South Africa marks National Youth Day and month this June, commemorating the Soweto Uprising when students took the streets to protest the introduction of Afrikaans as the official medium for instruction in 1976. This year, as the 20th anniversary of the end of Apartheid is celebrated, challenges surrounding exclusion are still being faced by the South African youth.
Race, justice, inequality, inclusiveness, basic rights, corruption and violence were some of the topics addressed by young Capetonians who were invited to participate on a debate on “Race and Politics” in April, ahead of the national polls. The dialogue included political leaders from the ANC, the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, and students invited by IJR. Elections are now over, but the concerns and ideas expressed in the dialogue are still a good example of young South Africans views.
Though freedom is now a reality, the youth still identifies several pending issues related to social justice that have to be addressed. The need to acknowledge their agency and contribute in bringing about change came up, as participants expressed concern over the fact that only 32% of young people registered to vote in the last elections. Race also emerged in the conversation, with concerns over the disadvantaged position of people who were previously segregated and a call for actual equality in society.
Watch the video and learn more about the youth’s views on politics.