Declaration of Water Sisulu Square

National Heritage Site declaration: 22 November 2019

As the site of the 1955 Congress of the People, the Walter Sisulu Square represents the most representative gathering in the history of South Africa and the democratic approach taken in documenting the vision of ordinary South Africans. The process of drafting the Freedom Charter was the first time in South African history where all South Africans were given an opportunity to voice their dreams and hopes for a future democratic South Africa, irrespective of race, colour, education, language, sex, personal beliefs and organisational affiliation. This process culminated on 25th and 26th June 1955, at the Congress of the People on a dusty field that is now the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication, to adopt the Freedom Charter.

The Freedom Charter further, gave the liberation movement a uniform and coherent vision for a future South Africa and became the basis of the movement. The Constitution of the new post-apartheid democratic South Africa is based on the demands and rights reflected in the Freedom Charter and encapsulates its vision as a goal for a fully integrated and inclusive South African nation. 

To access the gazette notice, records of issued permits and decisions, and other technical information please visit the site record in the inventory of the national estate, accessible via SAHRIS