South Africa commemorates Youth Month 2020

2 Jun 2020

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.

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”. The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane together with the Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa launched the National Youth month commemorations on Monday, 01 June 2020.

On the occasion of launching the youth month, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said: “Today, we are launching youth month 2020. Through various youth month activities, we should work together to improve access to government services and job opportunities. This will hopefully contribute to the transformations of the lives and values of our youth. The youth of 1976 fought an oppressive regime, therefore it is incumbent upon the youth of 2020 to work together to fight and conquer the invincible covid-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, we encourage our youth to remain resolute and work with government to overcome these challenges.”

When June 16 was declared Youth Day in 1994, it was aimed at remembering the memories of those who died and suffered during this day as well as to carry on with their legacy and principles of selflessness, determination and devotion that is necessary for success and growth for any society or nation. The sacrifices of these courageous young people who fought for equal education will forever be etched in the country’s history.

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.

“Whilst COVID-19 is a potentially life threatening disease, it has some positive spinoffs as many young people especially those in the creative industries are creating 4th Industrial Revolution’s solutions that transcend beyond the end of the pandemic,” added Minister 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.

“In these uncertain times, your voices as young people become more important than ever before. As we try and transition to a better world, you as young will be the leaders of that world, and therefore, this is probably the most important June month that will be commemorated in our democratic history.” said the NYDA CEO, Mr. Waseem Carrim

“During this month, NYDA and other government departments will be hosting various webinars that will cover topics from education, employment and entrepreneurship to keep you up to date with the recent trends and developments,” concluded, Mr. Carrim.

Over the month of June, the following activities will take place:

  • The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is currently running a Youth Month competition from 25 May to 30 June. The weekly prizes to be won include among others: data, routers, tablets, etc.
  • On Monday 01 June, the NYDA also launched the Trailblazers Campaign calling for young people who have achieved in their line of work against all odds. This year, the campaign will also focus at those young people at the forefront of COVID-19. The Campaign  runs until 08th of June 2020.
  • The NYDA leads the Biz Alive Campaign which calls for young entrepreneurs to submit information about their businesses to be marketed on the platforms of the Agency. The campaign kicked-off Tuesday, 02 June.
  • The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture leads the Youth in Creative Industries webinar series to showcase and profile young people within design, performing arts & visual arts. The creative webinar series runs from 02-30 June 2020.
  • On Wednesday, 03 June 2020, the NYDA will profile beneficiaries of the ‘1000 Businesses in a 100 days’ project.
  • On 14 June, the NYDA will also host the National Youth Service Day to showcase programmes and works that has been undertaken by 13 National Youth Service Programmes of several departments.
  • The NYDA will on Monday, 15 June host a nationwide webinar on the Youth Micro Enterprise Relief Fund to outline the progress and to showcase the beneficiaries of the fund.
  • The South African State Theatre will stage a drama called, “The Fall” from 15 June – 05 July 2020. This frank collaborative work is based on #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall and subsequent student movements’ demonstrations in 2015 and 2016. The Fall will add its voice to the national and worldwide debate and youth-led revolutions against injustices, inequality in education, cultural representation and many other contemporary conflicts.
  • Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Government will host the provincial youth day on 15 June 2020 as a buildup event to the National Youth Day. This will be a virtual commemoration followed by the cultural programme.
  • The virtual Commemoration for the National Youth Day on 16 June 2020 @10h00 will take the form of a dialogue with young people, led by the President of the Republic of South Africa, HE Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture will host an online art exhibition showcasing the suffering and traumatic experiences of the youth during the South African War. The exhibition takes place from 17 June – 30 June 2020.
  • The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities will host a webinar on menstrual health management to look at how young women are affected by the pandemic. Supply lines for sanitary products distributed via schools was disrupted as a result of the lockdown. This webinar will look into how government is responding to this, as well as other challenges facing young women when it comes to managing their menstrual cycle with dignity. (Date: TBC)

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. 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.

Media enquiries:
Ms Zimasa Velaphi: Marketing and Communication (DSAC)
Cell: 072 172 8925 / Email:

Ms Mmabatho Ramompi: Spokesperson for the Minister (DWYPD)
Cell: 076 480 3513 / Email:

Bongekile Skosana: Media Liaison Officer (NYDA)
Cell: 060 978 6000 / Email:

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