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28. April 2017
SA Embassy in Berlin Celebrates Freedom Day
The South African Embassy on 27 April 2017, celebrated 23 years of Freedom and Democracy. The occasion was honoured by the attendance of Ambassador Walter Lindner, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Ministry amongst other prominent dignitaries. Ms Maureen Quin, who received the Medal of Honour for Visual Art from the South African Academy of Science and Culture, and whose sculptures were on display was also in attendance. South African musical group Africapella provided the entertainment for the day.
Freedom Day is about celebrating South Africa’s achievements as a Rainbow nation and reflecting on what else needs to be done collectively towards the goal of building a prosperous society and improving the quality of life for all. On this auspicious occasion we remember the words of late President Nelson Mandela who said: “If any one day marked the crossing of the divide from a past of conflict and division to the possibility of unity and peace, from inequality to equality; from a history of oppression to a future of freedom, it is 27 April 1994.”
On Freedom Day we also honoured Mr Oliver Tambo, a great icon of South Africa’s history. Speaking at Georgetown University on the 27th January 1987, Oliver Tambo said: “It is our responsibility to break down barriers of division and create a country where there will be neither Whites nor Blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity."
Furthermore we celebrated 20 years of the Constitution of South Africa in 2016, highlighting the strength of our Constitutional Democracy and the strength of its democratic Institutions in creating a better life for all.
In this 23rd year of our freedom, we are reminded that our goal remains the quest for a united, democratic, non-sexist, non-racial and prosperous South Africa. Guided by our socio-economic programme the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Nine Point plan, our goal is to strive to build a South Africa free from poverty, inequality and unemployment.
We recognised that going forward South Africa is committed within the context of the Constitution to provide enhanced services, economic growth and the creation of an all-inclusive economy to the benefit of all our people. We will therefore continue to make major strides in science, technology and innovation, such as the inclusion of two locally developed Nano satellites on the Atlas V rocket, launched on 18 April 2017 in Florida, embarking on major infrastructure projects and facilitating economic development through South Africa’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in various parts of the country which is attracting billions in foreign direct investment.
We recognised that South Africa regards its relationship with the Federal Republic of Germany as being strategic in nature. It is a strong partnership founded on common values and encompassing a broad spectrum of cooperation areas. In this regard in 2018, we are proud that our Bi-National Commission will celebrate its tenth session, an important milestone in further strengthening and consolidating the bilateral relations between our respective countries.
On trade related matters South Africa acknowledged that approximately 600 German companies are operating in South Africa giving direct employment to about 100 000 South Africans. Germany and South Africa have a robust and growing trade relationship; with total trade at R211bn. In terms of FDI from Germany to SA for the period 2011 to January 2017 this amounted to R 42 bn and 7 591 jobs were created through 52 companies. The record number of German tourists to South Africa in 2016 was also recognised.
We stressed that South Africa seeks to work towards the realisation of the AU’s Agenda 2063, which is the primary objective of the African Union, in the pursuit of achieving peace, stability and prosperity on the continent.
We Would Like to Thank Our Fantastic Sponsors and Partners,
Maureen Quin, Africapella, DB Schenker South Africa, South African Airways, Lammershoek Farms and Winery, Standard Bank, South African Tourism, Rainbow Agency, Tanja Klein GmbH, Lourensford Wine Estate, Bacchus - Internationale Weine GmbH, Diversa Spezialitäten GmbH, South African Fresh Produce Exporters` Forum FPEF, Capespan Germany GmbH, Fruchtimport van Wylick GmbH