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Born Free: youth deserve better than hollow promises of freedom

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Born Free: youth deserve better than hollow promises of freedom

If we really cared, we’d require them to help make SA better. Instead, we dress up neglecting them as virtue

Columnist

During the hard lockdown in mid-2020, a young African man dressed in rags and a green blanket called out to me from outside my gate in east Joburg, pleading for food. I got to know him a little: his name is Mduduzi, he’s 28 years old and was brought up by his grandparents in Umlazi, Durban.

Mduduzi suffered a medical condition a few years ago that has partially restricted the movement on one side of his body. Poor to the extent of possessing only a few clothes and a bundle of blankets, he is without even a grade 10 certificate. With no one to help him in any way whatsoever, his plight is stark and sad enough, but not unusual. Luckily, he’s avoided the nyaope addiction that has destroyed so many of his comrades.

On a freezing Youth Day it will have been little consolation to him to once again hear there’s a political party in office, an establishment, that professes to care about him and hundreds of thousands of other desperate and unemployed youth, yet its practices often suggest the opposite...

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