Young people must take the lead in 'new economy': Paul Mashatile
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile has called on young people to lead from the front in the new economy and society to be built after Covid-19.
He was speaking on Tuesday during an online Freedom Day lecture organised by the ANC Youth League.
Mashatile said the country was banking on young people to forge a new socio-economic compact when the dust settles on the coronavirus pandemic. For this reason it was important for the governing party to bring its youth league back from life support.
He said the rebuilding of the league should be inspired by the discipline and leadership displayed by its founding fathers, such as Anton Lembede.
Mashatile warned that the country would be done a great injustice if young people of the ANC were disorganised, leaving a leadership vacuum in society.
It is indeed the task of young people to spearhead the national effort to build a new post-Covid-19 economy and society.Paul Mashatile
“As the current generation of young people, you must discover your mission and fulfil it — not betray it,” he said, borrowing from the popular quote by socialist political philosopher Frantz Fanon.
“It is indeed the task of young people to spearhead the national effort to build a new post-Covid-19 economy and society.
“The new economy we are building must be fundamentally transformed and must benefit all. Ownership and production patterns of the new economy must maintain a deliberate bias towards the poor and working class and all those excluded from the economic mainstream,” he went on.
“We need young people to lead our ongoing efforts to reindustrialise our economy, to prioritise local content and manufacturing, and proceed with import substitution.
“More young people must get involved in agricultural production.
“Ultimately, with young people leading from the front, our country must emerge from this pandemic more united, more humane and more caring.”
Critical to the role that young people must play was a revived, visionary, disciplined and vibrant ANCYL, he said.
“At this critical moment, the young men and women of our movement and country are those with moral stamina and integrity, young people of courage and vision,” said Mashatile
“The ANC Youth League we are building today must be the home of highly discipline young people — young people with vision, courage and determination, young people who will take our country to greater heights.
“Let us continue to rebuild the ANCYL. Let us defend our freedom and let our freedom reign.”