The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] joins millions of South Africans in commemorating the 46th Anniversary of the Soweto Uprising of 1976.
In commemorating this historic day, NEHAWU salutes the generation of 1976 for their unwavering commitment to the liberation of their country. We pay homage to the gallant martyrs of our national struggle for liberation, who selflessly sacrificed their lives for a democratic South Africa.
The occasion of Youth Day presents an opportunity for the youth of this country to reflect on the gains and achievements made since the uprising of 1976. Equally this day, presents the current youth generation with an opportunity to chart its own decisive path just like the generation of 76 did in confronting the brutal system of apartheid.
The commemoration this year occurs against the background of recorded high level of unemployment, extreme poverty and social inequality. According to the Statistics South Africa, youth unemployment for those between the age 15 – 24 stands at 63.9% and for those aged 25-34 is at 42.1%. This is an abnormal situation in a country where the youth constitute the majority of the population. This situation requires more than ever before that young people from all walks of life stand united and fight for their place in society just like the generation of 1976.
The youth should use this day to send an unambiguous message to government and business community that they should create jobs and must be provided with opportunities to meaningfully participate in the economy.
The youth must demand concrete interventions geared towards youth development and empowerment through education and training, learnerships and internships and also creating space for youth entrepreneurship.
Equally, young people should use youth day to intensify the fight for young people to have access to higher education. Young people must wage a struggle for the government to fully implement without any delay free tertiary education.
Lastly, this Youth Day should be used to concretely provide solutions that will help address the challenges of youth unemployment, poverty, hunger and other problems that confronting young people in the country.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335