Youths urged to take up the opportunities

THE country's youth yesterday engaged in several activities to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1976 students revolt.

About 450 young people gathered at Makhoarane Primary School in Dobsonville, Soweto, to commemorate Youth Day in an event organised by Dynamite Skills Development and the African Evangelical Church.

Running simultaneously with the celebration was an exhibition by Unisa, Boston College, National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Short Course Academy and Gauteng South West College.

Ten bursaries were awarded to students.

Speakers took turns to explain to the youths how fortunate they were to live in the democratic era.

Youth director at Ekurhuleni mayoral office Tsholofelo Koopedi said: "Your days of youth are golden and glorious. Use that time wisely so that you do not regret."

Addressing hundreds of youths at Welcome Village in Kempton Park, Koopedi said young people should take advantage of government information systems that would help them shape their future.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the youth of the poor Blaaubosch village in Newcastle were urged to desist from having multiple-sex partners and put their energies in programmes aimed at developing their lives.

Newcastle mayor Afzul Rehman said youth development in South Africa was everyone's responsibility - including young people themselves.

Renowned actor Rapulane Seiphemo urged the youth to take advantage of the opportunities created by the heroes and heroines of 1976.

"They died for freedom for all of us and we need to use the opportunities we have now," Seiphemo said.

In Giyani, the youth from Uniting Reform Church celebrated the day by donating blankets and clothes to the Irish House place of safety.

The centre was established by the former Gazankulu homeland 30 years ago to look after children who were abandoned by their parents or were orphans in Giyani and Malamulele.