Monday, June 15, 2009

12 Things to Do on Youth Day in Cape Town

Youth Day on 16 June, which is tomorrow, in South Africa commemorates the start of the Soweto riots of 1976, initially sparked by a government edict that all instruction in black schools would be held in Afrikaans. The issue however, was not so much the Afrikaans as the whole system of Bantu education which was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and inadequately trained teachers. On 16 June 1976 more than 20 000 pupils from Soweto began a protest march. In the wake of clashes with the police, and the violence that ensued during the next few weeks, approximately 700 hundred people, many of them youths, were killed. The iconic picture of Hector Pieterson, a black schoolchild shot by the police, brought home to many people within and outside South Africa the brutalities of the Apartheid regime. The mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Zakumi, has his birthday on that day in '94.

1. Take the Flying Dutchman at Cape Point
2. Go Kitesurfing
3. Mingle with eagles at Spier Wine Estate
4. Go ice-skating at Grand West
5. Discover something novel at Noordhoek Farm Village
6. Be in awe of nature at Butterfly World
7. Go ten-pin bowling in Cape Town
8. Brave the Atlantic in a kayak
9. Witness the firing of the Noon Gun on Signal Hill
10. Follow Mandela’s first steps to freedom
11. Experience an authentic township tour
12. Learn something new at the MTN Science Centre
No matter how old you are, on Youth Day in Cape Town there are plenty of activities and things to do that will make you feel young again! It’s really all in the mind – so get out there and make the most of what this beautiful city has to offer!


  1. Youth Day! I just got back from Soweto, where I stayed for a few days. I had the pleasure of marching with residents on the same route that residents took on the first day of the marches, just before Hector Pieterson was shot. Very cool!

  2. oh wow, thats really cool, well perhaps cool is not the word, but yeah thats really special. My earliest memory of June 16 was in '95, i was 10 watching Sarafina, it was a hectic movie, I always think about it every June 16, you should see it.

  3. lol. We watched Sarafina last night on our train ride back to Cape Town. weird. good movie.