Hlomelang: Official Online Publication of the ANCYL
ANCYL Constitution: as amended and adopted by the 25th National Congress September 2015
Hlomelang: Vol. 13 No. 1: 25 July  07 August 2016
Subscribe to ANCYL Media

Enter email address

Alternatively visit this group.

Print
PRINT

Vol. 9 No. 6: 13-19 June 2014

 

Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe

Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe
OF YOUTH MONTH AND YOUTH ACTION: understanding the drivers of social change
The month of June, since the early 2000s, was declared as the 'youth month' by the South African government. This declaration serves the function of putting on the spotlight and at the centre of national discourse the various social challenges that are prominent amongst the youth of our country, the continent of Africa and the world at large. Conversely, it poses the critical question of what exactly should the youth of today do in attending to our present youth challenges in a manner that inadvertently improves the collective social fortunes of society and our country as a whole. >>> More

Viewpoint by Mawethu Rune

Viewpoint by Mawethu Rune
IT IS THE STRUCTURE OF OUR ECONOMY WHICH FERMENT RACISM
Following the overwhelming victory of ANC on May 7 elections to date there has never been most provocation political statement than cartoon publicised on Wednesday 28 May by Prime Media Group entity Eye Witness News (EWN), which depicts black voters as idiots who voted for clowns who are inherent incapable and have no clue of what they are doing, worse newly appointed cabinet as bunch of buffoons.>>> More

------------------------------------------------------
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE OR COMMENT
------------------------------------------------------

To submit an article or comment for HLOMELANG, send your email to bmasuku@anc.org.za or ntt.ancyl@gmail.com and press@ancyl.net or by fax to 086 653 4842

TO DOWNLOAD A PDF FOMART of HLOMELANG – CLICK HERE

 
Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe

Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe

OF YOUTH MONTH AND YOUTH ACTION: understanding the drivers of social change

The month of June, since the early 2000s, was declared as the 'youth month' by the South African government. This declaration serves the function of putting on the spotlight and at the centre of national discourse the various social challenges that are prominent amongst the youth of our country, the continent of Africa and the world at large. Conversely, it poses the critical question of what exactly should the youth of today do in attending to our present youth challenges in a manner that inadvertently improves the collective social fortunes of society and our country as a whole.

Of course the departing point is to assess and understand the direst situation that constitutes itself as the most urgent social challenge confronting the youth. In this regard, as the ANCYL we have succeeded over the years in drawing the attention of the ANC and government to the triple, interrelated yet distinct, social contradictions facing South African society. It is now commonly held that unemployment, poverty and inequality constitute this triad of social trappings that undermine development in South Africa.

Amongst the most affected sections of South Africa by this triad of social trappings, the youth generally constitutes the leading force. This in turn suggests that the most visible means through which we can measure the progress of social transformation in our country is the extent to which the youth has been lifted out of poverty, broadly accesses employment and enjoys an equitable redistribution of wealth and asset accumulation. This will be a critical indication of how South Africa is moving forward.

As the ANCYL, we firmly understand that the strategic driver of social change is the existence of actors who are determined to change society and achieve their own development. It is in this context that we understand the centrality of youth action in resolving the very challenges that are confronting us. In the same light, we appreciate the motivating factors in using particularly the month of June as a reflection opportunity on these questions of youth development.

The motivating factor for the setting aside of particularly the month of June for this function is that historic act of rebellion carried out by the youth of 1976 who, on June 16, dared to confront the brutality of the Apartheid regime in protest of the human oppression that defined the politics of that day.

In view of the fact that June 16, 1976 is the context within which the youth month arises, it is necessary for us as the ANCYL and the youth of South Africa broadly to extrapolate from that fateful day the core lessons that should condition our understanding of youth month. June 16, 1976 combines tragedy and glory, a loss of life and the triumph of the human spirit against oppression.

It was a glorious moment for the oppressed people and youth of South Africa in that the very act of rebellion against the system asserted the power of a collective resolve amongst the toiling masses to rise up against injustice. By that very act of rebellion, they had already achieved the moral upper hand against the regime whose legitimacy derived from instilling fear and a sense of helplessness. History now holds that the events of that day ended with a loss of many young lives, entrenching their young blood as an immortal signature in the script of the struggle for freedom and democracy that took our country forward.

Arising from that act of rebellion was the affirmation of the fact that history proceeds along progressive lines on condition that the affected sections of society act together in a collective struggle to change their conditions. In attending to the triad of youth unemployment, underdevelopment and poverty it is a non-negotiable fact that we as the youth of South Africa must assume a leading role in imagining the necessary initiatives that society should pursue for the common good of all.

The call for 'Economic Freedom in our lifetime' that the ANCYL continues to make underscores the fact that youth development is inextricably attached to the whole question of equitable economic transformation. Young people should be at the forefront of the national debates on economic transformation as a means of unlocking the economic potential of our country whilst achieving a robust integration of young people into the mainstream of economic activities.

In our clarion call for economic freedom, we have emphasized that the expansion of access to education is a crucial feature of skills development that our country needs. Through skills development, we increase the potential for innovation in technology and the arts as well as the diversification of economic assets through entrepreneurial activity. It is for this reason that the NYDA is a strategic instrument of mobilizing and channeling investment in youth enterprises and broadening our skills base. The ANC manifesto, from which the programme of government shall derive, points to the need for preferential procurement by the State and other public institutions as a means of securing a decent market for SMMEs and youth owned enterprises.

It is now left to us as the leading force of young people in South Africa to creatively engage in mass campaigns that will crowd-in the youth towards the use of these opportunities. Our efforts should combine the agitation for a thorough-going transformation of South Africa's economic structure as well as the optimal exploitation of the already existing opportunities. This is rooted in the understanding that for South Africa to effectively move forward, the youth of this country will have to be the core driver of social change. This, however, entails the acquisition of the necessary instruments through which that change can be driven. Such things as education and training, entrepreneurial activism etc are key instruments of social transformation.

The most honorable tribute that we can afford the youth of 1976 is to cultivate amongst ourselves the same spirit that they upheld. Although the context has significantly changed, the overriding principle is the commitment to lead from the front and sacrifice immediate comfort for the long-term benefit of society as a whole.

(Magasela Mzobe is the National Coordinator of the ANC Youth League National Task Team. Writes on his capacity.)

Viewpoint by Mawethu Rune

Viewpoint by Mawethu Rune

IT IS THE STRUCTURE OF OUR ECONOMY WHICH FERMENT RACISM

Following the overwhelming victory of ANC on May 7 elections to date there has never been most provocation political statement than cartoon publicised on Wednesday 28 May by Prime Media Group entity Eye Witness News (EWN), which depicts black voters as idiots who voted for clowns who are inherent incapable and have no clue of what they are doing, worse newly appointed cabinet as bunch of buffoons.

Correctly so this rose irk among society in particular black electorate to be insulted in this extreme. It questioned the insensitivity of media houses in fuelling this racism and cartoonist concerned was justifiable tossed. Unreserved apology, strict measures to keep such disgust from public domain, transformation of media, boycotting of Prime Media, speedily establishment of Media Appeals Tribunal are seriously solicited as argued that this re – emergence of racialism has potential of reversing 20 years of consolidating non racialism.

One is persuaded to argue that this is symptom of deeper quanadrum, of which the second phase of radical economic transformation has to confront. Few question have to be pondered central to that is whether apology or not is the affected cartoonist and news house concerned are to be persuaded in that essence of the depiction is grossly insulting or are they apologizing because of public pressure that such depiction has no place in public domain.

One is convinced that the latter is correct in that exist a section of society in South Africa which in the main remain white and males whom would want to retain a society wherein a person prospects of success are largely influenced by your colour and location of your birth. In that if you are white your chances of success are way higher that a black child born in rural areas.

Poverty, unemployment and inequality in this country is structural and have racial dimension with Africans at receiving end owing to low skill base, structure of the economy which remain highly monopolised (with means of production still in hands of few lily whites males), less industrialised (dominant mineral, energy finance complex, that operate from excreting minerals from pit to export raw materials) with a weak manufacturing base.

This racism and white supremacy therefore originates from racial structural content of South African economy. It has over time evolved psychological even among those at receiving end to believe that what is better, new and extra ordinary is associated with white person and what is faulty, backward and incapable with black person. Even today is common to hear reference such as 'umlungu mdala' (white person is old therefore wiser), even today a smell of new clothing is referred that 'inuka umlungu' (smells of white person) and miss kick it's said that 'uyikhabe isqwathi' (kicked it in amaqwathi style).

There essence of these examples is that we live in society wherein general black people are looked down upon and generally cartooned as corrupt and incapable and if things have to in order we must call upon white messiah to rescue these helpless blacks.

But essence of these stereotypes is not that this racist white people segment per se hate black people but structure of the economy was human engineered through violence, deception and looting to exclude, marginalise and dehumanise African black form wealth of their own country and therefore systematically robbed their dignity and being, only to be useful as "hewers of wood and drawers of water" as eloquently stated by ANC founding General President of the ANC, President-General John Langalibalele Dube.

Central therefore in combating racism should not only be hiding racist elements in our society of insisting that they be apologetic for convictions but this second phase of radical economic transformation must be speeded in ensuring that the base structure of our society reflect demographics of its people and majority of South Africans whom happen to be African and black benefit from abundance wealth of their country. In that manner their dignity and being will be restored and equality will not be academic but real.

As long as being black is associated will be poor and white is associated with being rich, these racist elements at times they will in the open at times hidden but will remain a feature of society with economic freedom of black people providing sustainable non-racist, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous society.

(Mawethu Rune is the National Organiser of the ANC Youth League and a member of the ANCYL National Task Team..He writes this on his personal capacity.)

The contents and views expressed in HLOMELANG do not necessarily reflect the policies and positions of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).