Inspirational Tourist Sites that Commemorate the Power of the South African Youth
Youth Day in South Africa is a day alive with hope and the feeling of new beginnings. This day commemorates the Soweto Uprisings which occurred in Johannesburg in 1976; a day that will be remembered as a turning point for our country for years to come.
The protests began when youths – South Africa’s most powerful group of individuals – came together in opposition to Afrikaans as a compulsory teaching medium. According to Desmond Tutu, Afrikaans was associated with the language of the oppressor during Apartheid. To express their opposition, a peaceful protest was staged in Soweto but the peace was not kept for long and a day of bloodshed ended in the death of the iconic 13-year-old, Hector Pieterson.
With Youth Day around the corner, we at Greyhound thought it would be a great time to head out and explore South Africa’s history; one which has been molded by our youth. Here are 5 iconic sites you can visit throughout South Africa this Youth Day:
The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, Johannesburg
In Johannesburg you can visit the Hector Pieterson memorial and museum, situated in Orlando West, Soweto. This museum and ode to Hector Pieterson, is not far from the original protest site. This site is one which commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid.
Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
Known as the birthplace of our democracy, Constitution Hill remembers the horrors of South Africa’s Apartheid history and shows us just how far we’ve come. Home to the Constitutional Court, this is a great place to visit if you’d like to understand the turning point of our lives as South Africans.
Memorial Acre, Johannesburg
A place of rest for those who were a part of the protests that took place on 16 June 1976, Memorial Acre is a mural wall that illustrates the events of the day as well as a step-by-step account from the surviving learners.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Without a doubt the most prominent player in the history of South Africa, Nelson Mandela is a symbol for hope and the future of our country. On 5 August 1962, Mandela was arrested on a quiet country road in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Today this site is marked by an impressive sculpture in the Midlands.
Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre, Qunu, Eastern Cape
Where better to remember the contributions of the youth to democracy than by taking a tour of the place where Nelson Mandela grew up? The Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu, Eastern Cape, is located near former president Nelson Mandela’s childhood home. Here you’ll learn about the earliest experiences of the man who would become South Africa’s first democratically elected president.
If you’re keen on exploring South Africa’s rich history this Youth Day then consider the following Greyhound routes, so you can travel in safety, for less.