DELEGATES SPEAK THEIR MINDS ...
S’thembile Cele spoke to nine ANC Youth League conference delegates about their expectations of the new leadership
Phumlani Zulu (29)
As young people, we looked around at our options and saw [Collen] Maine as the perfect fit. I was here during [Julius] Malema’s time and I think we were a strong league then. But things were only good up to a point. They started to fall apart when senior leaders of the ANC were being insulted by Malema. The radical element must be joined by respect as well.
Victoria de Beer (31)
We expect the new leadership to be visible and play a major role in the upcoming local government elections. They need to make sure young people vote for the ANC. Our greatest shortfall has been failing to make a big enough push for the implementation of policies which directly affect the youth. It is not enough for policies to look good on paper.
Mojalefa Buti (31)
I am one of the people who supported Malema during his time. But we learnt it is important to separate the character of the organisation from the character of an individual. A collective character of this organisation is militancy that is balanced with discipline. No one can rise above the ANC. No one can be cleverer than the ANC.
Sibonga Mhlongo (31)
We came here to deal with documents and look into amendments to be made to the Constitution. As young people, we have a huge unemployment issue, so that is something we need to address through policies and the new leadership.
Pulane Miriam Secco (32)
Maine must be radical, but he must not insult anyone. He is the right person for the job because we know of his leadership ability. We now need to focus on rebuilding our youth. And the important thing for me is education. We need to push for bursaries so that young people can learn.
Bettie Ntong (33)
I was not expecting things to go as well as they have at this conference. In the Northern Cape, not a lot happens. We get the sense that we are somewhat neglected. There is a big issue of joblessness with the youth and that must be fixed. We want development and education, not just public works programmes. We want something concrete.
Akhe Beku (24)
Conference has gone well, though it is not what we expected because we backed Pule [Mabe]. I personally don’t think there is enough done to support women, and to address gender inequality and the abuse of women. Unfortunately, I don’t think the league is ready for a female president.
Christo van Wyk (30) Northern Cape
We have waited so long for this conference – so that we could choose a president – and we have finally got it right. We have big issues with alcohol abuse and unemployment. The new leadership needs to address these issues soon. I believe in Maine’s leadership and the other elected elders.
Mtombovuyo Gwayi (29)
We came here to do some serious rebuilding, as we have not had a leader since [former] president Malema. We must now focus on the future. More importantly, we need to address unemployment. I am an unemployed youth and it is very difficult.