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As you know The National Coronavirus Command Council of South Africa has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March until midnight on Thursday 16 April 2020.
This is a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The declaration of 21 days lockdown from 26 March until 16 April will stop the spread of the Covid19, a global pandemic.
As our President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated it knows no geographical or territorial boundaries, has infected both young and old, and is on the rise in developed and developing countries alike. President has called on all of us to stand united in our efforts to contain COVID-19 and protect the lives of our people. As South Africans, let us face this crisis together with strength, resilience, empathy and selflessness.
On a direct and Embassy level, the virus continues to disable the Embassy from discharging its mandate. Nevertheless, consular services will be strictly provided on serious emergency basis. I hope that all nationals, including South African citizens stranded in Turkey and elsewhere, are able to remain calm, exercise social distancing and maintain the high standard of hygiene.
This is usually the Easter period in which people travel home and to places of worship. Unfortunately all forms of transport have been necessarily disrupted.
We are hoping that all Citizens will consider increasing their compliance with COVID 19 related regulations that are in place for reducing the spread of the virus. We also hope that students will still be able to get in touch with the academic commitments, and kids will still be able to enjoy their favourite Easter eggs or marshmallows.
It is understandable that during this time of anxiety and loneliness, many citizens wish to travel back to their respective countries with the expectation that Governments and Embassies will intervene. It not easy for our government to repatriate or evacuate citizens around the world but rest assured that our Government and Embassy cares about its citizens. More information in relation to this will be shared when available.
We are glad to have noted that positive gestures from private companies such as banks and citizens to assist and partner with government to contribute various forms of relief for citizens to cope with the impact of the virus and for the economy to adjust, have been pledged.
South Africa overcame many challenges before and this will also be one of the challenges that South Africa will overcome.
Please find below the highlights for this month;
This year marks 26 years of freedom and democracy. The Freedom Month celebrations offer us an opportunity to reflect on progress made thus far in transforming our society, while also examining our challenges.
The month 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.
Since 1994, we have moved from an oppressive society to one which values human rights for all through advancing human development and restoring human dignity. Our vibrant democracy is anchored by the constitution which guarantees equal rights for all.
International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action – 4 April 2020
On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
It called for continued efforts by States, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.
International Mother Earth Day - 22 April 2020
Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.
The Earth and its ecosystems are our home. In order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.
International Mother Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance. This Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
World Book and Copyright Day - 23 April 2020
This symbolic date in world literature is the date on which several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. This date was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books - most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of humanity space and time as well as the most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building.
World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognise the magical power of books - a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.
World Intellectual Property Day - 26 April 2020
World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”.
26 April was chosen as the date for World Intellectual Property Day because it coincides with the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.
Freedom Day - 27 April 2020
Freedom Day is the commemoration of the first democratic elections held in South Africa on 27 April 1994. These were the first post-apartheid national elections to be held in South African where anyone could vote regardless of race.
The first democratic elections on 27 April 1994 gave birth to our constitutional democracy. For the majority of South Africans who had never voted before their dignity was restored and the country transformed to a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.
Prior to this, during apartheid, racial segregation which was enforced by the National Party prevented any kind of inter-racial activity. South Africa is the country it is today because of their countless sacrifices and that of many other South Africans who fought tirelessly to overcome the brutal apartheid system.
World Veterinary Day - 27 April 2020
World Veterinarian Day was created in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association to highlight and promote the lifesaving work performed by veterinarians around the globe. Each year, a different theme is chosen which helps pet owners to remember the importance of various aspects of animal care, and how vets can help, for example ensuring your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.
The South African Embassy in Ankara, Turkey suggests you stay at home and implement the necessary cautions to protect your families. It is more important than ever that we work together to safeguard the lives, health and wellbeing of all citizens. As we take necessary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, the governments are committed to protecting fundamental rights, including ensuring access to health care, food and other necessities, especially for those who are most vulnerable.
South African Embassy in Ankara, Turkey