Hundreds of young people gathered at the Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto, south of Johannesburg to commemorate 41-years of the 1976, June 16 uprisings that saw many young people losing their lives.
The commemoration started with a Wreath laying ceremony at the Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto, with MECs, City of Johannesburg councillors and the June 16 Foundation laying wreaths on the monument, before going for a fun walk to the Nasrec Expo Centre.
MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Faith Mazibuko said Youth Day was one of the most important days in South Africa’s history and it was important that people continue to acknowledge and honour the great sacrifices made.
“It is imperative that the youth of today always remember the youth of 1976 and keep their legacy of freedom, equality and unity alive,” she said.
In his keynote address, Acting Premier Paul Mashatile said was important for young people to be at the forefront of transformation in the country.
“We have noticed that the most challenging thing in the country is unemployment so we launched Tshepo 1Million Programme in partnership with the private sector to empower young people in Gauteng with skills and training, internships, bursaries, and employment.
“With this programme we will make sure that a million of our young people get opportunities in life,” said Mashatile.
He further encouraged youth to stay away from drugs and prioritise education, as well as grabbing the opportunities that government was presenting to them with both hands.
In addition, Mashatile said the Gauteng government would do all it could to make sure that free education was realised by continuing to give its residents bursaries through the Gauteng City Region Academy, skills training, development and employment through Tshepo 1Million, as well as government internships for graduates.