The SA Communist Party (SACP) on Sunday called on young South Africans to deepen their activism to realise the aspirations of youth who participated in the 1976 Soweto uprising.

“The youth of today are faced with peculiar challenges that they have to overcome in the process of making history,” the party said in a statement on Sunday in commemoration of Youth Day.

“Poverty, unemployment and inequality worldwide and in South Africa in particular have reached alarming proportions.”

The 1976 Soweto uprising was a series of high school student-led protests. Learners from various schools in Soweto protested in the streets against the introduction of Afrikaans as a medium in schools. Around 20 000 students took part in the protest, and 176 people were killed.

The SACP on Sunday called on youth across the country to rise up against capitalism, poverty and inequality.

“The youth must be assisted to play a meaningful role in the economy,” it said.

Education should be free and compulsory.

“We must train and support our youth to participate and build a solitary economy, an economy that places the needs of people and society ahead of profits.”

Co-operatives and self-reliance should be popularised.

The National Youth Development Agency must be transformed from a “tender-dishing institution” to one which served the interests of youth.

The SACP said South African youth should act in solidarity with the youth of Palestine, Swaziland, Cuba, Western Sahara, and Syria, who were suffering imperialist subjugation.

“The anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist nature of our struggle must be deepened and the youth must be at the forefront of such struggles.”

Decadent values, such as individualism, greed and corruption, spread by the mainstream media should be combated with pamphlets, leaflets, revolutionary art and theatre.

“The Department of Arts and Culture have a significant role to play in supporting young people in this instance.

“As we celebrate June 16 we dare not betray the legacy of the 1976 generations and many generations of bravery, militancy and radicalism.” - Sapa