The United Democratic Movement (UDM) Youth Vanguard congratulates all the young persons who were sworn into the sixth democratic parliament. It is encouraging to see that quite a number of the members of parliament who took the oath yesterday represent the youth of South Africa.
Yet, this happens at a time where our youth faces many challenges, such as plummeting unemployment prospects, the lack of fee free education and the struggle to start and finance their own businesses.
Although some strides have been made, we still have a long way to go in terms of youth development. Our education system does not deliver innovators and entrepreneurs, but rather produces employees with no prospect of being employed. This constantly excludes young people from economic participation and wealth creation.
We encourage young parliamentarians to run with youth issues, that position those matters, at the apex of the parliamentary agenda. One of those important issues are the eradication of sexism, gender-based violence and societal ills, like teen pregnancy. Not enough attention is paid to our young women in order to help them thrive in leadership roles and their professional lives.
We don’t want to be paid hackneyed lip service, we demand change, and we call on all young parliamentarians to focus on an action orientated plan that comprehensively addresses our plight.
A country that does not take care of its youth is a country going nowhere fast. We call on all young people to pressurise decision making bodies to give us hope that our dawn is nigh.
Gauteng Provincial Secretary
UDM Youth Vanguard