Lis­ten to our young peo­ple

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

IT IS a com­mon fault of older peo­ple that they think they know all the an­swers and there- fore need not lis­ten to the young. This leads to gen­er­a­tional con­flict in fam­i­lies and po­lit­i­cal prob­lems at a na­tional level. Sur­veys in­di­cate it was the con­ser­va­tive older gen­er­a­tion in Bri­tain who voted for Brexit while young peo­ple were con­vinced the coun­try should re­main in the EU. In 1976, the gov­ern­ment of pre-demo­cratic South Africa ig­nored the ur­gent pleas of the young, which led to the an­guish and the tri­umph we now com­mem­o­rate on Youth Day and which is re­called in this edi­tion by jour­nal­ist Michael Mor­ris, who dips into our ar­chives each week. To­day our plea to our older read­ers is to lis­ten to what the young peo­ple of present-day South Africa are say­ing. This edi­tion of Week­end Ar­gus in­cludes sev- eral pages pre­sent­ing young peo­ple’s views and the press­ing is­sues they face, as well as cel­e­brat- ing their achieve­ments. Many of these sto­ries were writ­ten by young peo­ple on our staff such as in­tern Leland Ed- wards, who witnessed the frus­tra­tion of rail com­muters boil­ing over into vi­o­lence ear­lier this week, part of the Metro­rail im­passe which stymies ef­forts to en­cour­age more peo­ple to use pub­lic trans­port. You will find sto­ries of hope, but also get a sense of the frus­tra­tion over poor ac­cess to qual­ity ed­uca- tion and in­ad­e­quate safe­guards for young women and chil­dren more than four decades af­ter those fate­ful events in Soweto. There is a grow­ing di­vide be­tween young peo­ple and their po­lit­i­cal elders on South Africa’s fu­ture. The voice of youths mat­tered in 1976 when their fight against the in­jus­tices of apartheid changed the po­lit­i­cal land­scape of South Africa. And that voice mat­ters in 2017.

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