In June, South Africa celebrated their Youth Month and across the country, young people rallied to demand ambitious climate action and climate justice now.
In the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, youth, farmers, rural communities, and unemployed peoples movements marched to the office of the premier to deliver a climate justice memorandum. In flood-devastated KwaZulu-Natal, the South African Youth Climate Change Coalition marched and delivered a memorandum to the KZN legislature.
In Limpopo, rural communities marched to the premier’s office delivering their climate justice memorandum. In Cape Town, hundreds of young people who grew up with the reality of day zero hanging over their heads rallied outside parliament and delivered their climate justice demands.
Outside of the Union Buildings, young people rallied and delivered a petition to the president calling for climate justice now. In various parts of the Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, youth collectives met to learn about climate justice and organise.
These are just some highlights from over a dozen actions that took place across the country where young people stood up to demand climate action. They mobilised around predominately around Youth Day to highlight that climate justice is very much the struggle of their generation. To quote a letter that the South African Youth Climate Change Coalition wrote to the president:
“The youth of 1976 fought against the apartheid educational system, and today we stand with pride to say we are benefiting from their struggle. The fight against ecological apartheid and climate change is the current generation’s struggle. We and the unborn generation deserve a better future.”
The mobilisation resonated across the country appearing in prime-time news and media outlets. In his State of the Nation Address, the President of South Africa even responded directly to the mobilization and said he had heard the voice of young people demanding action on climate change.
Organizers also used the mobilisation as a moment to point forward to the Global Climate Strikes in September. A wrap-up video of the mobilisation which calls on everyone to join the strikes is available to share on Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. Please share far and wide.