Youth Month rallies 'a waste of money'
The Young Communist League in KwaZulu-Natal has urged the provincial government to scrap the funding of Youth Month commemoration rallies and events as they are a waste of taxpayers' money and do nothing to address the plight of young people.
Youth league provincial secretary Mondli Mkhize said on Wednesday the commemorations only benefited the "tenderpreneurs", who were given contracts by government to host events. He said this call to government emanated from the Young Reds' two-day provincial meeting held earlier this week.
He also said the annual Youth Parliament hosted by the legislature, which precedes Youth Month commemorations, was nothing but a waste of money.
"These are just talks shows. Speaker after speaker gets on stage and conveys messages that do not address the challenges faced by young people. After that they are given handouts and go home.
"Even local and district municipalities, some with financial constraints, hold these commemorations but they do not help the youth," said Mkhize.
"Millions of rands are wasted and government should rather put the money on initiatives and programmes that would uplift the youth. The large number of unemployed people are young people and they are sitting idle whereas they are the most productive structure of our society.
"All that energy is redirected to wrong things such as drugs and crime. Instead, the money could be used to give them skills to participate in the economy," he added.
He said most young people attended June 16 rallies to listen to musicians perform. It was time they refused to be overlooked or used only when leaders, who wanted to be re-elected, needed backing.
Provincial ANC secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party in the province has noted the league's comments. "While we agree we should prioritise youth development and the development of the society as a whole, we also believe the development of society is dependent on building the legacy of our country," he said.
Ndabe Sibiya, spokesman for premier Zweli Mkhize, noted the young communists concerns, but said it was important to celebrate Youth Day like all national holidays, as it reminded South Africans where they came from.
He added that the Youth Parliament was an imperative platform for young people to influence government policies.