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ANCYL Constitution: as amended and adopted by the 25th National Congress September 2015
Hlomelang: Vol. 13 No. 1: 25 July  07 August 2016
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Economic Freedom and HIV Free Generation in Our Lifetime: Rise, Act, Protect

1 December 2015

The National Development Plan correctly identifies that Africa has great future prospects in terms of its economic growth and dominance in global dynamics. It further goes on to identify the youth of our continent as the most valuable asset for the future of our continent. Thus we can proudly say this generation of the youth of our continent, and others to follow, will be at the driving seat of global affairs, which have been dominated by our former oppressors, all along. This is indeed an encouraging revelation for any African child.

We reflect on this, during the commemoration of World HIV/AIDS Day, conscious of the psychological and economic regress which HIV/AIDS continue to impose on our people across the African continent, our youth in particular. Inspired by the call summed up by the theme for this year`s World Aids Day; Towards An HIV Free Generation: Rise, Act, Protect; we maintain that though gone is the era when HIV/AIDS would be seen as a death sentence and all manners of stigmas attached to it, it continues to impose harsh economic and psychological realities on the vast majority of our people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, particularly-so the poor and the workers from across our townships, informal settlements and rural communities. It is here, where future leaders of a much acclaimed prosperous Africa must emerge from, and yet it is here where HIV/AIDS and other curable diseases continue threaten the realisation of economic freedom in the lifetime of these communities.

Whilst the ANC Youth League congratulates our government for the radical intervention it has put in place for over half a decade, in the fight against HIV/AIDS and whereas we maintain that a lot more resources must continue to be injected into our primary health care system, for this purpose, we are of the view that as President Nelson Mandela said, It is in Our Hands; Rise, Act and Protect. For the psychological and economic onslaught which HIV/AIDS continue to advance against the youth, we recommit ourselves to the resolution taken at 25th National Congress to champion the implementation of diversion programmes through sport, arts, culture and recreation that will mitigate against social challenges such as substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and indeed HIV/AIDS. No longer can we treat HIV/AIDS as a disease that should only be fought through healthcare systems, but given the broad scope of societal challenges it poses to the envisioned prosperous future of our continent, a multi-faceted approach is needed. We thus call on all South Africans to begin to open a new dialogue, devoid of stigmas of the past, as to how we can collectively bring about this multi-faceted approach in engaging with the broader challenges imposed by HIV/AIDS. Defining features of this new dialogue should be motivation and psychological empowerment. Lets advocate and fight for an HIV free generation now. Lets Rise, Act and Protect.

Issued by the President of the ANCYL, Collen Maine

Enquiries; Mlondi Mkhize, 073 0114676