The Struggle is not over for the youth
EXACTLY 42 years on, after that dreadful day when Hector Pieterson shot by cold-blooded state security murderers on June 16, 1976, we once again as South Africans in this month commemorate that day and events that followed, leading to increased state brutalities on our youth.
What is important with regards to the June commemoration is to learn from the courage that young people had in shaping their destiny, despite the enormous odds against them.
In 1976 it was about rejecting an education system that sought to oppress them, and today my appeal and call is access to skills development that would help reverse the systematic marginalisation of our youth, in what others have called a “two-economy” scenario, and afford our youth decent and quality jobs.
As we dedicate this month to the gallant fighters of 1976, we must also dedicate it to our late former ANCYL president Peter Mokaba, who during the 1991 relaunch of the Youth League, reminded the youth of the popular notion that in such circumstances they either had to adapt or die.
I’m calling on today’s ANC government – led by a sober leader, Cyril Ramaphosa – to focus more on youth interests such as learnerships, free education, decent jobs and transformation in sport sectors.
The newly-elected ANC leadership must be inspired by the late Moses Mabhida’s insistence that a nation that does not care for its youth forfeits its claim to the future.
However, this does not mean our youth must be complacent because in the final analysis no one would literally knock on anyone’s door to bring a wealth of opportunities on skills development and decent jobs.
The youth of today must knock on every door to guarantee their own success.
I personally thank the youth of 1976 for their historic and heroic struggles. I’m calling on the young people of today to declare boldly that the Struggle is not over and continue to trust the ANC.
VIWE SIDALI ANC Mzwanele Fazzie Branch, former ANCYL Buffalo City Metro
REC and activist