Youth Day 2021: Marking the 45th Anniversary of the Soweto 1976 Uprisings

16 June 2021 | Tsakane Mazibuko

Youth Day 2021: Marking the 45th Anniversary of the Soweto 1976 Uprisings

Today, as South Africa commemorates Youth Day, the National Assocation of Broadcasters of South Africa (NABSA) pays tribute to the continuing contribution of the country’s youth to safeguarding and reinforcing the democratic principles that were fought for by their predecessors. Importantly, the role played by the media and particularly, broadcasting (both Radio and Television) as South Africa’s most popular mass media in empowering the youth to play their part as active citizens, should not be underestimated.

A crucial milestone in South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, was the freeing of the airwaves in 1994 with the creation of a three-tier system of broadcasting. The introduction of public, private/commercial and community broadcasting tiers enabled the sector to flourish and broadcasting services are now available in all official languages across the country, catering to a wide range of community needs and interests.

The youth are a critical segment of the national audience with Radio and Television delivering compelling content that speaks to the diversity of the youth, whilst addressing their challenges and aspirations.

According to the Broadcast Research Council’s Interim Radio Data for Q1 of 2021, some 95% of all South Africans between the ages of 15-24 listen to the Radio. The content they prefer is not only music but includes the news, debates, and discussions. This highlights the continuing and important role of Radio in enabling the youth to make informed choices around issues that affect both their daily lives and that of the country.

Just as on this day in 1976 when more than 15 000 learners gathered at Orlando West Secondary School in Soweto to make their voices heard, we encourage the youth of today to continue to raise their voices and to participate in the broadcasting sector as informed and engaged citizens.


The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow…. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela



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