Mrs. S. T. Rajbansi seen with youth who have registered to vote, in front of the KZN Legislature.
Minority Front Leader, Mrs. S. Thakur-Rajbansi, said that the events of 16 June 1976 changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa and that this uprising which centred on education had a profound effect in shaping the course of South Africa’s history.
Mrs. Rajbansi mentioned that at the time, the youth who were fleeing political persecution strengthened the weakened and exiled liberation movements, adding impetus to the struggle against apartheid. This, symbolically recognized the role of the youth in the liberation of South Africa and culminated in the annual commemoration of Youth Day in our country, she said.
Today’s youth are also facing a lot of challenges, which may be different, but they are equally as big. These include drugs, unemployment, teenage pregnancy, the HIV pandemic and illiteracy. Mrs. Rajbansi added that as we work through these challenges, it is equally important to evaluate and acknowledge progress made and to celebrate those who have played a vital role in getting us here.
As we strive towards a non-racial society with a constitution aimed at protecting the human rights of all, we still grapple with the legacy of the socio-economic divisions caused by the deep scars of the past, said Mrs. Rajbansi. She urged the youth to take advantage of the initiatives and programmes of government relating to study assistance, empowerment and work experience so that we can progress meaningfully. She reiterated that the National Development Plan 2030, addresses the core issues of unemployment, poverty, education, social cohesion and inequality and together with other initiatives and programmes, aim to empower our youth.
Mrs. Rajbansi reminded the youth of Madiba’s words during June 1999: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” The Minority Front therefore pledges its continued support to cultural diversity; youth and community development; inclusivity; multilinguism and the creative industries. To further improve oneself and leave an indelible mark to continually improve South Africa, she encouraged all youth to register to vote in the 2019 General Elections.