Exactly 45 years ago on this day, thousands of young people took to the streets to protest the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in Black schools.
Many of them were killed, some were arrested while others including their leader Tsietsi Mashinini, went into exile.
Until 1994, many of them were killed in the struggle against the apartheid oppressive regime, while hundreds of those who left the country, joined liberation armies of the African National Congress (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) and Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo).
Decades later, some political parties say life is still tough for young people even under the democratic, citing unemployment and their daily struggle to overcome poverty.
Democratic Alliance leader, John Steenhuisen, says only his party has what it takes to turn the situation around.
DA commemorates Youth Day:
Congress of the People spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, says to overcome youth unemployment, government needs to introduce a training scheme for young people.
Zama Ntshona, from the African Transformation Movement (ATM), says all the challenges that the 1976 generation was fighting against during apartheid, remain.
The National Freedom Party’s Secretary General, Canaan Mdhletshe, says government should make it easy for young people to open their businesses and realise their potential.
The concerns and suggestions come as government continues efforts to find a solution to the staggering youth unemployment rate.
During his Youth Day address, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the National Pathway Management Network to assist in reducing high youth unemployment. The initiative brings together eight government departments to form a network of support for the country’s youth to find ways to access the economy.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Youth Day address in the video below: