President Ramaphosa pays tribute to young people

Ramaphosa says the mission of 1976 generation was to dismantle Bantu education and that of today’s youth is to take forward the project of national reconciliation and transformation.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says throughout history young people have been a driving force for change.

He says young people no matter where they live and no matter what they do, they each have a burning desire to change the world.

“In just the last few decades, young people have waged numerous struggles against injustice, from the 1968 student uprising in Paris, to the anti-war movement in the United States in the 1960s, to the anti-colonial struggle in many African and Asian countries, to the fight against apartheid, to the Arab Spring,” says Ramaphosa.

Most recently, young people have been at the forefront of the #BlackLivesMatter movement that has gained global support in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in the United States.

Over the past week, activists around the world have also been demanding the removal of symbols that glorify the barbarity and violence of the slave trade and colonialism.

“At an Oxford University demonstration last week a protestor carried a placard with the words ‘Rhodes must Fall’, the rallying cry of students in our own country five years ago,” says Ramaphosa.

Young people across the world have found common cause.

They are tearing down of statues and symbols of racism, demanding the decolonisation of educational curricula, and calling for institutions to address racism and social exclusion.

“And so, as we pay tribute to the generation of 1976 on this Youth Day, we also salute the youth of post-apartheid South Africa, the worthy inheritors of this noble legacy.”

Ramaphosa says the mission of 1976 generation was to dismantle Bantu education and that of today’s youth is to take forward the project of national reconciliation and transformation.