June is dedicated to the youth of 1976 who stood up against the apartheid government and laid down their lives fighting for freedom and the right to equal education. This year marks 44 years since the uprising in which many children lost their lives while standing up against a system that sought to strip them of their identity, and break their spirit.
The month is dedicated to strengthening the resolve even under these very difficult circumstances, to work together to move South Africa towards realising the outcomes of the National Development Plan, through harnessing young people as instruments and assets for development, despite the current setbacks they face due to COVID-19.
The entire country is encouraged to participate in Youth Month by recognising the present and future role of the youth in shaping the socio-economic landscape of the country.
Led by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) and its agency, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in partnership with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), the 2020 Youth Month will be commemorated under the theme: “Youth Power: Growing South Africa together in the period of Covid-19”.
For the first time in 26-years of democracy, the nation will commemorate the 2020 National Youth Month with restrictions, as the country and the world battle the global outbreak of COVID-19. The President of the Republic of South Africa, HE Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday, 15 March 2020 among other things, the prohibition of large gatherings.
“The youth of 2020 have been called upon to fight a much more silent war, the corona virus pandemic and help to rebuild a society post COVID-19. We are aware of the effect of the pandemic on all of the society, and we are acutely aware of its negative impact on youth employment,” stated Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
All activities taking place during this years’ Youth Month including Youth Day commemoration, will take place virtually through various platforms such as Social Media, Web-based seminars (Webinars), Online, TV and Radio.