Freedom Day in South Africa in 2023

  How long until Freedom Day?
Freedom Day
  Dates of Freedom Day in South Africa
2024 South Africa Sat, Apr 27 National Holiday
2023 South Africa Thu, Apr 27 National Holiday
2022 South Africa Wed, Apr 27 National Holiday
2021 South Africa Tue, Apr 27 National Holiday
2020 South Africa Mon, Apr 27 National Holiday

Celebrates freedom and commemorates the first democratic post-apartheid non-racial elections held on April 27th 1994, which saw Nelson Mandela elected as President

When is Freedom Day?

Freedom Day is a South African public holiday that is celebrated on April 27th each year.

If April 27th falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be observed as a holiday.

History of Freedom Day

The day celebrates freedom and commemorates the first democratic post-apartheid non-racial elections that were held on April 27th 1994, which saw Nelson Mandela elected as President.

The 1994 elections were the first time everyone of voting age of over 18 from all race groups, including foreign citizens permanently resident in South Africa, were allowed to vote. Under the apartheid regime, non-whites had limited voting rights.

Millions queued in lines over a four-day voting period. Altogether, 19,726,579 votes were counted, and 193,081 were rejected as invalid. As widely expected, the African National Congress (ANC) won a sweeping victory, taking 62% of the vote, just short of the two-thirds majority required to unilaterally amend the Interim Constitution.

The ANC formed a Government of National Unity with the National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party, the two other parties that won more than 20 seats in the National Assembly. The new National Assembly's first act was to elect Nelson Mandela as President, making him the country's first black president.

"As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1994, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future." - President Nelson Mandela addressing Parliament on the first commemoration of the holiday.

Freedom Day is the National Day of South Africa and is a day of glory and remembrance for all South Africans that marks the end of the period of colonialism and Apartheid.

In South Africa, Freedom day is an inclusive celebration enabling South Africans from all corners of society to commemorate the pain of the past, and celebrate the victorious future of our country. By taking the necessary steps forward to put closure to the past while not forgetting it, but through celebrating this day as an everlasting reminder for us, now and for future generations.

... Because freedom belongs to all this day should not be mistaken by the people of South Africa as just another holiday, but encourage the people of South Africa to come together, rebohle, sisonke, sibanye and work as one nation not forgetting the quest for freedom that consumed the life’s of those who fought so hard for it. Freedom day is a memorable event throughout South Africa and each year the National Celebration forms the basis for conveying the message of unity in diversity for all. To enforce a change in the attitude among the people of South Africa with our unique, diverse ethnic, cultural, and national background to inspire the people to be innovative and build a better South Africa together and to excel in all aspects of life. Hear our voices, speak our mind, see the change.
Department of Arts and Culture, South African Government

Celebrate Freedom Day, south Africa's National Day with your Hue lights!

Did you know?

Three facts about Freedom Day

There are more than 2000 native species of plant on Table Mountain, more than are found in the entire United Kingdom.

The first human heart transplant occurred in a Cape Town hospital in 1967.

South Africa hosts the world’s largest bicycle race. 35,000 riders take part in the 109-km Cape Town Cycle Tour race across Cape Town’s south peninsula and along the spectacular, mountainous coastal road called Chapman’s Peak Drive.

More facts about Freedom Day

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