20 June 2015, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
“Remembering the Generation of 1976 and Pursuing the Struggle for Jobs, Education, Skills and Youth Leadership Now”
The General Secretary of the SACP Cde Blade Nzimande
President of COSATU Cde Sdumo Dlamini
The Provincial Secretary of the SACP and the PEC Collective Cde Themba Mthembu.
The Mayor of EThekwini and SACP Provincial Chairperson Cde James Nxumalo
National Chairperson of YCLSA Cde Yershen Pillay
National Officials of YCLSA and the entire National Committee Members
Provincial Secretary of Moses Mabhida Province and the entire Provincial Committee Members
Leadership of the Progressive Youth Alliance
Comrades and Friends
Membership of the YCLSA, the owners of the Young Communist League.
Let me for and on behalf of 4th National Congress National Committee greet you in this important event, when we commemorate youth of 1976 during our Youth Month as organized by Young Communist league.
This year we commemorate 39 years of the Youth Uprisings and 60 years since the signing of the Freedom Charter. Much progress has been made since the fall of the Apartheid regime and the advent of democracy. While we have made great strides in youth development much more work needs to be done in ensuring that young people are educated, employed and empowered. This year the YCLSA will celebrate Youth Month by declaring war on illiteracy and intensifying our Jobs for Youth Campaign. The youth movement must be preoccupied with the triple objective of jobs, education and skills for all.
The Generation of 1976 changed the course of our history by standing up and leading the struggle for equal education. More than 20 000 students marched against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction on that dark day of June 16th 1976. Hundreds lost their lives and thousands more were injured. One of the first to be shot by the brutal apartheid regime was 13 year old Hector Pietersen. We must use this month of June to salute our fallen heroes and heroines who bravely took to the streets and made the ultimate sacrifice for all that we have today. We must share this rich and proud history of youth struggles and sacrifices that led to the ultimate defeat of the Apartheid regime. We salute the Generation of 1976 and all other generations of youth leaders who successfully mobilized and organized against the white minority Apartheid regime. The history books that young learners receive in schools must be filled with the great stories of Tsietsi Mashinini and Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu. This is the history of our country that must be taught to all and unapologetically so.
Youth Month 2015 should also provide an opportunity to shape a brighter future by identifying and addressing the issues facing young people today. We must remain relevant as the progressive youth movement by formulating solutions to the everyday challenges confronting young people. As the YCLSA, our preoccupation must be the issues facing poor, working class youth. In the main, the sons and daughters of the working class are confronted with the triple objective of attaining a quality education, acquiring skills or being employed in a decent job. Hence our clarions call of Jobs, Education and Skills for All.
It is upon the Generation of 2015 to lead the struggle for free, quality and relevant education in our lifetime. We must ensure that education becomes a common good available to all youth and not a private luxury. We must intensify our campaign for free, quality, relevant education and declare war on illiteracy. Young people must be able to read and write proficiently. We cannot accept a situation where 25% of youth on the continent cannot read and write. Young people must Read to Lead. We must end illiteracy amongst the youth.
Today millions of young people attend no-fee schools and millions more have access to higher education because of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme or NSFAS. We acknowledge that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme has assisted more than 400 000 youth with R8.7 billion in the last financial year and a further R9.2 billion has been allocated for this financial year. This is indeed a great achievement but much more needs to be done to ensure that higher education becomes accessible to all. We must see to it that NSFAS becomes a more effective and efficient vehicle for the implementation of free, quality, relevant higher education. The realization of free, quality and relevant higher education is a cornerstone for Socialism in our Lifetime.
Youth development became a priority for our country only when the Apartheid government was defeated in 1994. It was only with the defeat of the Apartheid regime that the National Youth Commission was established in 1996, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund in 2001 and the eventual merger of these two institutions into the National Youth Development Agency in 2009. Since then more 26 million young people have been assisted by these state entities. The NYDA itself has assisted almost 6 million youth with some kind of product or service to better their lives. However, many young people lack access to basic needs and many more are hopeless and jobless. Much more needs to be done to ensure that youth development is mainstreamed into society. It is against this backdrop that we must call for more resources to be invested into youth development. Youth development must be an apex priority of a development state. The New National Youth Policy 2020 must be welcomed and the NYDA must be better resourced for more meaningful and sustainable youth development.
Youth unemployment remains the most pressing matter facing young people today. Young South Africans need jobs more than any other necessity. Yet approximately 3.2 million youth are unemployed. We must address the current value system that seeks to produce job seekers and transform it into a system that produces job creators. We must encourage young people to start cooperatives and employ other young people. We must ensure that we intensify our Jobs for Youth Campaign to involve all stakeholders in developing a multi-sectoral approach to addressing the challenge of youth unemployment.
The month of June is dedicated to the youth of South Africa and is a time for reflection, celebration and action. Let us reflect on our dark past, celebrate our achievements and put hope into action.
LET’S BUILD FIGHTING SOLDIERS FOR SOCIALISM LIKE 1976 GENERATION
As we commemorate the generation of 1976 , lets implement the 4th National Congress Resolutions and put the 4th National Congress theme into action through intensifying youth mobilization for socialism .Youth with specific reference to South African youth in all epochs of evolutions have always been in the cutting edge of revolution and thus youth in this country have earned its rightful reference as Ufasimba, this bravery, dynamism, oversight, impatience, fortitude, courage, and hope can be traced in every epoch from wars of resistance, formation of peoples organs, revolutionizing of these organs, arm struggle, international struggles, mass struggles and the like.
Furthermore, we declared that we are building fighting soldiers for socialism. This requires all of our members to understand what it means to intensify youth mobilization for socialism and what the characters of the fighting soldiers for socialism. As we mobilize and educate young people on our philosophy Marxism-Leninism, we are also building fighting soldiers for socialism. We build fighting soldiers for socialism which must be imbued with the following characteristics:
- Know where our structures are at.
- Know the leaders of the congress movement.
- Know the congress traditions.
- Know their neighborhood and act.
- Defend democracy, understand the struggle for socialism and take forward the struggle for socialism.
- Make education fashionable.
- Know YCLSA constitution, policies and programme like as they know their ringtones.
- Strong, militant, vibrant, disciplined and socialist in character.
- Hate opportunism and corruption.
- Defend the revolution at all material times.
- Ready at all times to sacrifice for the YCLSA and never betray the organization.
- Fulfill our revolutionary duty to build and expand Marxist-Leninist influence and hegemony among young people in all key sites of struggle, taking our cue from the Party programme the ‘South African Road to Socialism’
A history of revolutionary struggles across the world proves that the future and destiny of any organization depend on the popular support anchored on mass mobilization coupled with mass politicization and conscientization. If we stray from the working class youth and lose their support we will end up in failure. We must bear in mind the new challenges require committed cadreship, cadreship that understands new circumstances. We must organize the working class youth, communicate with it, educate it, serve it, learn from it and subject ourselves to their oversight. If we do so the working class youth will continue to join our organization, accept our leadership and constitute a reliable army for the attainment of our socialist mission.
We should always be with the working class youth, work for their interests, and maintain close ties and share good and bad times with them. We should draw wisdom and strength from their great practice; deliver more concrete services to the youth that meet their needs, relieve their burdens and benefit their lives and to put a stop to all acts that prejudice their interests.
As we intensify youth mobilization for socialism we must be encouraged by the wise words of Lenin “He who has youth has a future” and a nail spirit. When we use a hammer to drive in a nail, a single knock often may not be enough; we must keep knocking until it is well in place. Then we can proceed to knock the next one, and continue driving in nails till the job is completely done.
If we knock here and there without focusing on the nail, we may end up squandering our efforts altogether. Our blue print is our basic unit i.e. a branch. If our blue print is good, factually based, scientifically sound and well-received by the working class youth we should keep working on it tirelessly.
Every generation is offered the opportunities of the era for drawing a picture of life and creating history, like the saying a thing is yet to be done until it is done, we should encourage more young people to join the great cause of making the South Africa’s people’s dream come true.
YCLSA TO THE FRONT YOUTH LEADERSHIP NOW!
As we say we must reflect on the past, celebrate our achievements and put hope into action, young communists have no choice having analyzed the state of youth and youth politics in our country. The only choice we have is to take youth leadership and lead all young people in our country including leading Progressive Youth Alliance. The current state of youth and youth politics requires extra-ordinary leadership as extra- ordinary circumstances demand and youth of our country requires strong men and women of young communists to be on the front on tackling challenges facing youth now and requires a youth organizations to provide leadership and take youth leadership now.
We are responding to their call we say we are ready, we have heard their clarion call and from now onwards we are taking youth leadership. We further say to all our members this heavy responsibility is imposed to us by time, we dare not to fail.
We declare to take youth leadership as the generation of Sara Sable, of Ruth First and of Buti Manamela has fought and handed over a baton to us, we take youth leadership full aware of challenges ahead of us. It is our time to fight. We should continue to uphold the principle of proceeding from reality in everything we do, integrating theory with practice and testing and developing truth in practice. The truth is that youth is yearning for youth leadership in our country like a dry desert needing rain.
The main tasks that confront us as we take youth leadership in our country is how we going to carry ourselves. At the current stage we require young communists to be politically reliable, moral upright and trusted by the people.
Young Communists must be firm in their ideals and convictions, willing to serve the people, diligent in work, ready to take on responsibilities, honest and upright.
To be firm on our ideals and convictions means all our members must cherish the lofty ideas of socialism, sincerely believe in Marxism-Leninism , strive ceaselessly in the struggle for socialism , and unswervingly defend the Party , defend YCLSA and uphold the basic theories , guideline , constitution,program,and requirements of a YCLSA member.
To be willing to serve the people means all YCLSA Members, must act as servants of the people, be loyal to the people, and serve people wholeheartedly.
To be diligent means all YCLSA Members must be dedicated, down-to-earth, realistic, take solid and tangible measures to make achievements that can prove their worth in practice, survive the scrutiny of the people and stand the test of time.
To be ready to take responsibilities means all YCLSA members must adhere to principles with a responsible attitude, and have the courage to take resolute actions in the face of major issues of principle, to tackle difficulties head-on in the face of conflicts, to step forward in the face of crises, to admit their share of mistake and to resolutely fight against misconduct.
To be honest and upright means all YCLSA Members must adopt a cautious attitude towards the exercise of power by holding it in respect and keeping it under control in a bid to sustain their political life, and make constant efforts to maintain their political integrity against corruption.
These requirements might be easy to understand, but they are not so easy to fulfill, however these requirements should be fulfilled as we are in the battle front and providing youth leadership in our country.
As we take youth leadership in our country, we say:
Yes to free, compulsory and qualitative education, No to fee payment for education.
Yes to students representation, No to students sitting on tender boards.
Yes to youth employment, youth empowerment and youth development, No to youth unemployment, youth casualization, labour brokers and corrupting of youth.
Yes to youth employment, No to a requirement of job experience at entry level.
Yes to curriculum that teaches socialist values and National Democratic Revolution values, No to Curriculum that promotes Capitalist values.
Yes to people’s courts, No to political courts.
Yes to youth led by revolutionaries, No to youth led by celebrity leaders.
Yes to class conscious and political clear youth, No to corrupting, DE politicization and lumpenization of youth.
Yes to young people that defend the revolution, No to sell out and traitors.
Yes to Socialism, No to capitalism.
Let all of us all both as leadership and membership devote our youthfulness by creating a family of youth, a country of youth, a nation of youth, a mankind of youth, a planet of youth and universe of youth. If we do so in practice and wholeheartedly we will be responding to the 4th National Congress mandate.
We must have confidence on our resolves, we must have confidence in our philosophy thus Marxism-Leninism, and we must have confidence on our struggle for socialism.
Let’s move the feet that moves the walk as young people of our country, YCLSA to the front, youth leadership now.
Down with capitalism!
Capitalism must fall and Socialism must rise!
Forward to Youth Leadership Forward!