Lonwabo Busakwe, Driftsand
This year marks 25 years of our freedom and democracy.
It is 25 years that have had their ups and downs, and our democracy seems to grow daily.
But, what are the critical things that we need to focus and give serious attention to?
President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected to power, and many of our people are optimistic that he is the right many to take us where we want and deserve to be after the previous administration had so many things that were astonishing. I am also optimistic and believe that he has a vision and given time – he might take us where we want to go. But, that vision won’t materialise if young people are not part and parcel of it.
Young people matter. They matter so much that we can never develop, build a society that is stable and has direction if young people are not empowered, motivated and guided to be the best people they can be. Many young people are not taking part in structures of power that seek to build or develop our society, and therefore that should be worrying.
President Ramaphosa must now attend to young people and give them power, voice and influence in key developmental structures. They should be part of those structures to give other young people interest in what is happening politically and in other vital ways.
I was so impressed to see young people like Ronald Lamola and Njabulo Nzuza given vital tasks in government. And I was also impressed and motivated by Nonceba Mhluali’s deployment in the presidency. It is such people that I think should drive the youth agenda.
When organisations like the ANC Youth League have failed to motivate and attend vital to issues that affect and are of interest to young people, there is a need for vibrant people to stand up and motivate their peers to involve themselves in projects of change and influence, and it is also vital that structures like the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) have effect. NYDA in my view, is not as visible as it should be and not doing enough – they should attend to the poor and rejected of our young people and empower them daily.
It is not right to have the so-called Amapara-para on the streets. Those who smoke, drink, rob and kill, brutally taking things that do not belong to them. Such people do all wrong things but if they can be given proper guidance and advice, I strongly believe they can change their ways and become important people in society and we must never give up on them.
It is important that we attend to all our young people and seek workable ways to empower them. Our society can only be right, prosper and grow daily to what it should be, when we avoid negative thing like crime that they are also part of. In the quest for social cohesion – we strongly need to attend to the youth and we must do it now.