ANC STATEMENT ON YOUTH DAY 2022
The African National Congress joins millions of South Africans in commemorating the 46th anniversary of 16 June 1976 Student uprising. The ANC salutes the Class of 1976, a militant and fearless generation of young people who rose to challenge the might and brutality of a racist and oppressive regime. The movement however is mindful of deeply rooted challenges such as poverty, unemployment as well as alcohol and drug abuse which continue to ravage lives of young people.
We commend initiatives by the ANC-led government for introducing a variety of interventions to mitigate against challenges faced by millions of our young people. Amongst them is the introduction of The Presidential Youth Employment Initiative which includes recruiting young people for a whole range of jobs working at local schools. According to Stats SA, youth unemployment in South Africa is at staggering 66.5%. Indeed no society can expect to grow or prosper when the majority of its young people are out of work.
Since the 1994 democratic breakthrough, the ANC has made significant strides towards reaching our goal of building a better country for young people. For many young people, our country is now a far better place to live in than it was prior to our liberation. However, we must acknowledge that more still needs to be done in the area of youth empowerment. Our immediate challenge is to adequately address the economic plight of young people. The ANC government has a duty to empower young people and to help restore the dignity of all young people, many of whom are grappling with the reality of unemployment, inadequate access to education, drug abuse, gender-based violence and a life of crime.
Today, as we seek to consolidate the gains of our liberation struggle, the country continues to look up to the current generation of youth to once again play a leading role in the national effort to confront the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. As a country, we expect our youth to contribute with the same passion and conviction that they displayed in the fight against apartheid, towards the creation of a better life for all our people. Young people must continue to occupy their rightful place as change agents and to shape the future of our country.
Our nation owes the 1976 generation a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to repay in our life-time. We dare not forget their collective sacrifices and the vision for which they laid down their lives.
The best tribute we can pay to the 1976 generation is to make a solemn commitment never to abandon or betray the ideals for which they laid down their lives!
Long live the 1976 generation!
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
071 623 4975