The sad re­al­ity for SA’s youth

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Mor­gan Phaahla

SINCE 1994, the coun­try com­mem­o­rates the self­less ser­vice of youth ac­tivists who waged a his­toric de­fi­ance against the apartheid regime in 1976. It’s sad that the eco­nomic re­form has not done enough to change the lives of young peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly the poor.

Cor­rup­tion is still at the cen­tre of the prob­lem, both in govern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor, to the detri­ment of growth and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try. The strug­gle fac­ing the present-day youth is the un­bri­dled cor­rup­tion de­rail­ing trans­for­ma­tion in so­ci­ety.

The largest con­stituency re­mains the his­tor­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple and par­tic­u­larly the un­em­ployed youth, some of whom are in pris­ons and loi­ter­ing on the streets.

Yet govern­ment spends bil­lions to bail-out non-per­form­ing en­ti­ties be­dev­illed by mis­man­age­ment fraught with cor­rup­tion. In the pri­vate sec­tor, cer­tain com­pa­nies are in­volved in col­lu­sion while oth­ers con­trive com­pli­cated fronting prac­tices to sub­due the black ma­jor­ity share­hold­ers in a ma­li­cious and de­lib­er­ate man­ner.

In many ways, the fi­nan­cial and op­er­a­tional de­ci­sions are taken be­hind closed doors in­ten­tion­ally to un­der­mine cor­po­rate gov­er­nance prin­ci­ples and B-BBEE Act. These cor­po­rate cit­i­zens show off their huge so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tions that have no re­la­tion to the re­al­ity of young peo­ple.

Their in­ter­ven­tions hardly reach the eco­nom­i­cally dis­tressed ar­eas.

This prompts youth mi­gra­tion to the cities be­cause of the be­lief there’s no mean­ing­ful trans­for­ma­tion, cit­ing the B-BBEE pro­gramme to be ben­e­fit­ing the elites and white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal as in­sen­si­tive to the poor.

The truth is that the rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion agenda would be un­der­mined by the sep­a­rate de­vel­op­ment at­ti­tude of the pri­vate sec­tor, cor­rup­tion and lack of will by govern­ment to deal with the rot hin­der­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery in so­ci­ety. Vosloorus, Ekurhu­leni

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