Marapyane - The needs of young people today are different from those of the youth in 1994, which is why it's important they vote in the 18 May local government elections, said deputy chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Advisory Board, Clarence Maseko.
He was addressing the Mpumalanga leg of a national voter education campaign in Marapyane near KwaMhlanga on Thursday.
"The challenges of young South Africans have changed drastically since we voted in the democratic government. Economic emancipation is now a major challenge and by exercising their voting rights, young people will have a say on how we tackle this challenge and create jobs," said Maseko.
He said to make their voices heard and actively take part in shaping their lives, communities and the country - just like those who participated in the Sharpeville and Langa protests 51 years ago - young South Africans needed to vote come out in numbers on 18 May.
"South Africans in Sharpeville and Langa were determined to be heard and participated in anti-pass law protests, which led to worldwide condemnation of South Africa's apartheid policies of the time. Through exercising their voting rights, young South Africans can also be activists of development and hold public representatives accountable so that youth development is accelerated at local government level," Maseko said.
The voter education campaign started in February is being implemented by the NYDA in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs, the Independent Electoral Commission, youth organisations and other relevant partners.