This year marks the 44th anniversary of the 16 June 1976 student uprising in Soweto when young people protested against imposition of Afrikaans by the apartheid regime as a medium of instruction.
The uprising ended tragically with hundreds of young people brutally killed. The class of 1976 became history makers as their actions had a profound change on the socio-political landscape of our nation.
This year National Youth Day and Youth Month will be celebrated under the theme: “Youth Power; Growing South Africa Together In The Period Of Covid-19.” The commemoration will be led by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture in partnership with National Youth Development Agency.
National Youth Day and Youth Month takes place as the country undergoes a national lockdown to fight the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the Youth Month programme will be hosted virtually through various online platforms such as Social Media, Web-based seminars (Webinars), Virtual Masterclasses, and Television and Radio.
The official Youth Month programme will be launched virtually on 1 June 2020 and President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a virtual keynote address on 16 June 2020. While the youth of 1976 fought for freedom and the creation of a democratic state, young people are called on to help the country the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Moreover, today’s youth activism are also called to play a role in tackling the challenges of poverty, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and alcoholism, personal development, economic freedom and the development of our country.