SA Celebrates Freedom Day Under Lockdown

Monday, 27 April 2020 – Today is an important landmark in South Africa’s history; Freedom Day. To acknowledge the great sacrifices South Africans have made since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, South African Tourism has released a new television advert to inspire hope as the country marks Freedom Day under lockdown.

Freedom of movement; the dignity of work; the joys of travel and experiencing wide-open spaces; the human interaction of friendship and of love beyond the four walls are all hard-won freedoms for South Africans. But in the past few weeks, the nation has had to lay these down for the sake of humanity.

The aim of this piece of communication is to honour all South Africans, who collectively have given up their freedom to jealously guard the value of each South African life as the country’s greatest treasure. It inspires the many people that have the desire to walk freely as well as the many travellers that are yearning to explore and enjoy the country once again, to continue to endure a little longer.

Done in collaboration with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Videovision Entertainment, the advert calls upon the undeniable tenacity that South Africans have to triumph over turmoil in the same way that the late former President Nelson Mandela and all those who fought for freedom had to endure for the greater good.

Commenting on the video, South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, said that South Africa’s history has always been important to tourism in this country, and in particular the story of our beloved global icon, Nelson Mandela.

“This year we celebrate Freedom Day under serious movement restrictions as we all try to contain and arrest the spread of the Coronavirus. While the tourism industry is one of the hardest-hit industries, this is a message of hope.

“We are particularly pleased to have collaborated with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Videovision Entertainment in this project. As solitude gives us time to realign priorities and set clear goals, this piece of communication also encourages us to take this time to shut out what is out there and look within.  Partnerships such as this one allow us to do this and more, together. When we recover from this pandemic, we hope all South Africans will continue to join efforts in rebuilding our industry and our economy so that we can all travel again,” said Ntshona.

Sello Hatang, CEO of The Nelson Mandela Foundation, said that Freedom Day has special significance this year. “It comes at a time when COVID-19 is reminding us of how easy it is to take basic freedoms for granted. And it is testing our courage in ways that we have not faced before. Now more than ever we need to be inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Let us remember Madiba’s wise counsel that every generation is given an opportunity to be great. This moment could be just such an opportunity. May we rise to the challenge.”

Anant Singh, CEO of Videovision Entertainment added, “As Legacy Partners of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we have made films celebrating Madiba’s legacy which are even more significant today as we navigate COVID-19 and our freedom from it. Madiba’s words give us inspiration: ‘only through hardship, sacrifice and action can freedom be won’. These words are relevant as we face our current day-to-day challenges. We are delighted to partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and South African Tourism to build on this legacy. Happy Freedom Day to all.”

South Africa closed its borders to foreign nationals on 18 March, while the country has been in a lockdown period since midnight on 26 March 2020.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, an estimated 100 million job losses are predicted in the Travel & Tourism sector as a direct result of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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