The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) as the voice of the South Africa working class youth expects the President of the Republic of South Africa to seize the moment and deliver the democratic promise to young people.
The South African youth has been and is still at the receiving end of the injustices of the political economy of this country since the dawn of democracy. We are the most neglected generation; we are the unemployed, the underemployed; the unskilled; the uneducated; and the poor. Young people are a stratum with the highest unemployment rate, the depressed, but equally a solution to the South African economy that the government and the private sector does not want to tap into.
The YCLSA is unapologetic and fearless in calling on the South African government to deliver on the following demands:
The Young Communist League of South Africa appreciates the progress achieved by the South African government on education since 1994. This year, the higher education sector has doubled funding on education as compared to five years ago. The reopening of TVET colleges has equally assisted the South Africa youth with access to post-schooling education. However, the burden on the South African youth and the education system persist.
Therefore, the YCLSA calls on the President of the Republic of South Africa to pronounce a new university and the reopening of colleges of specialization (i.e. teaching colleges). The YCLSA equally calls for the expansion on the number of qualifications offered in TVET colleges to increase the capacity of TVET colleges and to avoid the overproduction of existing qualifications. TVETs should respond to the local economic needs of areas where they are situated.
The working-class youth movement also calls on the South African government to be decisive enough and implement policies which will force capitalist corporations to finance education. The private sector benefits from the qualifications produced by the system of education, including the pedagogy offered in the curriculum content.
On Data Costs
The South African government should align itself with global population in understanding internet as a fundamental human right rather than a commodity. In a society such as ours where the youth cannot even afford a bottle of water, internet costs should serve the purpose of enabling young people to find opportunities and participating in the global shift to ecologically modernized modes of communication and economic participation. We therefore call on the government to decommodify data cost, demonopolize the political economy of internet and enable the South African youth to participate in the changing global innovations.
On Jobs for Youth
According to StatsSA, the latest unemployment figures of the 4th quarter of 2019 reflects an economy that has created no jobs while youth unemployment remains at more than 50% of the economically active youth. With unemployment expected to rise in this quarter after pronouncements of retrenchments by Telkom, SAA and the retail, and considering the principle of first in first out when it comes to retrenchments, it is clear that youth unemployment should be expected to be at the worst since 1994.
The YCLSA will be extremely disappointed if the President dare refers to young people only as a training category. It has become an uninformed tendency for the South African government to only consider employment for young people when it comes to internships and learnerships. The youth is capable of occupying key positions of employment which can turn the economy of this country around. The youth finds it extremely unacceptable that the only time when the government seeks to create employment for the youth is through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the Community Work Programme. The NARYSEC Programme which was a skills development programme within the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform targeting unemployed rural youth as part of the rural economy transformation strategy from poor rural wards equally collapsed and the youth of South Africa deserves accountability.
To address the socio-economic crisis that we face as a country such unemployment, poverty, underdevelopment and inequality, a variety of economic opportunities for young people should be catered. Youth entrepreneurship should be considered a driver for job creation and poverty alleviation. The government should consider funding youth cooperatives in deconstructing monopolized sectors such as the agriculture and forestry sector of our economy.
Lastly, we expect the government to update the country on the Youth Wage Subsidy and the Youth Employment Scheme. These are initiatives that were introduced by the government to fund the private sector to create employment for young people. Therefore, the government should account on the rising number of unemployed youth while the private sector has received enormous amounts of funding to mitigate youth unemployment.
Issued by the YCLSA
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