Youths look back to take on future

By celebrating 46 years since the Soweto uprising, the youth parliament of the Free State Provincial Legislature measured strides made to address challenges facing the present generation of youth in South Africa.

This sitting that paid homage to the youth of 1976 was held in the provincial legislature in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, 28 June, under the theme “Promoting sustainable livelihood and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow”.

“Youth parliament is one of the Free State Provincial Legislature’s annual political outreach programmes that focuses on the interests and issues affecting young people in the province,” said Ntombizanele Sifuba, Speaker of the legislature.

“The purpose is commemorating the significant role and sacrifices made by young people in the struggle for liberation.”

Parallel to youth issues, this youth parliament sitting mirrored the progress of the youth during democracy, she said.

“It celebrated the 28 years of rolling back the frontiers of draconian regime by taking cognisance of the vision of the National Youth Policy 2030, which is an integrated, holistic and sustainable youth development programme, conscious of diversities, historical imbalances and current realities.

“It focuses on building capacities for young people, so that they can in turn contribute their full potential in building a better life for all.

“The programme culminates in an event-based activity, which takes place during June,” said Sifuba.

Participating youth from the five districts of the province looked at what was critical to empower them, as well as the challenge of the government’s failure to create unemployment.