11 March 2016

Freedom of the City for Civil Rights Movement Activist

EThekwini Municipality’s Executive Committee on Friday, 11 March 2016, approved the awarding of the Freedom of the City to Ambassador Andrew Young, Jr. of the United States of America.

The former Mayor of Atlanta, who became the first African American to serve as the US Ambassador to the United Nations, had close links with Civil Rights Movement stalwart, the late Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. 

While Ambassador Young, Jr was Mayor of Atlanta in the early 1990s, the diplomat assisted the people of KwaZulu-Natal, and Durban in particular, a great deal by providing much needed books, medical supplies and communication equipment. 

He and the late Reverend James Orange supported the African Renaissance Conference which has become an annual feature at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

For his role in the struggle for freedom, President Jacob Zuma honoured Ambassador Young with a highest order, for a non-South African.

The Freedom of City of eThekwini will be conferred on Ambassador Young on Human Rights Day, 21 March 2016 at the City Hall. Young will become only the second political stalwart to receive this honour after late former President Nelson Mandela. 

EThekwini Mayor, James Nxumalo, said there were obvious benefits to the City in conferring this honour to the Ambassador. 

"Our association with Ambassador Young will improve access, relationships and partnership with the United States and its private sector institutions. He can play an ambassadorial role in mobilising foreign direct investment for South Africa through Durban. But, also his experience in local governance as former Mayor of Atlanta will give our City great access to knowledge exchange and friendly relationships with our US partners," he said.


Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email:​ or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or 

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