Where is the youth leaders to fill the ex-MPs’ shoes?

Congress of South African Students (Cosas) on their way to Luthuli House, 8 April 2019, to call on the party to respond to a memorandum of demands that was handed to it in October last year.They demand that the  Education Department to improve the school’s infrastructure and implement a safety programme to rid places of learning and South African streets of drugs. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Congress of South African Students (Cosas) on their way to Luthuli House, 8 April 2019, to call on the party to respond to a memorandum of demands that was handed to it in October last year.They demand that the Education Department to improve the school’s infrastructure and implement a safety programme to rid places of learning and South African streets of drugs. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Where is the focus on student affairs, academic excellence? Where do they think the next leadership will come from when their last concern is education?

The exodus of ministers from parliament shows the climate of SA politics has changed. But while we celebrate some leaving, who is equipped to fill their shoes?

The real struggle heroes are not the men and women who stayed behind brokering deals. It’s individuals who fought and stared the enemy in the eye.

It takes a special kind of resilience to leave your country and emancipate your people from lands foreign to you.

The constant terrorising of your family – all for the greater good of a country – just to be thanked with a minister’s portfolio that serves very little use.

But it seems only the politically connected Pravins are celebrated. The ANC does not celebrate its cadres equally.

Whatever their latter days, some of the retiring ministers have served us well.

But do we have the youth to fill the vacancies?

Some pupils and students have, five months later, still not been placed in places of learning – but what do we hear from the ruling party? Nothing but talk of the ANC succession…

Where is the focus on student affairs, academic excellence? Where do they think the next leadership will come from when their last concern is education? And that in a country where 20% seems to be good enough to get one through grades.

Access to education, jobs and resources are hard to come by now, no matter your skin colour. But political parties quickly shelve the youth agenda to solve problems already filled with key role players.

Who then fights the cause of the youth? Who guarantees us education, jobs, health services?

The ANC Youth League members are so concerned with positioning themselves favourably for parliament and Cabinet positions that the people who brought them to power are long forgotten.

I sure hope the education system gets a proper facelift that yields professionals who are truly qualified to lead the youth, not just further the personal ambitions of political figureheads to whom the youth is nothing but just another number.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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