Ramaphosa: Young people must take the lead post-Covid-19

accreditation
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on young people to lead South Africa's economic recovery post-Covid-19.
  • DA interim leader John Steenhuisen says Youth Day is a reminder of hard-fought freedoms.
  • Parliament's presiding officers say young people's voices are critical to the developmental trajectory of the country.


President Cyril Ramaphosa says young people should take the lead in South Africa's economic recovery post-Covid-19.

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

He was addressing a virtual Youth Day discussion on Tuesday which focused on the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We have young entrepreneurs and business owners who through their innovative ideas have been able to change their communities for the better and create new employment opportunities. 

"We have outstanding young people, in the sciences and research, in sports, in entertainment and other fields who have represented our country on global platforms and stages," Ramaphosa said.

This year marks 44 years since the Soweto uprising that claimed the lives of more than 200 people when thousands marched against the use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction.

The day, celebrated as Youth Day, ignited violent uprisings countrywide against the apartheid government. 

"We pay tribute to the courage, the resilience and optimism of the youth of 1976, we also salute today's generation who are determined, who are focused, who are resolute, but who also have great hopes about their own future and the future of our country," Ramaphosa said.

He added young people's potential was undeniable and from "time immemorial" had always been driven by changing the world.

"By changing the way things are done, by changing the way we live, by changing unjust systems, by bringing about justice and bringing about a new world … the moment that we now confront post-Covid-19 calls young people across the length and the breadth of our country to be part of that change and to be change agents. 

"It also calls on young people to rebuild our economy and make a difference in the lives of our communities.

"It also calls on young people to be the young people who are going to underpin everything they do with the best of values, who are going to be rooted in principle in creating a South Africa that we can all be proud of," Ramaphosa said.

READ | Malema: We will hold Ramaphosa responsible for any loss of lives

With South Africa's youth unemployment rate being one of the highest in the world, he added the government remained committed to investing in young people.

"As a government our commitment is irrevocable. We will continue to support our young people from cradle right through to young adulthood. We are providing education and training opportunities so that the youth get the skills that are needed by our economy."

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen said 16 June was a reminder our modern-day freedoms came at a high price.

"To each generation, we must make sure that these freedoms that we fought so hard for are sustained for generations to come," he added.

Parliament's presiding officers, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Province chairperson Amos Masondo, added their voices to Youth Day celebrations.

"Young people are the future of the country and their voices are critical to the developmental trajectory of our nation.

"They must be at the forefront of economic growth and development of the country. This includes being central and actively involved in the government's service delivery initiatives and activities," their joint statement read.

Stay healthy and entertained during the national lockdown. Sign up for our Lockdown Living newsletter. Sign up and manage your newsletters in the new News24 app by clicking on the Profile tab

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
With the Springboks losing their last two matches against Australia, how concerned are you?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Very concerned! Something is not right ...
59% - 1788 votes
I'm not worried. Every team has a bad game. The Boks will bounce back.
17% - 518 votes
It's too early to tell. Let's see how they go against the All Blacks.
24% - 731 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.79
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.19
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.34
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.72
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-0.9%
Gold
1,765.47
+0.6%
Silver
22.27
-0.6%
Palladium
1,890.12
-6.4%
Platinum
914.77
-3.1%
Brent Crude
75.34
-0.4%
Top 40
55,246
-2.4%
All Share
61,453
-2.2%
Resource 10
55,133
-2.4%
Industrial 25
79,201
-2.4%
Financial 15
13,750
-1.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE