OUR 30-YEAR STORY

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  • South Africa celebrates 30 years of democracy with the inauguration of its 7th president on June 19th, 
  • The ceremony reflects on the nation’s progress since 1994,addressing past struggles and achievements in building a more equitable society. 
  • The inauguration marks a new chapter with a vibrant celebration showcasing South Africa’s unity and democratic values.

This year marks 30 years since the dawn of our democracy in 1994, and will also see the inauguration of the 7th democratically elected President. Each inauguration since 1994 has moved us further along the path of freedom and democracy, and represents an inspirational moment of renewal and hope for a better tomorrow. This inauguration coincides with the commemoration of 30 Years of Freedom and presents us with an opportunity to reflect on how far we come since 1994. 

We continue to build a nation for everyone

  • We come from a painful history of division and exclusion, where the majority of people were excluded based on the colour of their skin. Things we now take for granted such as access to clean drinking water, sanitation and electricity was only sporadically provided. Urban townships and rural settlements had to contend with poor quality housing and a lack of basic services.
  • Most people were placed in areas far away from their work and where services could not be sustained. Public health services for the majority of our people were inadequate and healthcare in rural areas was completely neglected.
  • The economy we inherited at the end of apartheid was technically bankrupt with weak economic growth which excluded black South Africans from any significant participation in the nation’s wealth.
  • Changing decade upon decade of systemic discrimination and abuse was never going to be easy. Therefore the democratic Government’s first priority was to begin to meet the basic needs of people by providing housing, water, electricity, telecommunications, and transport, along with a clean and healthy environment, nutrition, equal education, health care and social welfare.

Together we have inspired hope for a better tomorrow

  • Successive democratic administrations since 1994 have worked to establish democratic institutions, drive fundamental transformation, foster reconciliation and ensure nation building. Much progress has been achieved since 1994 to eradicate the apartheid legacy through the establishment of democratic institutions, enacting of laws and implementing policies, and in building a democratic, unitary state, with new values aligned to the Constitution.
  • We have established democratic institutions with the Constitution as our foundation, and have made reforms to laws and policies to build a democratic state.
  • Since 1994, we have worked to fundamentally transform every facet of society and to bring hope that indeed there will be a better tomorrow.

The beginning of a new chapter.

  • The Presidential Inauguration is a formal ceremony to mark the beginning of the President’s term of office (five years). During the inauguration, the President elect will take the Oath of Office, which officially starts his or her presidency.
  • The voices of the people rang out loud and clear during the nation’s 7th successful democratic elections and culminates now in a new chapter for our democracy. The Presidential Inauguration is an opportunity to celebrate our democratic values and system of government.
  • The Presidential Inauguration is a moment of great pride for our nation, and reaffirms that our democracy is strong and based on the will of the people.
  • The ceremony gives South Africans an opportunity to interact with their President and allows the President to speak directly to citizens. It is a moment of renewal, nation building and national unity, which renews the covenant between South Africans and their public representatives.
  • The inauguration is also the first chance the President elect will have to address the nation and outline his/her intentions as Head of State.

When will the Inauguration happen?

  • The Constitution says that the first sitting of the seventh democratically elected Parliament must not be more than 14 days after the national election result has been declared.
  • South Africa will inaugurate its 7th democratically elected President on 19 June 2024.
  • As government, we have made the call on citizens to join us in this moment of renewal by attending the Presidential Inauguration, which will take place at the Union Buildings in Tshwane on 19 June 2024 under the theme “30 years of Democracy; Partnership and Growth”.
  • The Union Building has served as a venue for many important events in South Africa, such as the Inauguration of South Africa’s first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela in 1994.
  • Since 1994, our greatest strength has been our people and we therefore call on everyone to assist us as we continue the next chapter of our journey. It is in our hands to continue to make our country a place of great possibilities.
  • Heads of State and Governments have also been invited to attend this prestigious event at the Union Buildings.

Order of proceedings.

  • The Presidential Inauguration Ceremony commences with inter-faith prayers and a recital of the Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa.
  • The President will officially be sworn in by the Chief Justice, Justice Raymond Zondo.
  • The President will take the Oath of Office before signing the swearing-in certificate.
  • The President as Commander in Chief will take the National Salute by the South African National Defence Force (National Ceremonial Guard).
  • The President will be accorded a full Guard of Honour by the National Ceremonial Guard and will take National Salute.
  • The National Ceremonial Guard is an honour guard battalion of the South African National Defence Force that is preserved for the Commander in Chief to perform Presidential and National Ceremonial parades as per tasking.
  • The South African Air Force will execute a salute fly pass during the National Salute.
  • The SANDF will fire the 21-gun salute which is the highest honour given in honour of the President of the Republic of South Africa.
  • The SANDF in conjunction with SAA will do a mass fly pass in honour of the President’s Inauguration Parade and to showcase their capabilities
  • The newly inaugurated President will also address the nation.

Cultural Programme. 

  • A cultural programme that encapsulates the journey and aspirations of the nation from 1994 to 2024 will enthral the audience.
  • The programme will encapsulate the themes of Hope, Reconciliation, Resilience and Unity over the past three decades.
  • This journey will be articulated through three acts, each representing a decade, and woven together by the overarching theme of democracy, partnership, and growth.
  • The story of our democracy will be told through a harmonious blend of storytelling, music, and dance.
  • The narrative will be delivered in various South African languages, including sign language.
  • Narrators will introduce our 30-year story and unpack the hope and the euphoria of 1994, while exploring themes such as reconciliation, resilience, continued unity and the next thirty years of Freedom and Democracy.
  • The cultural programme will conclude with a concert segment that will include performances by a wide range of artists, offering something for every taste and showcasing the vibrancy of South Africa’s musical landscape.

The role of public officials during the inauguration.

  • The inauguration is a joyous occasion that unites all South Africans in celebration of our democracy.
  • We can help to make the day memorable for our guests by being helpful, professional and polite.
  • The importance of being a good host cannot be overemphasised. As officials, let us try to be team players in making this inauguration a memorable one as it coincides with our 30 Years of Freedom and Democracy celebration. Let us maintain a cordial relationship with co-workers and have a team spirit to make this event a successful one.
  • The most memorable feature of the inauguration may not be the food or even the decor. The host officials who greet, smile, and assist our guests from surrounding provinces and out of the country make a powerful first impression and can make this inauguration a memorable one.
  • Be vigilant, professional and work to ensure that our guests are happy and leave with memories of being part of a historical event.
  • Be courteous and prepared to welcome and assist dignitaries and members of the public.
  • Familiarise yourself with the proceedings of the day, including a timeline of events so that you are able to assist.
  • Familiarise yourself with the seating plan for dignitaries and other distinguished guests so that you can assist.

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