The message from the weekend June 16 commemoration for youth to play a critical role in the new South Africa remains a viable option for them to chart a path to a productive future.
Anything less will guarantee their degeneration and perennial condemnation to substandard existence on the fringes of the society.
The future appeals for a sense of common purpose among a youth geared for the challenges ahead.
This was the essence of speeches delivered to the youth by various speakers, including President Thabo Mbeki. In his weekly online letter as ANC president, Mbeki said the question arose whether the youth were organised to play the role of a driver of progressive change, as they did when they took to the streets for change on June 16 1976.
A seminal question given the afflictions that characterise the youth's existence today - unemployment, HIV-Aids, drugs and so on.
Compounding matters is the problem of obsession among the youth with materialism and immediate gratification - attitudes that set them on an inexorable path to doom. These social issues that call not only for sustained government intervention but the society's involvement as well.