JOHANNESBURG - The youth's struggle for a better life continues and the sacrifices made by young people in the past will ultimately be in vain if millions of young South Africans remain unemployed and joblessness, DA Youth leader Luyolo Mphithi said on Sunday.
Speaking at a DA Youth Day commemoration at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, Johannesburg, he said Youth Day was no longer just a day of remembrance.
The day symbolised the ''blood gushing struggles'' of young people who fell fighting hard to realise a better South Africa, and the continued struggles young people faced today. Heroes of the youth struggle, such as Hector Pieterson, lived in an era where the youth were willing to pay the ultimate price in the struggle for freedom and quality education, Mphithi said.
These young heroes and heroines had one main objective - to realise a better South Africa for the youth of today. However, their sacrifices would ultimately be in vain if millions of young South Africans remained locked in the shackles of unemployment and joblessness.
''Today we still find ourselves fighting for our dignity, livelihood and survival. This is not what the likes of Tsietsi Mashinini, Hastings Ndlovu, Khotso Seatlholo and, of course, the young Hector Pieterson fought for.
''These young souls in our history fought because our today rested in their courage. It is now our duty to ensure that their innocent blood does not continue to gush down over wastelands. We need to take on their courage and continue to fight for a better life, which among other things, means quality education and jobs,'' he said.
At 52.8%, South Africa had the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. It was evident that ''we are being forced into a dark corner of injustice''.
A better life for the youth meant young people were employed. Government, both local and national, should ensure that job creation and youth empowerment was at the forefront of their agenda.
Where the DA governed job creation took centre stage. DA governments continued to ensure that, among other things, young people were equipped with the necessary entrepreneurial skills to build businesses and employ more young people.
Youth cafés were providing the youth with much needed career guidance, access to skills and personal development, and economic and social development opportunities were also provided to fight unemployment.
''The DA has and continues to fight tirelessly where we are in opposition to put forward alternative plans to alleviate joblessness and poverty. We are also set to table our 'Jobs Bill' in Parliament, which seeks to create an enabling environment for accelerated job creation in South Africa because the youth of this country deserve better. We deserve jobs,'' Mphithi said.
African News Agency (ANA)