Young people from across the province joined in Youth Day activities held under the theme ‘Live the legacy: Towards a social-economically empowered youth’ at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
The day started with a fun walk from the SABC Park to the stadium with the aim of evoking the memory of what the youth of 1976 faced. The stadium was filled to capacity by young and old who gathered to hear the keynote address by Premier Stan Mathabatha and be entertained by various musicians, dancers and brass bands. Members of the Executive Council and Speaker of the Legislature, Polly Boshielo were part of the festivities.
Mathabatha started his address by saying the African National Congress (ANC)-led government remains prepared to cultivate a supportive environment for young people to be educated, trained and to be equipped with necessary skills for their own development. It is for this reason that as Government they have adopted the Youth Development Strategy, he said. The strategy focuses on areas such as, youth participation in the economy and job market, youth education and skills development, youth health and the project of nation-building and social cohesion, he explained.
“I have directed all MECs and municipal mayors to put aside adequate financial resources to support youth development in the province. The socio-economic challenges require well trained minds hence we cannot tackle the challenges facing our society without well educated and trained minds. It is for this reason that your government is investing so much in your education and training,” Mathabatha stated.
He reminded the audience that the generation of 1976 fought fearlessly for a transformed education system, particularly against the imposition of a medium of instruction, adding that today’s generation also fought a brave and fruitful battle for access to free tertiary education.
He emphasised that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme is funding more than 405 000 students from a budget of over R10 billion. This is a massive achievement considering where the country comes from, he stated. Mathabatha concluded by saying the demands of the fourth industrial revolution challenge young people to equip themselves with necessary skills for the
opportunities that are brought about by this technological revolution.
Story & photos: ENDY SENYATSI