UWC celebrates Youth Day
By Henry Booysen
16 June 2008
The University of the Western Cape today played hosts to the Youth Day celebrations. The event which was attended by thousands of people mainly youths took place in the Stadium of the university.
MEC Safety and Security in the Western Cape Leonard Ramatlakane welcomed the different organizations to the event and National Youth Commission Chairperson Nomi Nkondlo delivered a speech on behalf of the Commission.
“The youth are amongst the highest affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. All these compounded by inadequate educational opportunities. As they seek to protect and defend this democracy,” says Nkondlo.
The Chairperson later elaborated that the Commission is urging government to find different ways to ensure that the youth finds different ways to challenge the problem of unemployment.
Xenophobia was addressed at the event and a strong appeal was made for South Africans to accept and embrace other Africans.
President Thabo Mbeki addressed the crowd and his main focus was that the youth of 2008 should regard themselves as the “Young Lions”, a term the late Oliver Tambo described the youth of 1976.
Mbeki addressed the issue of Xenophobia saying that the youth of 2008 should educate one another to stop all attacks against foreigners, and should act as first defenders for both South African communities and other Africans.
“At the same time we must admit that all of us have been humiliated and shamed by the small number of young people who recently took it upon themselves to the criminal attacks against fellow Africans who live among us, and participated in looting their property,” says Mbeki.
The President mentioned that government has recognised that the youth is the most vulnerable members of society and will ensure that youth development and empowerment takes place at programmes including the Expanded Public Works Programme.
The event then ended with a local teenager surrendering items to the crowd about hope.
“I wish everyone, including foreign guests who live among us, a happy and safe National Youth Day,” Mbeki said in closing.