The shoulders of young people are forced to carry the burden of ensuring our country does not collapse nor fall into flames. This was the sentiment put forward by Mandla Nkomfe, the Deputy Chairperson of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. Nkomfe was speaking at an event at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum to inform the press and public about the Youth Day Parade for Justice and Change. The Youth Day Parade, set to take place on June 16, will provide a platform for young people to express their aspirations for a truly equal, just, non-sexist, and non-racial society in which all persons have access to higher forms of freedom. A wide range of organisations were also in attendance and these include Corruption Watch, Voice of the People, Section27, Equal Education, Azania 27, ASRI, Right to Protest, Fight Inequality Alliance, Defend our Democracy and Fridays for Future, among others. Nkomfe commended the youth-led initiative saying that the parade comes at an opportune moment, as the voices of young people need to be felt, seen and heard with urgency. “We join the collective voices in endorsing the objectives of the Youth Parade for Justice and Change. In this sense, it is important that youth insist on accountability from people who are leaders without the constraints of politics and political parties”, said Nkomfe, a former leader of the Soweto Youth Congress.
The Youth Day Parade will take place on June 16 and supporters will begin to gather from 09:00am at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria before moving through the streets to the seat of power at the Union Buildings. This event seeks to embrace and showcase innovative and creative forms of activism. The nature of the parade is to advance fairness, dignity, accountability, ethical governance, sustainable and equitable development, and meaningful change. “During our struggle we were fighting for generations to come. Even though they may not do
what we did, I am expecting the youth of today to come up with better solutions because you are the future leaders”, remarked Antoinette Sithole, sister of Hector Pieterson and student activist of the 1976 generation.
Over 80 organisations from various sectors of society have officially endorsed the initiative. The Youth Day Parade will highlight some of the substantive issues that are facing young people in the country. These include joblessness, gender-based violence, climate change,
academic exclusion, and crime. The collective will hand over a memorandum to highlight the major crises of our time and to put forward their solutions and vision for a better society and prosperous future. Irfaan Mangera, the Youth Activism Programme Manager at the Ahmed Kathrada
Foundation stressed the need for the youth to take forward the spirit of service and activism as they continue the struggle. “It is our hope that this parade inspires the youth all across the country to begin the work, in solidarity with one another, to tackle the issues we are faced
with and to strengthen the democratic system we are inheriting. We need to do more in honour of the legacy of the 1976 youth. Young people are in need of sustainable jobs and to
live safely in their communities.”
“The 1976 generation, right through to that of the 1980’s and more recently the

FeesMustFall generation all show us that through service and solidarity, nothing is

impossible”, concluded Mangera. “If we are going to be build a perfect society than someone who is in grade 11 should not have to be so scared for their future that he is forced to leave school, come here and have to
tell the adults in the room to wake up and do something. It is irresponsible of them to continue to perpetuate a climate crisis that puts billions of people’s lives at stake,” said young climate activist Otsile Nkadimeng. 
Nkadimeng called for the government to prioritise the issues of climate change before the world reaches devastation. He added that extreme weather events, such as the Durban floods could happen anywhere in the world without any biases. Echoing these views, Nkomfe appealed that we needed to go back to the spirit of lifelong activism. To be part of or to contribute towards the successful implementation of the Youth Day Parade, please contact the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation on
youth@kathradafoundation.org.

The Youth Day Parade for Justice and Change is endorsed by the following
organisations:

  1. #PayTheGrants Campaign
  2. 350 Africa.org
  3. 982 Youth Circles
  4. Accountability Lab
  5. Activating Youth Activism
  6. African Climate Alliance
  7. African Climate Reality Project
  8. Ahmed Kathrada Foundation
  9. Amani Inkd
  10. Amnesty International SA
  11. Anti-Racism Network SA
  12. ARSM Coalition
  13. ASRI
  14. Assembly of the Unemployed
  15. Azania 27
  16. CareZA
  17. Centre for Applied Legal Studies
  18. Climate Ambition to Accountability Project
  19. Climate Justice Charter Movement
  20. Corruption Watch
  21. Daily Vox
  22. Defend our Democracy
  23. Dube Neighbourhood Watch
  24. Ed Tech Bridges
  25. Equal Education
  26. Extinction Rebellion Gauteng
  27. Fight Inequality Alliance
  28. Fridays for Future
  29. Greenpeace Africa
  30. Heartlines
  31. Housing Assembly (CPT)
  32. iSeluleko Youth Leadership Development Forum
  33. Keep Left
  34. Kindle Knight Movement
  35. Koponang Africa Against Xenophobia
  36. Lawyers for Human Rights
  37. Legal Resources Centre
  38. Leratong Advice Centre
  39. Market Users Committee
  40. Matibe_Malinga Foundation
  41. Mining Communities United in Action
  42. Movement for Care
  43. Muslim Students Association Union
  44. Muslim Youth Movement
  45. My CA Hub
  46. My Voice / Engage SA
  47. Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund
  48. Nyolohelo Justice and Peace Commission
  49. Ogaden Youth and Student Union
  50. Open Dialogue
  51. Power of Women & Children
  52. Project 90 by 2030
  53. Project O
  54. Project Potential
  55. Provide As Praxis
  56. PSA Youth League
  57. PYSA
  58. Right to Know
  59. Right to Protest
  60. Section 27
  61. Show Me Your Number
  62. Sisonke Revolutionary Movement
  63. Soul City Institute
  64. South African Youth Climate Action Plan
  65. Studio Sketch
  66. Team Free Sanitary Pads
  67. The Menstrual Project
  68. The Peoples Assembly
  69. The Young Catalyst
  70. Trinity Arts Alive
  71. Tuks for Climate Justice
  72. United Front
  73. Virginia Concern Community
  74. Voice of Justice
  75. Voice of the People
  76. Waterberg Women Advocacy Organisation
  77. Women Against Mining United in Action
  78. Women in Need Organisation
  79. Youth Must Rise
  80. Youth Policy Committee
  81. Youth@SAIIA
  82. Zero Dropout Campaign

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Youth enquiries:
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