Fikile Mbalula catches heat for urging SA to take part in Youth Day challenge

'The energy we have is for job hunting'

17 June 2021 - 07:00
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula File photo.
Image: Masi Losi/Sunday Times Transport minister Fikile Mbalula File photo.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula caught heat with frustrated social media users on Wednesday, after he asked them to take part in the Sarafina dance challenge in commemoration of Youth Day.

Unemployment, crime and corruption among other social issues dominated responses to the minister's request.

It all started when Mbalula shared a video of the Imbewu cast, who recently reenacted a scene from the hit film Sarafina. Leleti Khumalo, who starred as Sarafina in the film, is among the cast of the popular TV show and also took part in the challenge.

The video went viral across social media platforms after its release on Tuesday.

Mbalula gave the cast a glowing review for recreating the scene and called on South Africans to participate. 

While social media users appreciated the original video, and the intent behind it, they were not so kind to the minister, saying he should rather challenge his colleagues to create employment for the youth.

Here are some of the responses:

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Wednesday and acknowledged the country's high unemployment rate, saying it is something no country can afford.

He announced the launch of, a zero-rated online platform through which young people can create profiles and view opportunities for “learning and earning”.

“ has been zero-rated by all mobile networks so it can be accessed by young people from anywhere in the country at absolutely no cost. This will complement our existing efforts to create physical spaces where young people can go to access information, opportunities and support,” said Ramaphosa.