SA’s youth don’t need patronising speeches. They need action

Ideas

SA’s youth don’t need patronising speeches. They need action

Young people have been counting more and more broken promises, and their angry army is growing

Columnist

The pious, disingenuous rituals of Youth Day always throw up some peculiar spectacles – how could they not, on a day dominated by 70-year-olds praising the courage of 60-year-olds? – and this year did not disappoint.

Certainly, there was special irony in watching Cyril Ramaphosa, a billionaire who made his name in organised labour and who was then handed a fortune, urging the kids to go and create work for themselves. 

It was also odd to hear him talk about equipping the youth for a future in science and technology, given that his government hasn’t figured out how to teach nine-year-olds to read. Perhaps in the South African context “equipping the youth” means handing out picks and shovels. After all, someone’s got to dig up the stuff that will power other people’s utopias...

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