'Our young people are still not truly free,' says DA's Mmusi Maimane
Forty-three years after the Soweto uprisings, young people are still forced to fight a system that excludes them and locks them out of opportunities, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.
In a Youth Day message, Maimane said that while back in 1976 it was language that was used to discriminate against and exclude young people, today it was the “rank failure” of government to provide quality education, training, and job opportunities for them.
“Our young people are still not truly free, and their prospects for a bright and successful future dwindle with each passing day. Four out of five children in grade 4 cannot comprehend what they read thanks to our education system, which is consistently ranked among the worst in the world.
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“This disadvantage follows many young people for the rest of their lives as today two-thirds of South Africans under the age of 24 cannot find work, and many of them eventually give up looking. Since 2008, at least 563 young people have joined the ranks of the unemployed each day,” Maimane lamented.
He added that one could not simply point fingers at the government.
“Instead, we must seek solutions to this national crisis. We must collaborate in parliament, in government, in business, in labour, and in civil society, to fix this exclusionary system and empower our young people.
“Forty three years on from the Soweto uprisings, millions of young South Africans remain excluded, marginalised and without hope. Our fight is to ensure that young people have a prosperous future in South Africa, and I will not stop until this fight is won.”