Listen to our young people
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.