Maverick Citizen


Civil Society Watch, National Youth Day, 16 June – 18 June 2020 

Civil Society Watch, National Youth Day, 16 June – 18 June 2020 

With the prohibition of large gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa will, for the first time in 25 years, celebrate this year’s Youth Month and commemorate Youth Day virtually.

It has been 44 years since over 500 youth tragically lost their lives fighting for equal education when police, under the apartheid regime, decided to violently ambush a peaceful protest in Soweto on 16 June 1976. The students were protesting the government’s directive of making Afrikaans and English a compulsory medium of instruction in schools. 

Photographer Sam Nzima captured the devastating and iconic image of the mortally injured Hector Pieterson (age 12) being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo while Pieterson’s sister, Antoinette Sithole, ran beside them. The image was published globally, giving the world a glimpse into the brutality of the apartheid regime.

National Youth Day commemorates the sacrifices of the Soweto Uprising and brings attention to the needs and rights of today’s youth.

With the prohibition of large gatherings due to the covid-19 pandemic, South Africa will, for the first time in 25 years, celebrate this year’s Youth Month and commemorate Youth Day, virtually.

On Tuesday 16 June 2020, several civil society groups will host free webinars to ensure that this year’s Youth Day does not go unnoticed.

Tuesday, 16 June 

Remembering the youth of 1976, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will be commemorating Youth Day with an appropriately themed webinar: ‘Remembering ’76 and Taking Forward Youth Struggles in the Present’. From racism to gender-based violence, crime, and the education crisis, participants can look forward to a range of thought-provoking discussions about the struggles of today’s youth. Guest speakers include Equal Education’s Bayanda Mazwi and Youth Capital’s Kristal Duncan-Williams. Simply register for the webinar before 3pm on Tuesday. 

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation Youth Day webinar will address topics such as what has changed since the 1976 Uprising, the covid-19 pandemic, and the #BlackLivesMattter movement. Panelists include Reverend Frank Chikane, activist and business owner Lovelyn Nwadeyi, social justice and reconciliation expert Pieter Bezuidenhout, and poet Inga Mfundisi. For an inter-generational discussion about the agency of youth, register for the webinar here

From 08:45 to 13:30, you are invited to join the People’s Climate Justice Assembly hosted by the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign and the Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC). The theme: Learning from Covid-19 – Towards a Climate Justice Charter for South Africans. You will be able to engage in a dialogue with leading youth activists, climate scientists, and local movement leaders. 

The C19 People’s Coalition will be hosting an online Zoom rally, themed ‘Asivikelane – We Protect Each Other’, at 2pm. Speakers include 1976 veteran Seth Mazibuku, Equal Education’s Noncedo Madubedube, and health and human rights activist Dr Lydia Cairncross. Those interested can email the rally’s organisers. 

Later this week, 17 – 18 June 

Continuing with the commemoration of Youth Day, on Wednesday, June 17 at 3pm, the Socio-Economic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape, will be hosting a webinar with the theme ‘Our Voices Matter’. The webinar seeks to provide community leaders in informal settlements with the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences on the impact of the lockdown in their communities.

You can register here if you are interested in understanding the impact of the lockdown on the socio-economic rights of people in informal settlements in Cape Town.

On the same day at 13:20, the University of Kwazulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society is hosting a webinar to address funding the Basic Income Grant (BIG) in South Africa post-Covid-19. Dominic Brown, manager of the economic justice programme at the Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC), will be discussing the history of the BIG in South Africa and why South Africa needs to consider the BIG beyond the pandemic, given permanent unemployment and deep inequalities. 

The discussion will also highlight why the BIG itself is not a panacea and needs to be coupled with additional reforms. The webinar will consider some of the potential pitfalls of the BIG, before turning to how to finance the grant. You can attend the online Zoom webinar here

At 2pm you can join a webinar hosted by Media Monitoring Africa and a panel of experts for a refresher of the Protection of State Information Bill. Topics include unpacking what the Bill is about, what’s wrong with it, what’s right with it, and where to from here. The panel will consist of South African politician Ronald Kasrils, communications law consultant Justine Limpitlaw, and Webber Wentzel’s Dario Milo. 

On Thursday 18 June, the Social Change Initiative invites you to join their webinar, themed ‘Stitching Silver Linings: The Role of Activism in Crisis Recovery? We need to weave tomorrow into today’s work’.

Mark Heywood, editor of Maverick Citizen and co-founder of South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) reflects in conversation with Bernadette McAliskey, human rights and social justice campaigner, on the lessons change-makers can draw from past activism which achieved so much in the face of the Aids pandemic. 

Please sign up for our weekly newsletter here. MC


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

[%% img-description %%]

The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options