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Mayor Gumede pledges support for the youth
​​Mayor Zandile Gumede and President Jacob Zuma sharing a light
moment during a Youth Day celebration in Hammarsdale. Both
President Zuma and Mayor Gumede urged the youth to focus on
education in their address to young people.
​ETHEKWINI Municipality joined the rest of the country in marking 41 years since the heroic uprising by the youth of 1976. This year’s Youth Day celebration in the City took place at the Mpumalanga Stadium under the theme: “The year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Advancing youth economic Empowerment.”

Addressing about 5000 people Mayor Zandile Gumed acknowledged that the youth today still faced many challenges as did the youth of 1976. “The difference today is that you have a government that supports you.” She said the 1976 generation continues to act as an inspiration to the youth of today to continue to fight for the immediate realisation of economic freedom. “When we talk of economic freedom, we are talking about the fundamental shift of the ownership patterns of the economy, the return of the land to our people.” Mayor Gumede said the creation of employment opportunities, the development of a state owned bank, the provision of free and quality education for the poor and the promotion of youth entrepreneurship is critical in achieving economic freedom.

She called on the youth to continue with mobilisation for economic freedom. “The youth of today has disappointed those who called you a lost generation. You have disappointed those who thought you were just born-frees without direction. You have used the internet and social media to mobilise and fight issues of transformation.” Mayor Gumede said the City would increase free Wi-Fi hotspot from 75 to 250 around eThekwini.

“We want to have Wi-Fi at every library, every Sizakala Centre, at our clinics and schools. We are doing this in response to the needs of young people.” She said national government was also being engaged to help deal with areas where there is weak connectivity. The City will also increase the allocation for bursaries, skills, artisans, learnerships, graduates programme and internships. Mayor Gumede said discussions have also started with universities on student accommodation challenges.

She said freedom without economic freedom is fruitless and meaningless for people. “That is why we believe that the programme for radical economic transformation is relevant. It is not a slogan but a living project that will change the lives of our people.”

themba.khumalo@durban.gov.za
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