http://www.buanews. gov.za/view. php?ID=080612154 51002&coll= buanew08
SA to remember 1976 heroes and heroines
By Edwin Tshivhidzo
Date: 12 Jun 2008
Pretoria - South Africans will on Monday commemorate Youth Day in recognition of the brave youths who on 16 June 1976 stood up against the apartheid government's bantu education laws.The sacrifices made by the class of 1976 were a turning point in the history of the country and set South Africa firmly on the road to democracy.
Today the Soweto Uprisings are used to educate the youth about the importance of human rights and dignity. Youth Day is the culmination of events for Youth Month and events are being planned against the backdrop of the recent attacks on people from other countries living in South Africa.
Government has called on the youth of the country to actively oppose the attacks. On 16 June, thousands of South Africans are expected to converge at various events being staged throughout the country to celebrate the day in which many still bears the scars of the past.
President Thabo Mbeki is expected to address the main event to be held in Cape Town. Celebrating the occasion of the 32nd Anniversary of 16 June, the Gauteng Provincial Government will take stock of progress made in promoting the development of young people and rededicate itself to overcoming the challenges of youth development.
The Provincial Youth Day Commemoration is being organised jointly by the Gauteng Provincial Government, the Gauteng Youth Commission, the City of Johannesburg and the June 16 Foundation. The day's activities will begin at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum where Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa will be joined by Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Amos Masondo, Chairperson of the Gauteng Youth Commission, Lebogang Maile, and members of the June 16 Foundation.
The premier will thereafter deliver a keynote address at Johannesburg Stadium in Bertrams beginning at 10am. In the Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela is expected to give the youth of the province something to smile about, but it will only be revealed on the day.
Asked about the surprise she has for the youth, Eastern Cape Premier, Mrs Nosimo Balindlela said: "This is a surprise and that means the youth, including the media will only know about what it is on the day of the event.
The premier, Eastern Cape Youth Commission Chairperson Mlimandlela Ndamase and provincial MECs will descend at the Cala Sports Field on the day.Premier Balindlela urged the youth to be at the forefront of the fight against the attacks on fellow African brothers and sisters. "Our communities and our youth should be vigilant and make it impossible for anyone to manipulate their concerns and aspirations for criminal purposes," said Premier Balindlela.
Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Free State will also be commemorating the day. Government will use Youth Day to urge young people to seize the opportunities democracy has brought and work with both with government and the private sector to extend the reach of these opportunities.
By the same token, a call goes out to companies to strengthen their practical contribution towards youth development. Youth organisations have also been urged to ensure all people in South Africa, including people from other countries, are protected from any form of violence and are encouraged to actively oppose any violence and to report any such acts to the relevant authorities.