Pretoria – The commemoration of Youth Day should be used to unite both black and white youth, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
Speaking at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Youth Day debate on Tuesday, the minister said the country must continue to teach the youth about the effort it took to bring the country to where it is today.
“To commemorate such occasions as the 35th anniversary of the June 16th 1976 Uprising is to allow the martyrs of the past to open our eyes as we closed theirs when they died. What we should strive for is to use such commemorations to unite our youth, both black and white,” explained Gigaba.
The theme of the debate is ‘Parliament in action: advancing youth development to break the cycle of generational poverty and unemployment’, and is aimed at serving as a constant reminder of the task of dismantling the apartheid legacy.
South Africa will mark Youth Day tomorrow in recognition of the brave youth, who, on 16 June 1976, stood up against the apartheid government’s Bantu education laws. The minister said South Africa’s history and future must be occasions to unite and not divide us.
Gigaba applauded the role played by the NCOP in raising youth debate, saying that it continues to work hard in promoting socio-economic rights as enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Although a lot has been achieved since the advent of democracy in 1994, a lot more still needs to be done. “Clearly, urgency is required, especially to reverse the tide of youth unemployment which, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, has worsened over the past two years.”
Gigaba said this should bring everyone together with a common effort to steer the youth towards economic participation, adding that the vital ingredient was education.
“Older generations have taken us this far. To the youth of South Africa we say, a glorious future awaits; pursue it relentlessly!” said Gigaba. – BuaNews