Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma says by renaming Bram Fisher International Airport, government is advancing the programme of building monuments and creating new symbols that are reflective of our shared heritage and destiny as South Africans.
"We are honoured to name the entry point by air to Mangaung, after this national hero. Current and future generations will draw lessons from the life of Bram Fischer and his selfless contribution to this country," said Zuma.
He was speaking at an event to mark the renaming of Bloemfontein Airport to Bram Fisher International Airport in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
"Given our historical experience, all of us have a responsibility to do all we can to free the South African society of the anguish, the pain and the degradation of the past. It is therefore one of the key responsibilities of government to build a country which all South Africans can call home.
"As government, we are charged with the responsibility of engendering a sense of unity, common nationhood, a genuine feeling that we are all one nation, one people, united in our diversity, as our Constitution enjoins us," said the President.
Describing Bram Fischer as a great statesman and remarkable freedom-fighter, Zuma said he was one of the white compatriots who sacrificed his privileges because he could not accept that other human beings could be treated inhumanely.
Calling the day historic, Zuma thanked Bram Fischer and his generation of freedom fighters for pioneering the struggle for liberation and keeping the dream of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, free and prosperous South Africa alive.
He added that the country had to work harder to take that vision forward.
"Let this renamed airport stand as a timeless reminder of the role Bram Fischer and his generation of freedom fighters played in the history of our struggle for liberation."