Cosatu: Youth's lives still difficult

2011-06-15 19:00

Johannesburg - Youth Day should not only be used to salute the heroes and heroines of the 1976 uprising, but also to improve the lives and education opportunities of today's youth, the Congress of SA Trade Unions said on Wednesday.

"This Youth Day should be dedicated to transforming our education system, which is currently failing most working-class children, who are trapped in a system in which 70% of matric passes are accounted for by only 11% of former model C schools; 70% of our schools do not have libraries; 60% do not have laboratories; 60% of children are pushed out of the schooling system before they reach Grade 12.

"Millions of young people are still excluded from accessing education beyond secondary school," Cosatu said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cosatu warned that the country was sitting on a "ticking time bomb of youth unemployment, poverty and mounting impatience".

"Left unresolved, these conditions, like the socio-economic conditions of the black working class in the 1970s, will propel young people to strive for change and chart their own routes out of the misery of unemployment and under-employment, poverty, disease, slum housing and the bucket system."

On June 16 1976, schoolchildren in Soweto protested for a better education, but the police responded with teargas and live bullets, killing many children.

History books differ about how many died on that day, with numbers ranging from 23 to 200.

At that stage, black children were subjected to low quality Bantu education, with poorly equipped schools and large numbers of children in one class.

In 1976, the apartheid government introduced Afrikaans as the medium of tuition from Grade 7 (then called Standard 5), which meant that pupils were not taught in their home languages.

Tensions simmered when schools opened in January that year, culminating in the June 16 protest march to Orlando Stadium.

One of those killed by the police was the 12-year-old Hector Pieterson. A photograph of his last moments, which was distributed across the world, made him the face of the uprising.

  • thinkza - 2011-06-15 19:20

    "At that stage, black children were subjected to low quality Bantu education, with poorly equipped schools and large numbers of children in one class." It is still the same as in 1976.

      lilo69 - 2011-06-15 19:36

      They should wake up and smell the proverbial roses. There's a thorn in their midst. Malema's making them promises only to keep himself in the bussiness. They paying for his lavish lifestyle.The only future for this country is them. What exactly does he do to deserve what he has?

  • TamaraSays - 2011-06-15 19:24

    Mr. Vavi, if what you are saying is true, then there's only one place to lay the blame - squarely at your alliance partner's feet. I wish all those youths the best, and that they are rewarded as is fitting for the amount of hard work they put in. However, you also have to realise that uprising should only happen against the oppressor, which in South Africa, has always been the party that holds the political power. Encouraging the youth to 'rise up' against ordinary South Africans, of any race, who have worked hard for what they have is not promoting freedom - it's promoting lawlessness and criminality, which we all hope is going to be stamped out, no matter where it occurs, and no matter who orchestrates it.

      Proffie - 2011-06-15 20:10

      Well said Tamara. Very erudite.

  • Numsa - 2011-06-15 19:28

    viva the mother of sa winnie and the father julius !! get out if u dont like it

      thinkza - 2011-06-15 19:29

      Weak trolling attempt...

      lilo69 - 2011-06-15 21:00

      viva the whore of sa winnie and the son of mugabe,julius!! i'm here to stay

      Rolie - 2011-06-20 16:31

      @ Bheki. You are a sphincter - look it up in the dictionary and you will recognise yourself. I chose to live in this country not because of you but in spite of you.

  • Oppressor - 2011-06-15 19:29

    Cosatu is one of the biggest causes of unemployment. Also blacks breed like flies and then expect whites to provide employment for their multiple offspring. When we provide employment, they go on strike with the support of Cosatu. Carry on suffering you primitive idiots.

      VM1 - 2011-06-15 19:39

      @Oppressor When we take 51% of the companies we will not need emplyment from your kind - we will employ them ourselves - soon oppresor ! ! ! soon ... What you are experiencing now you neverthought you will in your wildest dreams - what you will exprerience next year and the year after will astound you more. Talk about breeding - how come Europe being the smallest continent export so many poeple to other "worlds" maybe there was overbreeding there would'nt you say - 2011-06-15 19:48

      You will take Oppressor because you are what is wrong! Taking to control and at the end you will come short. It's called time!

      lilo69 - 2011-06-15 20:15

      cosatu's/anc's in it for the money. This is the age of the "black man" apparently? Give them a go......,they couldn't get anything right in SEVENTEEN YEARS, i stopped holding my breath. We only have to look at Africa to see where we heading.They "trekking die leeu se draad" thinking that i'm scared of my future here. There's allot of "blacks" getting fed-up with them .

  • Lungisani - 2011-06-15 20:00

    Numsa, indirectly you ve jst mortified yourself. your comment is irrelevent under the topic under discussion. with what has been said by cosatu i totaly concur, as much as we are liberated there are still demarcations that are impeding us from total liberation.

  • Playnice - 2011-06-15 20:38

    "This Youth Day should be dedicated to transforming our education system..." Dedicating 1 day will not help. You've wasted 17 years and Billions of rands that could have provided our youth with a better education. Get off your asses and provide your youth what you promised them.

  • oupag - 2011-06-16 18:32

    All is not lost, lets keep a light hearted position and drive for things to change for the better

  • v3 - 2011-06-24 20:12

    How strange that Cosatu has not criticised the SA Democratic Teacher's Union, which is one of the biggest causes for blacks getting "hewers of wood & bearers of water" education. Oops. Forgot that SADTU is a Cosatu affiliate.

  • marius.vandenberg.77 - 2012-07-04 03:22

    Wake up...The new Third Force of Malema and Cadres are rallying the youth of this country that will make 76 look like a walk in the park. If Vavi is really that concerned about the youth, why is Cosatu doing so little to emancipate the youth through trade and vocational education.

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