Malema changes the game

2011-10-29 07:59

It is quite possible that Julius Malema’s ­intentions to lead the youth to the JSE on Thursday and to the Union Buildings on Friday were not honourable.

Knowing that Malema is himself involved in a company that has monopolised state tenders in Limpopo and that he is building a multimillion-rand home not far from the first stop of the march, it is easy to water down the Freedom in Our Lifetime marches as Malema’s desperate ­attempt to save his political skin.

We think the marches were a game-changer. Never before has post-apartheid South Africa ­witnessed the youth organising themselves to ­protest against their continued marginalisation.

It was no Arab Spring moment and neither does it have the legs of Occupy Wall Street, but it is a seismic shift in raising the issue of ­unemployment among the youth, and exposing deep and entrenched inequalities.

The options before us as a nation and for our government are therefore clear. The state will pay lip service to the feelings of exclusion by our young people at its peril.

Just like the ­anti-apartheid mantra was that none is free until all are free, economic freedom for some is ­economic security for none in the long term.

The middle classes and detractors can choose to focus on Malema’s intentions and point out his hypocrisy. However, they will be missing the ­bigger picture. The young are restless and getting more so by the day. They want to see change now.

In fairness, the state, through projects such as the Gauteng Y-Age youth entrepreneurship and the R9?billion jobs fund, appears to be aware of and doing something about this.

But unless and until real urgency is seen, the marches to the JSE and the Union Buildings may not always be as peaceful as we saw this week.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.