Dellin Jones, a matriculant at Pilgrim's Rest High School. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)
Johannesburg - Learners from Pilgrim's Rest High School say life is tough and there is no future for the youth growing up in the small Mpumalanga town.
"Life in Pilgrim's is extremely hard as a youth. Sometimes we have no water and electricity," Grade 8 learner Haiddie Mashego told News24 during a visit to the town.
Mashego said the ANC did nothing for the community and even if they won again, it would make no difference.
Dressed in her blue school uniform and a colourful scarf around her neck, Mashego said she dreams of becoming a lawyer.
"I want to become a lawyer so that I can have that passion to fight for someone else. I believe I can stand up for people," she said.
The 14-year-old said in the future, if she had the money, she would provide the youth with scholarships to better themselves.
Young people 'not exposed to much'
Matriculant Dellin Jones said he enjoys staying in the town because it attracts a lot of tourists.
However, with dreams of becoming an electrical engineer, he said he planned to live out his future somewhere else.
The school's principal, Khutso Motshoane, says the reason for the lack of motivation among young people was because learners were "not exposed to much”.
"They are only exposed to drinking - with no sport or educational facilities," he said.
He stressed the need for sporting facilities, additional educational facilities such as laboratories, libraries and computer centres.
Despite having an 80% matric pass rate at the school, Motshoane said pupils end up wandering the streets of the town after they matriculate.
No service delivery
"They don't go anywhere in life; they end up washing cars for a living," he said sitting in his black office chair with his hands folded.
But despite their harsh reality, about five pupils are participating in the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme in the North West, Motshoane said with pride.
The aim of the IKS Programme is to contribute to sustainable economic development of not only South Africa, but the African region as a whole.
Motshoane said there was no service delivery in the town.
"We have been asking the department of education for the last five years if we could relocate but until today we got no direction as to what is going to happen," he said.
He said if he was mayor of the town he would re-open the mine and the some of the local shops that had since closed down to provide work for the unemployed youth.
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