South African Viewpoint: Six million youth disempowered?

By Indcatholicnews.com (Puleng Matsaneng)

I am not an expert in figures, but I definitely know that six million people is more than 10% of our nation.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) almost six million youth had not registered by the closing date at the end of January 2019. Was this their way of showing disappointment in their leaders or prospective leaders? The IEC slogan “voting is your way to be heard” didn’t mean a thing to them. Do our youth not see themselves as the people that will one day move the country forward?

I wondered if they felt like the Israelites in Egypt with no hope in their leader, Moses. Pressure is powerful. They felt pressured and angered by those in power. The rich people in this country (a mere 10%) own 71% of the country’s wealth, while the poorest people (a whopping 60%) share 7% of the total wealth.

Young people are disillusioned as they watch people who are better salaried than their own parents, have 24-hour security and many other resources, but continue to steal the countries resources.

To some of our leaders, stealing billions is like stealing 10 cents. Yet, every 10 cents is very important to the growth of the country. Another truth – it is not your 10 cents, but it belongs to the nation. Leaders were appointed to look after our money and not to squander and squabble over it.

Many young people mentioned that their parents or families depend on food donations from charities and on government pension money, which is not enough. I must be honest I feel for them, their cries are genuine.

We are all familiar with hope and disappointment. We are a nation filled with hopes and desires and those desires are sometimes fulfilled and other times they are not. It could be as simple as having trust that a friend will help you, and then be disappointed when all help fails. The truth is we do find ways of getting what we desire; then we either succeed or fail again.

So too, when we enter into prayer, we are filled with hopes and wait for the outcome. The outcome could be what we prayed for and sometimes it is not. Those are times where we go back to prayer to try and understand where things went wrong. We ask ourselves this question, was it through our lack of listening?

What am I trying to say to the youth of South Africa is this: your disappointment in the government that led you not to register to vote, hasn’t made any changes. Your vote could have made a significant change. There were 48 contesting parties and the choice was wide. Does it mean that not one of them spoke to you?

I appeal to the youth to become proactive about issues. Don’t feel forgotten and discarded. I know our leaders have failed you badly. They did not visit you when you highlighted your complaints, they carried on and enjoying stealing from your future. Your future is in your hands. Grasp it firmly.

Advertisements

Young South African voters hope for change

By Africanews.com

South Africa’s young voters said they hope for more jobs and a change in the distribution of resources, just one day after voting in the country’s national and provincial elections.

Many young South Africans complained about a lack of jobs, high crime rates, corruption and poor public services – issues the governing African National Congress has promised to address.

Young South Africans made up the majority of eligible voters who did not register to vote in the May 8 elections, raising concerns over apathy barely a generation after many of their parents won the right to vote for the first time.

Numbers released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa, indicated that nearly 27 million people registered to vote.

It however expressed concerns about 9.8 million eligible voters did not register.

Malawi: Chilima Assents to Youth Manifesto – Commits to Address Numerous Challenges Affecting Young Malawians

By Nyasatimes.com (Wongani Chiuta)

UTM Party’s presidential torchbearer Saulos Chilima, who disclosed that he will also be minister responsible for the youth should he be voted into power on May 21, has appended his signature to the National Youth Manifesto to commit himself that he will address numerous challenges youths are facing in the country.

Chilima adopts Youth Manifesto and commits to uplifting youths

The youth movement which launched the 2019-2024 National Youth Manifesto-the first such strategic document ever in Malawi- had an audience with Chilima on Wednesday morning in Lilongwe.

Chilima was presented with the document which will be a catalyst for economic transformation in the country as it is tackling a number of issues such as the revising and redesigning of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (Yedef) while also looking on creation of 500 000 jobs for the youth each year.

Putting his signature on the document, Chilima said he was committing himself and the UTM to adopt issues in the manifesto considering that most of the issues in it are also within the UTM electoral pledges.

“Malawi youths deserve a better future. Tsogolo labwino, lowala with UTM,” he said.

Youth Decide team leader Charles Kajoloweka with Chilima presenting National Youth Manifesto

Youth Decide team leader Charles Kajoloweka, who is also outspoken Youth and Society (YAS) executive director, said the youth, who constitute about 50 percent of the country’s population, commended Chilima for making what he called a high-level political commitment saying it is a step ahead in trying to alleviate a number of challenges the youths are facing.

Some of the organisations which supported the formulation of the National Youth Manifesto are Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa), Danish Church Aid (DCA), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the European Union, according to Kajoloweka.

The manifesto has 14 strategic points, with access to youth employment and vocational training being the first issue they want the next government to consider while agriculture and entrepreneurship come second.

A consortium comprising Youth Network and Counselling, M-Hub, Youth and Society, Young Politicians Society and other youth rights organisations will be monitoring its implementation.

Some points in the manifesto

1. Access to youth employment. 500 000 youths employed each year

2. No child should be learning under a tree by 2023

3. Scrapping off of quota system as a method for selecting students into university

4. Revise and redesign the Youth Enterprise Fund (Yedef)

5. Delink ACB from the Office if the President in terms of appointment of the director general.

SOUTH AFRICA: SADC ELECTION OBSERVERS RAISE CONCERNS OVER LOW YOUTH TURNOUT AT VOTING STATIONS

By Ewn.co.za (Thando Kubheka)

Election observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region have raised concerns over the poor youth turnout at polling stations as South Africa votes in its sixth democratic elections.

The officials representing countries including Angola, Mozambique, Botswana and Lesotho visited a voting station at Freeway Park Primary School in Boksburg on Wednesday.

African National Congress chairperson Gwede Mantashe cast his vote at the school on Wednesday afternoon.

The election observers visited a number of other voting stations to assess whether the country’s polls were free and fair.

Nyeleti Mondlane who was with the Mozambican delegation said they would have loved to see more young people come out to vote.

“And to have young people come out to vote signifies that they have adequate information and they understand the meaning of coming out to vote. If you have an opinion, you need to exercise [it and] vote and voice your opinion.”

Tebelelo Seretse from Botswana said she was impressed with how South Africa’s election was progressing.

“It was calm, it was organised, so we are impressed with that and people seem to know what they wanted to do.”

The SADC observers applauded the Electoral Commission of South Africa for the work it had done so far.

Opinion: Nigerian Youths Need Value Re-Orientation – Ajibare

By Independent.ng (Popoola Yaqoub)

Tosin Ajibare Gold was the youngest gubernatorial candidate in the July 14 Governorship Election in Ekiti State .The 36 year-old flagbearer of the Independent Democrat Party in this interview with YAQOUB POPOOLA, he spoke on developments in the state.Excerpts:

You contested the last Governorship Election in Ekiti State. What was your experience like?

Yes i did, it was a wholesome experience, with daunting, challenges, but at the same time fulfilling. It was putting everything online for what i believed in and it was worth it. The experience and additional knowledge gathered is something that cannot be acquired within any walls or by tale bearing. It was tough and at the same time encouraging, One experiences the very best of people and the supposedly worst, it was like a check and balance thing and a trial of ones beliefs, values and conviction.

Going by the outcome of the results .Would you say that you are betrayed by the youths?

Not in any way, if there was any betrayal, I think it was to the youth themselves My candidacy and campaign was about our reality and our salvation, my ability to deliver the salvation was not in question, but since it’s about all of us, each and every one has his or her part to play. By the grace of God, I played my own part against all odds, they also played their own part, we all get to bear the consequences of our individual actions.

Since my standing up to give the youths a voice is not about my personal interest, I believed i was not in any way betrayed.

The issue of unemployment is like a synonym to youths, the high cost of living is general knowledge, we all knew what was at stake and we made our choice. It’s not about me; it’s about us and our future.

The involvement of youths in crime and corruption both at home and in the diaspora has reached an alarming proportion.What would you suggest as solution?

This issue gives us constant and continuous headache, and the most unfortunate aspect is that it seems like those at the helms of affairs fail to see the trend for what it really is, “the damnation of a future we are yet to enter”

As part of the solutions, there is need for an intensive value re-orientation campaign across board, aimed at awakening lost virtues and encourage positive values, a campaign so intensive that it would be akin to a political campaign for an executive position. Also there is need to nip these things at the bud and by so discourage it but most times we just look on until the snake has grown big enough to swallow a whole human being, that’s when we now term it as dangerous. An example of this is the Yahoo Yahoo trend. Even up till now focus is still on the fruits while we keep looking at the roots despite being exposed on top soil.

Also there is need to put up a definitive stance against vices, this issue has gone overboard.

What led you into youths activism?

The knowledge of what our society should be versus our present reality.The knowledge of what contributions youths can make in creating a better society as against the way talents are been wasted through negligence.

Youths are a blessing to any Nation; the period of youthfulness should be harnessed not wasted. I got really involved when i decided i have had enough of the phrase “the richest place is the graveyard because so many people are buried there with their potentials”.

My generation will not die with her potentials, in fact when we die, we want to die empty, having exhausted all our potentials and ideas to the betterment of this Nation and the World.

You are collaborating with other youths organisation of value reorientation .What informed this action ?

The extent of decadence in our society, we came to a conclusion that only a better people can bring about a better nation.

South Africa’s youth missing on election day

By Thesouthafrican.com

South Africa’s sixth general election took place on 8 May 2019. Notably absent from the voters is one population group heavily affected by the country’s most pressing issue: unemployment.

While the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) recorded a record number of voter registration for the 2019 elections, the statistics of registered voters have a notable absence.

People aged under 30 make up the smallest percentage of registered voters nationally. Considering this is the country’s largest population group, it’s a particularly alarming statistic.

The number of South Africans under 20 who have registered to participate in the general election has dropped to the lowest level since at least 1999, according to the IEC’s data. Registrations are at the lowest in at least a decade for those aged between 18-29.

The IEC only started keeping records by age after the country’s first democratic elections back in 1994.

It’s also surprising considering how, superficially anyway, the youth have appeared to be highly engaged in politics in the wake of the #FeesMustFall movement.

The leaders of the country’s two main opposition parties – Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – are also relatively young. Both are 38 and some of the country’s biggest problems directly impact on the missing voters.

More than half of South Africans aged 15 to 24 seeking work are unemployed and the country remains one of the most unequal in the world.

South Africa’s registered voters by age group

Photo: TSA

Where is South Africa’s young voters?

Some believe it’s all down to apathy. Indeed, local media who interviewed young people electing not to vote often said that they feel like they are not able to affect change.

Others say that they just do not feel engaged enough by the current crop of political parties or that they simply did not have the time to register.

“There is an element of voter apathy and not political apathy – in universities, you see robust and noisy politics which is usually powerful enough to effect change,” said Mpumelelo Mkhabela, an independent political analyst told Bloomberg.

“The EFF has helped to energize young people. A lot of people on campuses vote for the EFF. The ANC Youth League has been disorganized.”

The election is the first measure of whether President Cyril Ramaphosa can reinvigorate support for a party whose backing rests largely on its liberation credentials, but now faces the prospect of a reduced majority.