Youth under the age of 30 are poised to dominate parliamentary discourse over the next five years after an unprecedented number of them were sworn in to parliament yesterday.
Key members of the #MustFall generation, behind the revolt which led to free higher education for the poor, were sworn into parliament yesterday, while others were headed for provincial legislatures.
Former student activists who once marched in solidarity in the 2016 #FeesMustFall will now be debating in parliament. These include former Wits student representative council president Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, 25, EFF Student Command leader Vuyani Pambo, 30 and fellow EFF “Fallists” Naledi Chirwa and Peter Keetse.
From the DA’s youngest MP, 23-year-old Sibongiseni Ngcobo, to the ANC’s youngest, Tlhologelo Collen Malatji, parliamentarians under the age of 30 were set to usher in a new era for law-making.
Sworn into the Gauteng Legislature yesterday was ANC MPL Fasiha Hassan, who rose to fame as an SRC leader at Wits University at the height of the #FeesMust Fall movement in 2016.
She said she was hopeful young MPs and MPLs in the ANC would finally be heard by their elders in the ruling party.
“It’s early days, but if the election campaign is anything to go by, young people are going to be taken a lot more seriously. We tend to raise issues,” she said.
“The next two years will be a very important time for us to establish our foot in the door.”