Today marks the 40th anniversary of the tragic Soweto student uprisings of June 16 1976 which resulted to a massive loss lives of the protesting youths. SA will commemorate the struggles of the youths of class ’76 with the national youth day.
As President Jacob Zuma delivers the national Youth Day commemoration speech at the Orlando stadium in Soweto, the government’s moves to empower and increase the hope of young people will be highlighted.
This 40th youth day anniversary has been given a very powerful theme of “Youth Moving South Africa forward” so as to instill in the youths, a sense of responsibility.
On the day of the Soweto student uprisings, it is estimated that not less than 600 protesting students and other young people who rose against the injustice in their land were brutally killed by the Apartheid security forces in cold blood.
The survivors of the uprisings were either left with severe injuries or subjected to a time of imprisonment and torture.
A remarkable effect of the June 16 uprising is that it set the pace for a turning point in the history of the anti-Apartheid struggle, as a lot of young people were forced to flee the country to join exiled liberation movements.
During his speech President Zuma is expected to use the 40th commemoration of the June 16 student uprisings to urge today’s youths to keep the legacy of the class of 76 alive by embracing socio-economic benefits of the new democratic dispensation.
Nevertheless, President Zuma will have a hard time at convincing the increasing number of unemployed youths to remain hopeful that government will deliver on its promises to create sustainable job and business opportunities to pave way for more employment opportunities.