An inclusive country for all

South Africa’s first national public Time Travel event at Walter Sisulu Square, Kliptown, Soweto

At the end of June this year a public Time Travel event was held at the Freedom Square in Kliptown, Soweto. The Time Travel was based on the 60th Anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter by the Congress of the People on 26 June 1955 and held on the very same place. The Freedom Charter clarified the purpose of the liberation struggle by presenting clear demands to the South African apartheid regime. It became a foundation document on which the South African constitution was based during the democratic era. Ten clauses: “The people shall govern”, “All national groups hall have equal rights”…

In 1955 provincial preparations were made and delegates collected “demands” from the public, which were presented to the Congress of the People in Kliptown. The Time Travel event in 2015 took a similar form and several provinces were involved. Time Travel groups in KZN, Western Cape, North West and Gauteng prepared demands which they brought to Kliptown.

The Time Travel was attended by over 300 people from all over South Africa as well as from the local community, a mix of adults and learners. Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi and the Swedish Ambassador in South Africa, Anders Hagelberg started off with expressing support and gratitude. An interactive drama of 1955 followed, ending with the “police” coming and trying to disperse the crowd. However, the major focus in the Time Travel event was on the present and what the Freedom Charter means today. Each of the ten clauses was interpreted in today’s society by the participants and presented in songs, poems, illustrations, speeches and drama. New and current issues were being brought to the fore. The Time Travel really succeeded in demonstrating the value of subjecting past events to the present to form the future.

The Time Travel event was organized by the South African Department of Arts and Culture, Bridging Ages South Africa, Bridging Ages International, Hector Pieterson/Kliptown Museum with the support from several others.

Jabulani Phelago
Chairperson Bridging Ages South Africa