This year's theme is: "Bridging the divide: Building a common South African nation hood towards a national development state". Speaking to SABC Digial News, Policy & Political Analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni says if the theme can be applied in a society where cases like the incidents of racial segregation at Curro School in Roodeplaat have not been done away with, he says these events should focus on the areas and schools that are still practising racism and matters that divide us.

He says, "The promise of democracy and the promise of liberation struggles was always around a better life for all."

"The Reconciliation Day theme is meant to rally the nation to be a reminder but it is not a report or a statement of progress," he adds.

Concerns in 2015

The country is celebrating its 21 years of democracy. Instead of celebrating with positive stories,  South African politics took a change. Campaigns like 'Rhodes Must Fall' which was directed at mobilizing for direct action against the reality of institutional racism and 'Fees Must Fall' was aimed at reducing fees in tertiary institutions.

Both these campaigns made news internationally and the concerns of the youth challenged the fundamentals of the post 1994 political transition were premised.  Both these campaigns brought about a marked shift in both the tone and content of our national discourse in 2015.


December 16 marks Reconciliation Day for South Africa. The day is associated with South Africa's political transformation. The history behind it stretches as far as 1838 when the Voortrekkers were preparing a battle with the Zulus. The Zulu's took a vow before God that they will build a church and their descendants would observe the day as a thanksgiving should they be granted victory.

Reconsiliation is associated with South Africa's political transformation in the 1990s. The Truth and Reconciliation Commision became an institutional embodiment of an approach that prioritised national unity over punitive punishment as a means to rebuild a deeply divided society.