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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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    South Africa observes Freedom Day ahead of a challenging general election.

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    Somali Magazine: South Africa celebrated Freedom Day on Saturday. 30 years ago, millions of South Africans braved enormous lines to vote in the country’s first democratic elections, bringing an end to decades of white minority rule.

    “The weight of centuries of oppression was no longer holding us down,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in an address commemorating the day.

    His African National Congress (ANC) party won the election 30 years ago and has remained in power since then.

    However, any feeling of enthusiasm for the important milestone was tempered by rising dissatisfaction with the ruling party’s leadership.

    The party’s reputation has been tarnished by extensive allegations of corruption and its inability to adequately address critical concerns such as crime, inequality, poor service delivery, and unemployment, which remain alarmingly high.

    Ramaphosa celebrated Freedom Day in the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital, by highlighting the country’s successes under his party’s rule.

    “We have built homes, clinics, hospitals, highways, bridges, dams, and a variety of other structures. “We’ve provided electricity, water, and sanitation to millions of South African homes,” he remarked.

    Today, our social development system benefits all, providing vital support to the poor and vulnerable, women, and children.  The democratic state has, through its health care programmes, brought down child mortality, improved life expectancy, and made important strides towards overcoming the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

    However, polls show that support for the ANC has reached an all-time low, dropping to roughly 40% from 62% in 1994.

    Analysts believe that the party will lose its legislative majority for the first time in the May 29 elections, forcing it to form a coalition.

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