#YouthDay: ‘Today’s struggles are different to those faced by the youth of ‘76’

Minister Jeff Radebe says young South Africans have the benefit of a govt that tries to respond positively.

FILE: Ministers Jeff Rabede laying wreaths at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

SOWETO - Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says while the issue of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools is still a heated debate, today's struggles are different to those faced by the youth of 1976.

Radebe is part of a delegation of leaders participating in today's Youth Day celebrations in Soweto.

#YouthDay Orlando Stadium is filling up with young people for today's celebrations. DB. pic.twitter.com/bzuwnRvzay

He says unlike the youth of '76, young South Africans now have the benefit of a government that tries to respond positively to their issues.

Radebe says while the use of Afrikaans in classrooms is still being debated, discussions are happening in a fair and democratic environment.

"We are in a very different environment, we are 22 years into our democracy and we've got 11 official languages in South Africa. So everybody is able to speak their language."

Radebe says government is committed to providing quality education for all South Africans.

He says the youth of '76 could only dream of living in a country where their concerns were taken seriously.

Young people at Orlando Stadium are in high spirits as they celebrate Youth Day, today.

LISTEN: 40 years after the 1976 uprising we commemorate Youth Day.


The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Uprising, by marching in Soweto.

The opposition party leaders have laid wreaths at the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says as part of commemorating the 1976 youth, it will march the streets of Soweto to highlight the plight of young people of South Africa.

"We will be going to Orlando West, where I will be delivering a message that says our young people deserve better, and they want a better future."

Maimane has called on government to honour the class of 1976 through action and not words.

He says the actions of the youth of '76 changed the course of the country's history.

"We celebrate them as heroes, it is because of them that the generation of our parents can today stand and say, although we've got access to education, we will make sure that the quality of that education is improved."

Maimane believes government has failed to advance the cause of young people.


The 40th anniversary of the June 16th Soweto Uprising is being commemorated beyond South Africa today, as well.

In Philadelphia, 7,000 students have seen the _Sarafina _musical, while National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is hosting an event in Baltimore to look at the legacy of this day.

A screening of the documentary on the recent #FeesMustFall protests _The People versus The Rainbow Nation _will also go up as part of an exhibition in New York today.

Members of the public stopping by at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto. CM pic.twitter.com/3efwOEsHmt