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Seize the opportunity and make education fashionable, says the Limpopo Premier

By: Maano Nekhavhambe

Limpopo Province Premier Honorable Stanley Chupu Mathabatha has called on the youth of South Africa to continue celebrating the lives and sacrifices made by the historic youth of 1976.


He was addressing the crowd dominated by the youth from and around Ga-Chuene during the 41st anniversary of Youth Day commemorations held at the Chuene Holiday Resort, outside Polokwane.

The Premier has expressed his displeasure towards the youth of today who sees no value in celebrating what the 1976 heroes and heroines encountered in order for them (present generation) to enjoy the freedom and harmony in the country today.

The youth generation of 41 years ago, played a pivotal role in confronting the apartheid laws and dismantling Afrikaans being used as a medium of instructions in schools and as a result most of them lost their lives, notably a 13-year-old Hector Petersen, and many left wounded after the brutal police men opened fire while blocking the students from entering the Orlando stadium for what was considered ‘illegal’ protests.

Mathabatha emphasized that it is significant to celebrate the victory against Apartheid and being domesticated by the past regime. He also highlighted that the standard of education back then was limited to black students and today everyone has access to free and fair education which adds to more reasons to celebrate.

Today, the fight that was fought by the 1976 youth has set fruits as there are various opportunities for a black child to prosper, students now have access to National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and bursaries are open to every student that are in financial need to have access to higher institutions and to obtain their first degree irrespective of their gender and race, something that was very selective and was a privilege that was enjoyed by only people of color prior to 1994.

In Limpopo province, various departments including municipalities continues to supplement the NSFAS by offering bursaries to access higher education to young people in and around the province. Premier’s Bursary Fund is one of those institutions which was recently given more funds to assist more needy students.

In 2017, government talks about advancing economic transformation and youth economic freedom. All these will not have been possible if the youth of 1976 did not take a stand to demand equal education from government.

Government wants all youth to benefit from this economic transformation which includes government procurement by opening doors to youth by way of prioritizing youth and people living with disabilities when awarding government tenders.

Mathabatha stressed the importance of education to students and youth that gathered to commemorate the youth day by reminding them that, without education they might not realize their dreams and that they must make education fashionable and grasp opportunities that comes their way.

The Premier also urged the youth from Limpopo to strive for education and excellence and stay away from bad influence which often leads to them being involved in drug related abuse.