It is time for the African National Congress’s old guard to step aside and let the youth lead the country, ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine said on Saturday.
Speaking at a Youth Month rally in Durban’s Kings Park Rugby Stadium, Maine listed a host of demands, including free education. “Only young leaders can accede and implement these demands,” he said.
Young people should step out of the shadows of the older generations and take control of their destiny. “They have waited too long [for these demands to be met]. Leaders of the youth league must jump out of the pockets of old people.”
Maine said it was a fallacy to believe that an impoverished person who struggled to pay annual school fees of R250 a year could afford to pay university registration fees of more than R4000. The youth also wanted a state-owned bank and a rapid resolution of the land question.
The youth also demanded jobs, and with education the requirement that experience was needed to get a job should not be allowed, Maine said.
President Jacob Zuma was scheduled to address the estimated 12,000-strong crowd in the stadium later. Zuma received a rapturous welcome when he arrived in the stadium and walked around the field waving to supporters.
Earlier on Saturday, Zuma unveiled an August 3 municipal elections countdown clock at the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial headquarters in Durban.