The United Democratic Movement Youth Vanguard (UDM Youth Vanguard) thinks President Cyril Ramaphosa lives in a fool’s paradise if he believes that his government will implement his big plans. Since Mr Ramaphosa became president, every speech has been full of optimism and plans for a new dawn, however South Africans have not seen any implementation.
The UDM Youth Vanguard has a lingering question as to what exactly makes the President thinks his big plans are easily implementable and we would like to know if there is an effective strategy in place to successfully execute his plans.
Our concern stems from the looting culture we recently witnessed with the Coronavirus pandemic, where government officials were accused of the abuse of state funds, as well as the severe maladministration of the President’s initiatives.
A simple example is the dismal failure to implement the R350 special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD grant) as, to date, young unemployed South Africans have not received their full grants as promised. It is a struggle for the department of social development to disburse these grants every month to deserving beneficiaries.
We strongly reject the assertion, and proffered statistics, that these SRD grants have helped young unemployed South Africans to live above the poverty line. We have experienced a ridiculous increase in food prices, therefore the R350 certainly is not enough to make a tangible difference. The statistics are misleading, and it surely does not represent the realities and hardships that young people daily face. It is repulsive to see the President addressing the nation with misleading information and this culture must be condemned
The UDM Youth Vanguard would like the President to present an effective implementation strategy of all the plans he mentioned in his speech, more especially on his plans regarding job creation. We should be cognisant of the fact that thousands of South Africans have lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore creating 800,000 jobs will not only be challenging, but insufficient. This kind of plan requires strong leadership and integrity which the current leadership has failed to provide to date.
The President also needs to be specific regarding the duration of the employment, because it is unfair to create job opportunities that only last for a few months and thereafter the recipients must return to the unemployment benches. We refuse to call that job-creation and it cannot be documented on the statistics as it is demeaning and undignified.
We call on President Ramaphosa to issue a directive to all departments with clear plans and implementation strategies, with timeframes, that clearly sets out how his plans must be implemented. Accordingly, those plans must be published so that young people can hold those departments and the relevant ministers accountable.
Furthermore, young people are hungry for change and we are tired of empty promises. We want urgent change, and the government should respond with speed. President Ramaphosa must take the necessary measures to hold all government officials who are suspected of corruption to account. Suspend, fire and open criminal cases.
The youth is ready to serve this nation and thereby better the lives of all our people. We cannot afford to continue on this slippery slope of corruption and degradation. Young South Africans do not need motivation, they have it is an innate ability. They do not want pity, they want change. Cut the red tape and make it possible for young people to thrive, work and build their own businesses and enhance their standard of living.
Mr Yongama Zigebe
UDM Youth Vanguard