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Reece Van Belkum, KTL’s Design Dependency Manager spoke to us about South Africa Freedom Day

Reece Van Belkum, a KTL’s Design Dependency Manager, spoke about his role at KTL and shared about the celebration of South Africa’s Freedom Day on 27th April. It is a national holiday in South Africa where people commemorate the first post-apartheid election that took place in 1994.

What is your role at KTL?

I work as a Design Dependency Manager for KTL. I provide information and technical documents to the CAD designers to ensure that when designs are undertaken, they are structurally, electrically compliant amongst other design checks. My favourite part of working at KTL is the teams I work and collaborate with; everyone is accessible, energetic, supportive, professional, friendly, and witty.

Tell us about South Africa’s National Day celebrated on 27th April?

We celebrate 13 national holidays a year in South Africa. On the 27th of April we celebrate - Freedom Day. This day symbolises breaking the era of apartheid (apartheid is a word from the Afrikaans language which means “apartness” – it was a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race). On the 27th of April 1994 all South Africans countrywide, for the first time, exercised their right to vote in the country’s first democratic elections. In 1994, the extremely iconic figure Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first president of colour in the democratic elections.

How will you celebrate this National Day? Do you have a tradition about the day you would like to share?

Many South Africans celebrate Freedom Day through education by refreshing one’s knowledge to acknowledge the milestones South Africa has achieved. We can visit one South Africa’s many national historic museums such as the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Sculpture and Museum. The Capture Site represents the site at which he was apprehended for his anti-apartheid activism.

South Africans also enjoy exploring public gardens and visiting beaches with family and friends (under the apartheid regime in the past, different groups only had access to specific sections of the beaches/parks). My fiancé and I will be going on the same hike as last year to visit a local waterfall where we can enjoy the outdoors and fresh air to express our freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the three things about South Africa that most people wouldn’t know?

1. South Africa boasts some of the best beaches in the world. Along the east coast of South Africa where the Indian ocean is dominant, water temperatures in Summer range from 22-27° C.

2. The floral diversity on Table Mountain (Cape town, South Africa) is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom Heritage site which is home to approximately 8200 plant species, whereas the British Isles host around 1500 plant species.

3. The most commonly loved tea in South Africa is Rooibos tea (Rooibos is an Afrikaans word which translates to Red bush) it is naturally caffeine-free and is only grown in Cederberg, Western Cape.


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