South African President Cyril Ramaphosa challenged the youths to participate in tackling COVID-19, economic recovery and shun substance abuse while addressing the Youth Day on Wednesday.
“We are putting young people at the centre of our national recovery. I call on you to take a greater interest in the development and destiny of your country. I call on you to be part of our national struggle to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. I call on you to be the driving forces of change in your communities,” said Ramaphosa.
He called on the youth to combat social ills like gender-based violence, gangsterism and substance abuse.
“Say no to crime, and shun those who commit crime, even if they are your friends. The construction of a better future for our country depends on our young people stepping forward, putting up their hands and saying: ‘Yes, I want to be part of change.’ If we work together, change is surely within our reach,” he said.
Youth Day is a day in which South Africans honour the youth that was ambushed by the apartheid regime police in Soweto on June 16, 1976. On that day, thousands of black students went on a protest rally from their schools to Orlando Stadium, protesting against an official order which made Afrikaans compulsory in black township schools throughout the country.
Hundreds were shot dead while thousands were injured when the police fired the students with live rounds.
Ramaphosa challenged the youths to use the spirit of 1976 youths and contribute positively for the social, economic and innovation in the country.
He said the country looks upon the energy, innovative ideas, and resilience to take South Africa forward and the government is putting in place skills development programs targeting the youths to help them. Enditem