I believe that our ruling political party, the African National Congress, is in a sticky situation around the ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. I do not wish to write about neither. Well, at least not directly. In my mid-twenties I consider myself to be part of the “youth” and with that I believe I understand some of the real issues the youth of South Africa today are faced with.
With some 5 years working I can assure you that I understand the purpose of tax collection so I may curse SARS, but they definitely serve a vital role in our country. I need some answers though – what happens to the fuel levy and/or taxes? Where do these go? How does it make sense to add e-toll routes on national roads used by hundreds of thousands of people daily? The argument being that the government wants to promote the use of public transportation? Nonsense. Does it make sense that the government wishes to have more jobs, especially for the young, yet the “young” are given the highest interest rates for houses and motor vehicles at banks? Does it makes sense that the young pay high premiums for vehicle insurance even though they may have never claimed from insurance? Does it make sense that 5% of the country’s population provides 100% of the tax collected?
Why is this burden placed on the few? We live in a country where it’s ‘okay’ to give every second ‘beggar’ money at traffic lights. It’s ‘okay’ to tip every car guard for every 5 minutes spent in a shopping centre. It’s okay to see the blind and elderly parading their kids or blind for money. It’s ‘okay’ to hand out grants to a plethora of people every month. It is also ‘okay’ to accept that billions gets spent irregularly yet somehow we, the 5%, need to foot the bill for the National Health Insurance?
I can assure you that even after seeing “1st world countries” that South Africa is an amazing place. I however can’t understand why a young black person that is qualified and experienced in a job still earns less than their white counterpart. I can’t get why our own black people offer us, their fellow blacks, inferior service in almost any place of trade. How are black business meant to thrive when a company needs to pave the way to carrying out almost any significant project out with bribe money? Why do our South African artists and sports stars not get nourished from a young age and get taught how to manage their money once they start earning some? Why is a simple thing as reading not enforced on every person in this country to build, ultimately, a nation that can produce its own ‘everything under the sun’?
I just don’t get it. Forget the mines and the land. Forget all that. Focus on the really important things that actually affect the youth and this country in the long run. There are people who know and feel what I feel. Young and otherwise and of every shade under the sky in this country.
I wish our “youth leaders” were concerned about similar issues and not struggle songs. This is the new struggle.
// A special thank you to Catherine for inspiring this.