Freedom Day 2011
The theme for this year's celebrations is "Working together to unite the Nation, promote democracy and project freedom". Freedom Day provides a milestone for all South Africans to collectively participate in the commemoration of the pain and struggle to build a non-racial, democratic and free South Africa in which we all have the freedom to prosper. Nation-building requires all South Africans to live by example by ensuring that that the values and principles enshrined in the Constitution are enjoyed in all levels of society. The day also enables all South Africans to celebrate the Bill of Rights which guarantees all South Africans fundamental human freedoms.
In order to protect and strengthen the nation's democratic principles, South Africans are urged to exercise their right in consolidating democracy by participating in the 2011 Local Government municipal elections. Elections are a crucial element of democracy and it is the responsibility of all eligible persons to go and vote to protect democracy.
At the Freedom Day main event at the Union Buildings, thirty-six South Africans will be awarded the highest orders that can be bestowed on citizens. President Jacob Zuma is to bestow the National Orders, immediately after the national Freedom Day events at the Union Buildings. From this year, the annual ceremony will take place on the same day as Freedom Day following a decision by Cabinet.
According to the Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS), the order of Ikhamanga, awarded to those who have excelled in the fields of art, culture, music, journalism and sport, will be bestowed on 14 individuals including Irvin Khoza for his outstanding contribution in South Africa's hosting of the FIFA 2010 World Cup and Danny Jordaan who will receive the Order in gold.
The Order of the Baobab, awarded for distinguished service which is above and beyond the ordinary call of duty and awarded for exceptional and distinguished contributions in business and the economy will be awarded to Nowongile Cynthia Molo for her work in the development of women through the Women in Agriculture and Rural Development initiative. Four others will receive it too.
The Order of Mapungubwe which is the highest order for citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement will be awarded to Professor Pieter Steyn for his work in chemistry. Four foreign nationals, including Brazilian President Lula da Silva, will be awarded the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.