Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has called on young people of today to emulate the spirit of the youth of 1976 by contributing immensely to building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, safe and prosperous South Africa.
“As the youth of 1976 was at the forefront of the liberation struggle, we further encourage our young people today to lead a struggle for radical socio-economic transformation to ensure that everyone, in particular, the youth, equally participate and benefit from the economy of the country,” said President Zuma on Tuesday.
June is celebrated as Youth Month in South Africa, with a specific focus on 16 June, which is also known as Youth Day.
The month pays tribute to the school pupils who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 uprising in Soweto when they took to the streets against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in black schools.
This led to the tragic loss of lives and injuries and was also a major turning point in the history of the liberation struggle in the country and in particular the participation of the youth.
Forty-one years later, the commemorations will be observed under the theme ‘The Year of OR Tambo: Advancing Youth Economic Participation’.
The Presidency said the National Youth Day provides an opportunity to take stock of the strides that government has made in promoting youth development.
The preparations for the commemoration of the national event, which will be held in Ventersdorp, in the North West province, are in full swing.
During the month, government has been hosting a number of engagements, including youth expos, dialogues and youth entrepreneur hubs to showcase opportunities available to young people and inspire them to instil the educational and leadership values of liberation hero OR Tambo.