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1976 Soweto Uprising remembered

Events will be staged across the country today to commemorate National Youth Day.

Photographer Sam Nzima with an image of the iconic Hector Pieterson picture he took in 1976. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - National Youth Day events are being staged across South Africa today.

Today marks 38 years since the 1976 Soweto Uprising in which 176 people, including Hector Pieterson, died.

The uprising, which is now remembered as National Youth Day, involved students from numerous schools in the township who had running battles with security forces over the introduction of Bantu education in schools.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to address a gathering in Kimberley in the Northern Cape later today while Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema will speak to young people in Rustenburg.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane will be visiting Soshanguve residents in Pretoria, as part of the opposition's commemorations.

Meanwhile in Cape Town, the DA is holding a fun day for youngsters in the Steenberg area.

The local DA branch in the community is hosting the event, which will include sports activities.

The party's Phumzile van Damme says, "It's just a way to show the youth that by getting involved in things like sport and studying hard in school, they don't have to get involved in gangs."

Today marks exactly 38 years since a group of school children from Soweto demonstrated against being taught in Afrikaans and against the oppressive apartheid government.

There's been ongoing debate around the quality of education, with claims that the country is facing a crisis.

Earlier this month a World Economic Report ranked the quality of South Africa's maths and science last out of 148 countries.

The African National Congress (ANC) has rejected the report, describing it as baseless.