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Each year in June, South Africa celebrates and commemorates the role played by the youth in the struggle for freedom.

The Bantu Education Act of 1953 affected the lives of black youth directly. Dr Verwoerd, the Minister of Native Affairs at the time, argued that African education should be inferior to that of white education and that Africans should only be trained to be

Black youth fought many hard battles to achieve a better future and they were not easily won. There were times when their voices were loud and others, when their voices were silenced. When South Africa’s freedom was won in 1994, there was no doubt that

The youth-driven BC was formed following the brute force with which the apartheid government responded to opposition. It aimed to decolonise black minds and facilitated youth militancy in the struggle for liberation.

The introduction of Bantu Education in 1955 demonstrated that the apartheid government seemingly did not desire to develop and/or use black people's skills and talents.

Initially, the government did not see black consciousness as a real threat. Rather, the state believed that BC’s philosophy of black people working on their own fitted well with its own philosophy of separateness as seen in its policy of apartheid and t

The Soweto Uprising had radicalised the youth. The death of Steve Biko had aroused their anger even further. The apartheid state was determined to crush any kind of resistance and responded with a brutal crackdown. Black consciousness was the state’s fi

After the October crackdown of 1977, youth and student organisations began to revive slowly. This included the Soweto Students’ Representative Council (SSRC), which had been responsible for the coordination of many of the events of June 1976.

A political prisoner was different to a detainee in that he or she was charged with a political crime and thus was allowed to go to trial to try to prove their innocence. Once found guilty, they were sentenced and served time in prison or were hanged.

During the late 1960s and the 1970s South African had become an increasingly militarised state as the government became more and more reliant on the army to maintain control. By the 1980s, the government under the premiership of P.W. Botha talked of facin

The youth felt it necessary to unite against the conscription of young males to serve a minimum of 2 years in the SADF. A unified resistance was the only way to exert pressure on the government.

With the slogan 'Liberation Now! Education Later!', school boycotts of 1985 swept across the country causing chaos in schools. This led to the formation of the National Education Crisis Committee (NECC) to restore a culture of teaching and learning.

‘Comrades’ was a term that gave militant youth a sense of identity and belonging. The youth brought to the struggle a new energy and vibrancy, which was centred on the toyi-toyi, a militant dance that used to instil fear in the security police. They w

Militant youth were focused on their anger against the apartheid system and viewed the struggle as more important then their education. The rallying cry was: ‘Liberation Now, Education Later!’ However, without schooling, the youth had limited prospect

People’s Education inspired many people with its alternative vision to Bantu Education. But it also meant different things to different people. Some viewed it as a movement to improve education, while others saw it as a strategy to mobilise people polit

SAYCO brought various youth organisations across the country and focused on collective action in tackling issues affecting the youth. After the unbanning of the ANC, SAYCO re-established the ANCYL and subsequently dissolved into it.

Once the ANC and other political parties were unbanned in 1990, youth within South Africa and in exile began to work to re-launch the ANCYL. SAYCO, which had already shown its allegiance to the ANC by adopting the Freedom Charter, began to dissolve its st

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