The Strug­gle is not over for the youth

The Mercury - - OPINION -

EX­ACTLY 42 years on, after that dread­ful day when Hec­tor Pi­eter­son shot by cold-blooded state se­cu­rity mur­der­ers on June 16, 1976, we once again as South Africans in this month com­mem­o­rate that day and events that fol­lowed, lead­ing to in­creased state bru­tal­i­ties on our youth.

What is im­por­tant with re­gards to the June com­mem­o­ra­tion is to learn from the courage that young peo­ple had in shap­ing their des­tiny, de­spite the enor­mous odds against them.

In 1976 it was about re­ject­ing an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that sought to op­press them, and to­day my ap­peal and call is ac­cess to skills de­vel­op­ment that would help re­verse the sys­tem­atic marginal­i­sa­tion of our youth, in what others have called a “two-econ­omy” sce­nario, and af­ford our youth de­cent and qual­ity jobs.

As we ded­i­cate this month to the gal­lant fight­ers of 1976, we must also ded­i­cate it to our late for­mer ANCYL pres­i­dent Peter Mok­aba, who dur­ing the 1991 re­launch of the Youth League, re­minded the youth of the pop­u­lar no­tion that in such cir­cum­stances they ei­ther had to adapt or die.

I’m calling on to­day’s ANC govern­ment – led by a sober leader, Cyril Ramaphosa – to fo­cus more on youth in­ter­ests such as learn­er­ships, free ed­u­ca­tion, de­cent jobs and trans­for­ma­tion in sport sec­tors.

The newly-elected ANC lead­er­ship must be in­spired by the late Moses Mab­hida’s in­sis­tence that a na­tion that does not care for its youth for­feits its claim to the fu­ture.

How­ever, this does not mean our youth must be com­pla­cent be­cause in the fi­nal analysis no one would lit­er­ally knock on any­one’s door to bring a wealth of op­por­tu­ni­ties on skills de­vel­op­ment and de­cent jobs.

The youth of to­day must knock on every door to guar­an­tee their own suc­cess.

I per­son­ally thank the youth of 1976 for their his­toric and heroic strug­gles. I’m calling on the young peo­ple of to­day to de­clare boldly that the Strug­gle is not over and con­tinue to trust the ANC.

VIWE SI­DALI ANC Mzwanele Fazzie Branch, for­mer ANCYL Buf­falo City Metro

REC and ac­tivist

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