5 Facts About Youth Day, South Africa

What is Youth Day in South Africa all about?

Youth Day South Africa happens every year on June 16. Why do South Africans celebrate Youth Day? This public holiday is an honour to Mzansi’s young people who opposed the apartheid regime and helped our country, South Africa attain independence. Colonialists killed and jailed too many Black young people during the 1976 Soweto Uprising.

What happened on 16 June Youth Day? On June 16 ,1976, more than 20,000 African students skipped school that specific day. They all met at Soweto’s Orlando stadium to protest against the White government’s education laws that had been oppressing them ( Black students). Sadly, many Black young adults lost their lives in the protest.

5 Facts About Youth Day, South Africa
5 Facts About Youth Day, South Africa

Top 5 facts about Youth Day in South Africa

There are countries worldwide that celebrate Youth Day. However, Mzansi’s June 16 holiday is unique because of what it symbolizes to us. It inspires our South Africa government to enforce strict human rights laws that prohibit racism, oppression, and discrimination.

1. ANC supporters at first called it Soweto Day but the government changed it to Youth Day during Nelson Mandela’s regime.

2. Nelson Mandela declared Youth Day an official public holiday in 1994.

3. Hector Pieterson, the schoolboy that the police killed in the Soweto Uprising protests that day, symbolizes the consequences of oppression around the world. Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum is in Orlando West in Soweto.

4. Mzansi’s states used to celebrate Youth Day on different days. The government made the 16th of June the official Youth Day date, and the UN made the 12th of August the International Youth Day.

5. 16 June 2022 is Soweto Uprisings’ 46th anniversary since the incident happened. The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) yearly acknowledges the day through its Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime program.

We need to appreciate Youth Day in South Africa by embracing the sacrifice and for those who died for this country. To build a non-racial society and support young adults because South Africa needs these changes to grow.

Things to do on Youth Day in South Africa:

Visit the Hector Pieterson memorial and museum:

Hector Pieterson was the subject of a powerful photograph taken by Sam Nzima. Pieterson was only 12 years old when he was shot and killed by police during the violent Soweto uprising. By visiting the Hector Pieterson memorial and museum, you’ll be able to see photographs, testimonies and footage of the uprising and protests during that time.

Address: 8287 Khumalo Rd, Orlando West, Johannesburg, 1804

Celebrate at the V&A Waterfront:

There are many things happening at the V&A Waterfront this Youth Day

  1. 3 x 3 Wheelchair Basketball Tournament: Few may know that the sport can be played by people without a disability as long as they are in a Basketball Wheelchair when doing so.


  • Time: 10am to 3pm
  • Location: Basketball Court, Battery Park

2. Check out the restaurants at the Waterfront that have specials by using the FOMO App for FREE:

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3. Waterfront Charters | Coastal Motor Cruise for 2

Price: R560.00 R504.00

5 Facts About Youth Day, South Africa

Waterfront Charters motor vessels take you from the historic V &A Waterfront area out to sea and cruises along the Atlantic coastline to Green Point Lighthouse and back to harbour. With spectacular mountain and city views, the cruise gives a perfect ocean view of Cape Town’s splendours. This One Hour Cruise operates daily with regular departures from Quay 5. A popular option with our Cruise and Dine lunch package, as well as many travel passes and Tour Operators. The weather option is a cruise into the International Harbour; when cruising the ocean is unpleasant, you will get a sailor’s view of our wonderful harbour with Table Mountain’s imposing presence still a thrilling factor. With a cocktail bar and great service, this is a trip not to be missed.

Departure Times

  • 11:30 (am)
  • 14:30 (pm)
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4. Makers Landing Kids Demo Classes

From 9am at Makers Landing, the Lalela Leadership Programme i going to start with 15 grade 9 learners from Vista High School partnering them with 15 learners from the programme for a workshop on the ‘Heart Maps’ curriculum.

A Heart Map is a piece of artwork that you create for someone else that represents the 4 chambers of their heart: their identity/background; talents and passions; fears and challenges; and dreams/goals for the future. Lalela Heart Maps have been created to connect people on a meaningful heart-to-heart but also artful journey.

  • Time: 9am to 3.30pm
  • Location: Makers Landing Cruise Terminal

5. Musical Perfomances:

  • 4IAM Band: 4IAM isn’t just one of the most exciting and unique T-Pop acts coming out of Africa in a long time Time: 4 to 5.30pm Location: Amphitheatre
  • Riebeek Kasteel Steelband: This is a community-based band from a farming town an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and is the best known of those taught by the Steelband Project. It has been in existence for over 23 years, this being the fourth edition of the Riebeek Kasteel Steelband. Time: 12 to 2.30pm Location: Pierhead Deck
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Celebrate your Youth with a Hint Hunt Adventure

Hint Hunt | Outdoor escape game adventure for 4 (more options available)

Price: R920.00 R460.00

Gather your friends, family, or colleagues for an augmented outdoor escape game adventure from HintHunt, V&A Waterfront.Slide into the world of augmented reality with HintHunt’s Outdoor Escape Game and with the supplied iPad in hand, test your grey matter against the matters at hand.

5 Facts About Youth Day, South Africa
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Scooter Around to see your city

Honest Travel Experience | E-Scooter City Tour for 2

Price: R1,250.00 R759.00

5 Facts About Youth Day, South Africa

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Discover and explore your city in the most unique on the back of a scooter with an E-scooter tour with Honest Travel Experiences. These experiences focus on different precincts and suburbs in Johannesburg or Cape Town with the idea to give you a wider understanding of the city.


  • E-scooter,
  • Tour guide,
  • 1 x Drink

Visit the Iziko Museum for free

Every year, on 16 June select Iziko Museums in Cape Town are free to the public from 10am to 2pm. Browse fascinating South African art and artifacts. See More Here

See more activities and things to do on Youth Day in your city here

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