Kathrada honours SA's 1976 youth

Ahmed Kathrada was among those laying wreaths at the Hector Pieterson Memorial on Youth Day.

Hector Pieterson memorial. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau on Sunday and struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada laid down wreaths at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto.

This was done in memory of all the young people who died in South Africa on 16 June 1976.

A moment of silence was also held to honour the youth of 1976 where more than 20,000 pupils took to the streets of Soweto to raise their frustrations over being taught in Afrikaans, which was seen as a medium of oppression.

Kathrada said the youth who took to the streets 37 years ago showed pure bravery.

"Thousands of young people came and demonstrated, not afraid of the police. That was a major turning point in our history.

Kathrada said the youth of today have a new struggle which includes unemployment, poverty and skills development.

Meanwhile, new research conducted by Ipsos showed only 40 percent of young South Africans believe the country is going in the right direction.

Levels of optimism among young South Africans remain moderate and the new Ipsos survey found only four in every 10 youths aged between 15 and 24 believe the country is moving in the right direction.

Just over a third indicated the exact opposite while 26 percent revealed they're undecided.

Ipsos researcher Marie Harris said, "When we do surveys around the world we find the youth are generally far more optimistic than older people. In South Africa it's also the case but only marginally so."

In November 2004 around 72 percent of South Africans were of the opinion the country was going in the right direction.

This declined to 56 percent in 2009 and 48 percent in 2012.