We’ve celebrated 20 years since the fall of apartheid government. And now, with the 2014 election over, we finally get a break from adventurous politicians formulating “masterful” strategies to sway voters. From Helen Zille speaking Xhosa to Jacob Zuma dancing steadfastly to “Indle’lendlala” all the way down to the ironic sight of Julius Malema and the Louis Vutton shoes meant to ”inspire” the youth. After of all the hype, however, there remains one question that needs to be answered, ”where to from here?”
With these elections predominantly focused on the youth, youth unemployment has in recent years emerged as a key issue that needs quick intervention. Therefore we can anticipate that the African National Congress (ANC) is ready to tackles some of the issues regarding youth empowerment.
The ANC managed to win 62.15% of the votes at this years elections, meaning they obtain 249 seats in parliament and another five years to serve the nation. After all the criticism Anc received over Nkandlagate (as it is called now), E-tolls and various corruption controversies, they have a crucial Job to do in order to regain the youth’s trust as they are the party that will be leading us foward. In their 2014 manifesto, the ANC promised some drastic economic changes and a bright future with six million job (for the youth) over the next five years. Thats quite a lot, isn’t? Through the youth wage subsidy, they plan to introduce the youth into the economy and give them the platform and opportunity to be able to attain the skills that will sustain them in the future. Although one can urge that ANC has been promising jobs to the youth for the last five years without concrete results, its no doubt that the ANC is putting in a strong effort to win the youth’s trust.
In addition to six million jobs, the ruling party has also promised to pay close attention to those who are often marginalized in the rural areas, offering them a skills development and youth employment programme which results in a two year work contract for rural youth within rural areas, as part of the National Youth Service.
The ANC has demonstrated that young people are the #VIP ( see what I did there?) with the huge focus they have placed in implementing youth development policy. According to their manifesto, more than 250 000 jobs will be created and sustained through construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure and maintenance of local components, with 60% of jobs in new infrastructure projects set aside for youth. The emphasis of the policy is not only placed on job development, but also education development.
The next step the ANC will take is to build 1 000 schools and expand education access for youth people in different provinces. They also plan to improve the quality of education by increasing the number of universities and FET colleges across the country. Though its yet to be seen if it will be at the expense of the arts and culture industry, the ANC plans to improve colleges that will specialise in the improvement of mathematics and science education.
The final and perhaps biggest step the ANC must take in order to regain trust from its citizenry is to introduce transparency in their work thereby increasing accountability to its citizen. They could do this by reading and responding to their letters, emails and messages and also by offering apologies for the mistakes that occur. There is still a long way to go for South Africa to become an economic powerhouse, therefore all the promises the ANC stated must manifest into reality.
Turning those economic policies and promises into reality will be a massive challenge for the ANC , as they need a huge budget and most importantly need to honour their commitment to the citizen. As the South African youth, the ruling party is yet to take us to the promise land.
Regardless of the ANC’s promises to improve the life of youngsters, it is also vital for the young people to take initiative in creating opportunities for themselves instead of only waiting for the government. Let us stand up and grab whatever we want for ourselves to have a better life.
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The #2014Elections have set an exciting and vibrant context for the future of South Africa politics to unfold upon. What happens now that you’ve voted? How do we gauge whether we’re “moving the country forward”, whether we’re “bringing change” or “economic freedom in our lifetime”? Stick with #LiveVIPZA and we’ll give you analysis, debates, comments, polls and all YOU need to understand, enjoy and interact with SA politics.