The Gift of Freedom

Twenty years ago, I was legally allowed to vote for the first time. It is encouraging that today the idea that I was once forbidden to vote seems so inconceivable as to be ridiculous, but I would like to pause and reflect for a moment.

Our freedom was hard won. It shattered families and it broke hearts. It cut down lives and denied the flourishing of talent in one generation after another.

It haunts us still in the legacy of Apartheid that keeps us separate and imprisoned by our social-economic circumstances. But what would it all have been worth if it had not given so many of us new opportunity, the right to make choices and have a voice. We have inherited this gift.

Twenty years ago the only visitors to Cape Town were the ‘Vaalies’, and whilst we still welcome the regular return of our Gauteng visitors, a growing kaleidoscope of visitors from across the world are streaming into our city.

People are coming to see our exceptional landscape and submerge themselves in a Cape Town that delights all the senses, but they are also coming to hear our stories, understand our blended culture, learn from our mistakes and share as we celebrate our creative energy and social tolerance.

Who would have dreamed that twenty years after the demise of Apartheid, Cape Town would have been named the New York Times’ Number One Place to Visit in 2014? We hosted a stand-out World Cup in 2010, we are the World Design Capital this year and the accolades continue to pour in. We are still a pioneer in responsible tourism and we have the stamina to reinvent and innovate.

As Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela said: “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”
Cherish the gift of your freedom as we continue to walk the road.

Here are some valuable resources, for our members to use to guide visitors and assist them to celebrate and commemorate freedom in Cape Town:

  • For a list of Ten Significant Sites in Cape Town to celebrate Twenty Years of Freedom, click here
  • For list of Freedom Tours and Activities in Cape Town, click here
  • For a list of Struggle Icon Street Names in Cape Town, click here
  • For information about Volunteering to Celebrate Freedom in Cape Town, click here
  • For a gallery of free-to-use images please click here
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