Photo: CapeNature
Cape Town – A series of events and free access to the province’s nature reserves have been planned for this Youth Day.

This year marks the 43rd commemoration of the Soweto youth uprising of June 16, which spread countrywide and profoundly changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa.

The events that triggered the uprising can be traced back to the policies of the apartheid government that resulted in the introduction of the Bantu Education Act in 1953.

As part of its 20-year celebrations, CapeNature is allowing free access to their reserves on Sunday, to all people aged 35 and under.

The free access fee will pertain to general access and hiking, mountain biking and picnicking spots.

CapeNature’s executive director for eco-tourism and access, Sheraaz Ismail, said: “This particular drive speaks to bringing a positive sentiment to the sacrifices made by those before us for the youth of our country to have free rights.

"This includes the right to access natural spaces and also highlights the fundamental environmental challenges we face today, such as climate change, pollution and species loss.”

Meanwhile, the annual RCS Youth Day Race is set to take place in Gugulethu on Sunday. With entries now closed, the race celebrates the youth and the significance of young South Africans. It kicks off at 7am, at the NY 49 Stadium in Gugulethu, and the competition includes a 10km road race as well as a 4.2km fun run.

Cape Town’s young sailors are also gearing up for the annual Youth Regatta, which kicks off tomorrow at the Royal Cape Yacht Club.

The two-day event invites sailing youngsters of all backgrounds to come together, not only to enjoy racing against one another but to leave the ocean surrounding the Cape a little bit cleaner and more plastic-free.

The organisers of the regatta, RCYC’s sailing academy, teamed up with global NPO Sailors for the Sea this year in delivering a "Clean Regatta".

Every participating boat will be handed a biodegradable bag for collecting waste from the water - and the team which returns with the most plastic on board will win a prize.