MKHULEKO HLENGWA MP
Inkatha Freedom Party
When it comes to Youth Development the government deservedly scores 0 out of 10. They have not walked their talk. And today on behalf of the Youth of South Africa, I give this government a RED CARD!
Next Tuesday being Youth Day, the eyes and memories of South Africans and the world over will momentarily fixate on the bravery of the Youth of 1976 and a thought will be spared for the brutality inflicted on the youth that day. In that moment we will see the brave heroism and commitment to education of the 1976 black child in the face of a scary and uncertain reality. A reality very much alive in 2014 whereby unemployment, poor education and police brutality are a permanent feature; thus the struggle of 1976 is one worthy to emulate.
The youth of 1976 were a victim of a systematic and well-orchestrated assault on their education and future which if had been left unchallenged would have prolonged apartheid and its scandalously oppressive tendencies.
Similarly, 21 years into our freedom and democracy and 39 years since June 16, 1976 the education system of South Africa is a far cry from what is needed to respond positively to the collective needs of the job
market; leaving the youth wanting in economic wilderness; jobless, hopeless and unable to contribute. The education system of our country is designed such that it prolongs the cycle of poverty and dependency
in a disgusting ploy to manufacture voter-fodder and keep the current government in place “until Jesus comes back”. There is an overwhelming resistance, on the part of government, to embrace quality education.
The government has deliberately killed the quality of education, and has deliberately kept schools under-resourced in South Africa in an attempt to consolidate voter fodder through the systematic creation of
South Africans are literally stuck between a rock and hard place, forced to accept whatever government gives them for survival, albeit that it is the very same government that put them in that hardship to
The youth of 1976 understood that freedom and democracy without decent and quality education was a recipe for disaster, and 39 years later that disaster is upon us. History will judge us very harshly if we fail as the youth of 2015 to stand up and fight the good fight for a better education.
Tuesday is not a day to celebrate or commemorate but a day to begin a revolution of hope and action against a failing state and incompetent government in general and President in particular. Surely the youth of 2015 have every reason to emulate the youth of 1976 who stood up against a government whose mind-set and systems were at odds with youth success and development.
1976 will, and must, repeat itself in modern day South Africa because of poor education, poverty, unemployment, dependency and empty promises which are breeding grounds for desperation and frustration. The youth of 2015 must demand more because they deserve better to work their way out of escalating poverty and debilitating unemployment.
We must bring to life an active citizenry, especially amongst young people, which will have their fingers on the pulse of issues and have the courage to challenge the status quo. That is the legacy of 1976: Stand up and be counted and change the course of history forever.
The high levels of inequality and ever increasing levels of unemployment and the endemic poverty currently characterising South Africa today should spur us into action to do something as this parliament.
The 1994 dream of prosperity and a “better life for all” is dead. South Africans, and the youth in particular, are struggling daily to make ends meet.
The struggle for freedom and democracy against apartheid is rendered in vain as even 21 years post-apartheid life remains a struggle for the majority of our people. South Africans never struggled against apartheid to live a struggle in a free and democratic dispensation.
South Africa continues to battle to bring down inequality because in 1994 those in power moved from the wrong premise of seeking to disempower the strong to the levels of the weak. The correct approach was, and continues to be, that we must empower the weak towards the levels of the strong.
Let the revolution begin; a revolution of hope and action underpinned by political will to get things done.