Government salutes youth activism

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Government says it remains committed to advancing the youth agenda and recognises the importance of youth activism in driving economic growth.

By establishing the new Ministry in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities - government says it has reaffirmed the commitment to deal with challenges of youth.

The month of June has been declared as #YouthMonth - which pays tribute to the youth of 1976 for their activism.

“It is also a time to reflect on the progress made and address the challenges identified in order to drive the youth development agenda in South Africa,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting Director-General Phumla Williams.

“As we mark the beginning of the new administration, we wish to applaud young people for the commitment, passion and enthusiasm they have demonstrated through activism.”

Notable progress made by the youth of today include the scrapping of the need for work experience for entry level jobs in the effort to alleviate the crisis of unemployment in the country.

The youth have also been at the forefront of addressing issues such as access to higher education and zero rating of sanitary towels, amongst others.

Government has also increased the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) budget from R70 million in 1994 to nearly R15 billion in 2018.

This year, over R900 million has been set aside to settle the debts of continuing NSFAS-funded students.

“We encourage young people to continue in the spirit of Thuma Mina and play their part to take forward the issue of youth development and make South Africa a progressive place to live in,” Williams said.

This year #YouthMonth will culminate on 16 June which is popularly known as the Soweto Uprising which 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.

The 2019 National Youth Day event will be celebrated on 16 June at Peter Mokaba Cricket Pitch in Polokwane, Limpopo Province. On the same day, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) will be celebrating 10 years since its establishment in 2009. 

This year’s commemoration will also coincide with the 25 years of Freedom and Democracy which motivated the theme #YouthMonth “25 Years of Democracy: A Celebration of Youth Activism”.

The theme seeks to encourage young people to join the ranks of active and responsible citizens by participating in democratic processes.

During this month of youth, government and its agencies such as the NYDA will host a number of engagements, including youth expos, dialogues and youth entrepreneur hubs to showcase opportunities available to young people.

A list of Youth Day build-up events can be accessed on

You can follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #YouthMonth #YouthMonth2019 #TheYearOfTheYouth #NYDAturns10.