Freedom Day to raise its concerns with the proposed land policies.
"The ANC, particularly with its adoption of the principle of expropriation without compensation, is jeopardising and destroying one of the pillars of democracy through its actions," said FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald.
"Therefore, the ANC is a threat to true democracy," the opposition politician said.
He also raised concerns over threats to Afrikaans education.