Category Archives: South Africa

Youth day 2020 in South Africa

16 June in South Africa is Youth Day. It is the day on which the Soweto youth uprising of 16 June 1976 are commemorated.

Protests in African schools (non-white schools) already started in 1974. It started after Afrikaans and English were announced to be the compulsory languages of instruction. Think about that. Today, there are Afrikaans organisations that can’t handle it when schools and universities choose English as primary mediums for instruction. In the 1970’s, children whose mother languages where Tswana, Zulu, Xhosa, and so forth, where basically forced to be instructed in Afrikaans and English.

On 16 June 1976, between 3000 and 10000 scholars marched peacefully to demonstrate and protest against the government’s language policy. The march was meant to culminate at a rally at Orlando Stadium. On the way their, they were met by heavily armed police, who fired teargas and later live ammunition on the demonstrating scholars. 176 scholars were believed to have been killed, with some estimating up to 700 killed. About 4000 were injured.

This is why we keep Youth Day.

The uprising began in Soweto, but spread throughout the country fast, and it lasted until the next year. The aftermath of the events had rather big consequences on the Apartheid government. Images of police firing on peacefully protesting scholars let to an international revulsion against South Africa, as its brutality was exposed.

Youth day 2018

Blog-a-day-June… Saturday, 16 June
Today is Youth day in South Africa. A public holiday.
What is Youth day all about?
On 16 June 1976, many young people from schools in Soweto marched to Orlando Stadium. They were mainly protesting the 1974 order that some subjects were to be taught in Afrikaans only.
During the protest, police started shooting at the (mostly) high school students, which led to many deaths of students.
Every year, we commemorate the role of the youth in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa, and especially the tragic deaths of the students on 16 June 1976.

May we never forget!

For more details, please read the following:

Eskom consequences

Blog-a-day-June… Wednesday, 13 June
In South Africa, we have Eskom, our power provider.
Over the last few years, there were a lot of corruption taking place in South Africa, and Eskom were not spared. A lot of money were lost in this way.
It was announced recently that workers will not get a salary raise, due to lack of money. Perfectly understandable.
The issue is this, though: the workers seems to be carrying the consequences of years of bad decisions and corruption by politicians and top management.
I don’t like the possible consequences of a possible strike by workers at Eskom, but I think I support the plight of the workers at Eskom in this case. I really hope that there will not be negative consequences for country at large.