Freedom Day (South Africa)

Freedom Day is a public holiday in South Africa celebrated on 27 April.[1] It commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. The elections were the first national elections where everyone of voting age of over 18 from any race group,[2] was allowed to vote.

Freedom Day
Mandela voting in 1994.jpg
Nelson Mandela voting in 1994
Observed byRepublic of South Africa
CelebrationsPresidential speech
Date27 April
Next time27 April 2024 (2024-04-27)
Related toSouth African general election, 1994

It is part of the twelve public holidays determined by the Public Holidays Act (No. 36 of 1994).[1]

On the first commemoration of the holiday, President Nelson Mandela addressed Parliament:[3]

As a new dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1994, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future. Freedom Day is an annual celebration held on April 27 in South Africa. The day reminds South Africans of the immeasurable sacrifices made by individuals and nations to break them away from the chains of unjust segregation by a selected few. It reminds them of the efforts of their national heroes, particularly Nelson Mandela. He is regarded as a champion of freedom, not only in South Africa but the entire world. It is a day that not only marks the emancipation of South Africans from apartheid but also returned their essential human rights in 1994.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Public Holidays Act, 1994 [No. 36 of 1994] - G 16136". Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  2. ^ "South Africa: Voters registration". Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Freedom Day: 27 April | South African History Online". Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  4. ^ Mirzaliyeva, Maysara (16 August 2022). "Freedom Day (South Africa)". National Today. Retrieved 19 May 2023.