Dr Samkelo Bala speaking during the Youth Day dialogue at Holiday Inn, Sunnyside Park Hotel

By Tshepo Motholo

  • The Gauteng Department of Social Development hosted a youth dialogue in Johannesburg, bringing together young leaders and community members to discuss education, skills development, and empowerment.
  • Prominent speaker Dr Bala stressed the importance of continuous investment in youth development programmes, calling for collaboration between government, civil society, and the private sector.
  • This year’s Youth Month commemorates the historic 1976 Soweto Uprising and South Africa’s 30 Years of Freedom, highlighting the essential role of youth in driving social and economic progress.

The Gauteng Department of Social Development convened a youth dialogue as part of the Youth Month commemoration, providing a dynamic platform for young leaders, activists, and community members to gather at the Sunnyside Inn Hotel in Johannesburg last Wednesday. The dialogue underscored the crucial role of education, skills development, and empowerment initiatives in equipping young people with the tools needed to succeed and make meaningful contributions to society.

Dr Bala, a prominent speaker at the dialogue, emphasised the necessity of ongoing investment in youth development programs. Highlighting inclusivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, Dr Bala stressed the collaborative efforts required from the government, civil society, and the private sector to foster opportunities that enable young people to thrive and realise their full potential.

Youth Month holds profound significance, commemorating the courage of students who stood against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction on June 16, 1976, in Soweto. This year’s celebration coincides with South Africa’s 30 Years of Freedom, marking significant strides in achieving social justice and highlighting the critical role of youth in sustaining and advancing these achievements.

Under the theme “Actively embracing the socioeconomic gains of our democracy,” this year’s Youth Day calls for proactive measures to address socioeconomic challenges and inequalities. It emphasises translating the promises of freedom and equality into tangible realities across the nation.

As South Africa marks three decades of democracy, Youth Day serves as a reflection on progress made and challenges yet to be overcome. It celebrates the achievements of young South Africans who continue to drive social and economic transformation, catalysing positive change within their communities and beyond.

Picture taken by: Tshepo Motholo


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