From the recent student protests to the increasing youth unemployment rate, our country seems ripe for youth-specific political interrogation.
We’re inviting young South Africans to submit crucial issues that you would like to present to parliament. If your submission is chosen, we’ll train and send you off to Parliament in Cape Town to present to a committee that deals with your particular issue.
You can submit your issue under four key areas (Labour, Police, Health and Higher Education). If you’re stuck, we’ve highlighted things to look out for in the key focus areas.
Transformation in Higher Education
At the heart of the recent wave of student protests is the call for transformation in South African universities. The Open Stellenbosch movement highlighted how the university’s language policy excludes non-Afrikaans speaking students while the Rhodes Must Fall movement said we need to “decolonise” UCT.
The latter demands that UCT introduces a curriculum that is linked to the experience of black people and that it adopts an admissions policy that explicitly prioritises black applicants.
Student finance, and student finance scheme NSFAS, in particular, has also been in the news due to complaints from students and administrative blunders. Earlier this year, NSFAS announced it wouldn’t be able to finance half of its intended beneficiaries while a series of corruption scandals have also tarnished its reputation.
What’s your take on the lack of transformation in our universities? Any suggestions on reworking the current NSFAS model? Send your suggestions through.
Seven families from Blikkiesdorp in Cape Town requested the City of Cape Town to move them to a safer area due to the rise in drug use and gang violence in the area. Blikkiesdorp residents are not alone. Civil society organisation Social Justice Coalition, along with Khayelitsha residents, marched to parliament recently to hand over a memorandum to police minister Nathi Nhleko, detailing how to decrease crime in the area. You can read our interview with a young Khayelitsha resident here.
About 48 percent of young people, between 15 and 24, are unemployed according to StatsSA.
A number of government programmes have been established to address the problem. The Employment Incentive Tax Act, implemented last year, offers tax incentives for companies that give young people work opportunities. The NYDA also rolled out their second chance rewrite programmes, which allow students who failed matric to re-enrol and rewrite their matric exams. Still, the unemployment rate has been increasing for the last seven years. If you have a solution to youth unemployment, we would like to hear from you.
Bad treatment of young people at clinics
The ill-treatment of young women looking for contraceptives at clinics is a challenge. DA MP Zakhele Mbhele who attended parliament’s Youth Roundtable Discussion in June, agrees: “If a young woman wants to go to a clinic for contraception, instead of getting helpful service, she may be victimised by nurses who will question her about being sexually active.”
We covered this issue in our eNCA news insert earlier this year. Watch it here.
If you’ve got any issue under these topics you’d like to present to parliament, send us your submissions using the link below. We will select a winning topic with the help of an expert panel and you could be presenting in parliament.
Additional reporting by Rofhiwa Maneta
Follow me on Twitter: @_Sheilan_
Live from Parliament casts a youth lens on parliament and government, covering committees, policy-making, MPs, and the sitting of actual Parliament. Our team of youth journalists report Live from Parliament every week in partnership with the People’s Assembly and Making All Voices Count.
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