Youth Day 2014

16 June

"Youth moving South Africa forward"

Youth day is popularly known as the Soweto Uprising or June 16. The uprisings tragically ended with hundreds of young people killed by the apartheid government when they protested against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. Youth Day commemorates the Soweto youth uprising on 16 June 1976.

In 1975 protests started in African schools after a directive from the then Bantu Education Department that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools. The issue, however, was not so much the Afrikaans as the whole system of Bantu education which was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and inadequately trained teachers.

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), with strong support from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and various government departments will lead the Youth Day 2014 celebrations and a month-long programme of supporting activities.

The 2014 Youth Day is highly significant as we mark 20 years of freedom in South Africa since the first democratic elections were held in 27 April 1994. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the 2014 Youth Day celebrations in Kimberley. He said that the country needs skills now. The intake of students for post-school education will therefore be massively expanded over the next five years, with the aim of enrolling the majority of youth aged 18 to 23 years. To provide work experience, the public sector will increase the number of spaces for graduates to get experiential training.

Youth Day posters


More information on Youth Month.

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