African Times News Digital Edition | www.africantimesnews.co.za | @AfricanTimesSA
LIMPOPO Premier Chupu Mathabatha says his government is prepared to train, educate and cultivate a supportive environment to enable youth development. He was addressing the 42nd anniversary of the Youth Day Commemoration at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane yesterday under the theme “Leaving the Legacy Towards a socio-economic empowered youth.
June 16 commemorates, annually, the 1976 student uprising by South Africans. It pays tribute to hundreds of youths who were brutally killed by the apartheid government over their objections against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools.
The aftermath of the events of June 16, 1976 had dire consequences for the Apartheid government. Images of the police firing on peacefully demonstrating students led an international revulsion against South Africa as its brutality was exposed.
In his key note address, Mathabatha commenced the Youth Day Celebrations by putting emphasis on education for the youth and quoted Nelson Mandela’s letter to his son, Makgatho Mandela encouraging him to respect education.
“As this ANC government we remain prepared to cultivate a supportive environment for you as young people to be educated, trained, and to be equipped with necessary skills for your own development.
“It is for this reason that as the government of Limpopo we have adopted the first-ever comprehensive Youth Development Strategy. As you would know, the adoption of this Strategy followed a province wide consultation process,” said Mathabatha.
He said that the Strategy focuses on areas such as youth participation in the economy and job market, youth education and skills development, youth health, and the project of nation-building and social cohesion.
The commemorations saw artists such as Winnie Mashaba entertain the young audience that was in attendance.
Meanwhile in Gauteng President Cyril Ramaphosa led the country’s official Youth Day celebrations in Soweto.
The president addressed cheering supporters gathered at the Orlando Stadium fittingly to commemorate the June 16 uprisings.
Ramaphosa, accompanied by Ministers Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Nathi Mthethwa as well as Gauteng Premier David Makhura, placed a wreath at the grave sight of Hector Peterson, the schoolboy who was killed on this day in 1976.
Residents in Soweto braved the cold weather earlier in the morning to join Ramaphosa on a Youth Day walk.
“South Africa should use Youth Day and Youth Month to give special attention to the challenges facing young people and also to unlock opportunities for young people to determine their destiny in honour of the youth of 1976,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.