South Africa Day is a nation-building day where South Africans are inspired by the spirit of our common citizenship, values and constitution to forge a unity that is unique to our land and people.
The historical spirit of co-operation and desire for unity that led to our democracy, and using the existing foundations to build a prosperous and inclusive future for all South Africans, is what the South Africa Day project seeks to foster and expand on.
South Africa Day is not a public holiday, but a day of celebration and of community togetherness that is supported by South African business, and driven by ordinary citizens. South Africa Day will, therefore, be a day on which projects, celebrations and events aimed at community-building are carried out throughout the nation.
As a nation and as communities, we come from a difficult history that alienated entire peoples from a sense of belonging to our country; a difficult history that has divided communities on the basis of race, and which has divided South Africa in a deep and fundamental way. The legacy of that history still manifests itself in racially divided and impoverished communities. The elimination of the legacy of this history will require all South Africans to make a special effort, on a consistent and committed basis, towards lasting and positive nation-building. South Africa Day seeks to be a holistic initiative to overcome those legacies of the past, on an enduring and lasting basis.
Our country is full of possibility, a vibrant and creative youth, people who greet one another, people who mourn the passing of others, people who tell incredible jokes and who help one another. This indomitable spirit of South Africa that exists in each community and in every place needs to be harnessed towards the important task of positive nation-building. Instead of thinking of ourselves as separate islands, disconnected and afloat, South Africa Day fosters a sense of belonging to a bigger whole, a thing much larger than the sum of its parts. South Africa Day is intended to galvanise that hope into tangible action towards nation-building and a prosperous future.
The day is intended to inspire everyone to participate in building the country and bringing about a renewed sense of optimism and excitement in belonging to South Africa, and the future of the country. South Africa Day is a day of purpose, of personal responsibility towards achieving the unification of the people of South Africa, and of what can be achieved when everyone works toward a common goal. As a nation-building day, South Africa Day is aimed at physically bringing together South Africans who would otherwise have never met without special efforts and/or programmes.
While South Africa already has many specific focused days, such as Youth Day, Womenʼs Day, Workerʼs Day, Motherʼs Day, Fatherʼs Day, Mandela Day (dedication of 67 minutes of service to humanity, with international focus), Heritage Day (cultural diversity), Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day, which is an annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and that is now known as AU or African Union), there is no day set aside for the deliberate bringing together of South Africans as a whole. South Africa Day is intended to bring a sense of urgency to addressing the challenges facing South Africa within the global economy, and those facing the nation in its politics, and in the fracturing of social cohesion.
South Africa Day is meant to be a journey where all South Africans are invited to contribute towards building and improving their communities through partnerships with organisations that operate within their communities.
The day is a high profile campaign that will elevate the role of business in society, and improve its relationship in people’s hearts and minds. It will also improve relations with government and civil society, and hence, will have a very real commercial value in enhancing business confidence and the image of business in South Africa.
The day is intended to be as inclusive as possible, encouraging all South Africans to participate. It will promote the idea of good citizenship and consequently will be encouraging all individuals whether foreign or South African to participate in activities, programmes and events that help to build and improve the communities in which they live. This extends to all organisations, whether they are schools, businesses, churches and embassies, etc., all will have to operate within their respective communities.
It will also include participation of expat South African communities abroad.
The idea has some parallels with other countries like Australia, which has an Australia Day. (www.australiaday.org.au)
To contribute in building a South African society that will instil pride to the people of South Africa, and that they would have the reason to celebrate and be inspired by as a nation.
To inspire South Africans to attain greatness that is underpinned by optimism about the country and its future, national unity, national pride, enhancing the image of South Africa, and the building of the South African identity that the people of South Africa can embrace with great honour, pride and dignity.
South Africa Day is aimed at inspiring the people of South Africa towards achieving the following:
Inspired by the signing of the Interim Constitution by twenty-six political parties in November 1993, South Africa Day, a non-public holiday, will be celebrated annually on the last Sunday of November.
Click here to download the South Africa Concept Document