Youth Day: Young people demand their say and funding for their businesses to prosper
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Pretoria – President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead this year’s Youth Day commemorations at a hybrid event to be hosted in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
“It is 45 years since the uprising by school students against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction and the violent response of the apartheid government,” the Presidency said in a statement.
“The shootings provoked protests throughout the country and intensified resistance to apartheid.”
Youth Day will this year be commemorated under the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society”.
The South African government has appealed to communities to tune in to its digital platforms and major news channels to follow the day’s commemorative activities.
Prominent South African youth activist Siyabulela Jentile said June 16 reminds him of the courageous 1976 generation which made a stand against educational injustices levelled against black South African pupils.
“The events of that particular day in 1976 profoundly transformed the socio-political landscape in South Africa,” said Jentile, the founder and president of civil rights movement #NotInMyName.
“#NotInMyName International, as a mass-based mobilisation force, continues to draw inspiration from the youth of 1976. It is through them that we learnt never to look away on any social injustices, but instead, stand up in moments of great despair and say #NotInMyName. This day is a constant reminder of the strength we possess together in unity.”
Jentile said June 16 should remind the authorities that young people want to be heard and to be part of the decision-making processes.
“Existing structures delay and deny innovation and active participation of young people in the social, political and economic development arena. Remove unnecessary bureaucracy, listen to the voices of the young and watch South Africa prosper,” said Jentile, who is also an author.
Aserie Ndlovu, operations director at Mamelodi-based commercial community radio station Capital Live, said numerous young people are desperately seeking funding for their initiatives.
“A lot of my fellow business operators got assistance from the NYDA (National Youth Development Agency), so I can say there is hope and we are hoping for proper support so that we can create employment for our generation, the youth, to be economically active.
“We also get to receive some jobs to do for the NYDA as a way to support us as young entrepreneurs like we have done media buying and broadcasting for the 2019 and 2021 youth day celebrations,” said Ndlovu.
“We hope the Department of Small Business will act as a custodian for us as we have been knocking on doors for assistance since the Covid-19 pandemic started but nothing materialised.”
On Wednesday, Ramaphosa will provide an update on the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention announced in the State of the Nation Address in 2020, and he will also officially launch SAYouth.mobi, South Africa’s national pathway management network, aimed at expanding opportunities and support available to young people.
The national pathway management network is a partnership between the National Youth Development Agency, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, the Department of Science and Innovation, the Department of Employment and Labour, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Department of Small Business Development and the Youth Employment Service.
Ndlovu said he was optimistic that the launch of the new portal would change lives for South African youth.
African News Agency (ANA)