2017 Youth Day Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Posted on June 15, 2017


Youth Day is a unique event in South Africa's calendar, as it celebrates both the potential of youth to bring change and the realisation of the transformative power of education.

Through education, we're able to realise our own individual potential, contribute to our communities and to broader society, and to mend the structural fractures presented by poverty, disadvantage and discrimination. Education is the foundation of a democratic society where opportunity is open to all.

As we reflect on how far South Africa has come since June 1976, I have been heartened by the can-do spirit with which South Africans everywhere have worked towards an equitable future over the past quarter-century. It is this spirit of optimism and commitment to dialogue which will help us to move forward as we continue to work for access to education and transformation.

We still have many challenges to overcome, and at times these may appear daunting, but I am confident that with perseverance we will reap the rewards of an open and equitable education sector.

Oliver Tambo once said, 'We have a vision of South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in conditions of peace and prosperity'. Sadly, he did not live to cast his vote in the first democractic elections of 1994, as he died a year before they took place. We can, however, honour his memory, and those who stood up for their ideals on June 1976, by committing ourselves to furthering the society he dreamt of.


Prof Cheryl de la Rey
Vice-Chancellor and Principal



- Author Department of University Relations

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