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Thabile Wonci
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Let’s march towards ‘economic freedom in our lifetime’

02 June 2014, 10:54

Those that are concerned with the emancipation of humankind in our land should keep a keenly observant eye on the events and trends that manifest themselves from time to time. One of the founding cornerstones of the African National Congress is to build a non-racial, non sexist and democratic society.

To build a society where all citizens enjoy equal rights and opportunities thus by creating a better life for all. A society where the colour of your skin will not be used as a determining factor whether one is in for a successful life or misery in poverty and ultimately die of hunger.

As the former President Mbeki alluded in his State of the Nation address in 2008 that, “the fundamentals that have informed our country’s forward march remain in place. They continue to provide us with a strong base from which we must proceed as we keep our eyes firmly focussed on the continued pursuit of the goal of a better life for all our people”.

The most unfortunate utterances made by some leaders in our society like, (1) referring to all black people residing in the Western Cape a ‘refugees’ to (2)  unfounded and ill-informed statements citing that our political leadership’s moral quotient is degenerating. 

The government of the African National Congress will continue to play its role as one of the principal architects of a democratic, non sexist and prosperous society. Democracy transformed our country into a purposeful state hence the need to refuse at all costs attempts of turning it into a banana republic.

In this new dispensation we are not going to die of poverty but we will die of high-blood pressures and diabetes simple because we are feeding too much our own stomachs and ultimately we will transform in the process to be dictators and/ or bullies. If there are human beings that have wallowed in the mud, it is therefore our collective duty to rescue them without trying to score cheap political points. 

There is an overwhelming responsibility of raising a next generation of leaders both in political spectrum and in business. Many young people in our land are left to rot with their progressive business plans; they are sitting at home with their relevant qualifications and skills. Who has bewitched the young people of South Africa?

It is therefore our duty as young people of this nation to play a critical role in deepening the democracy that our people sacrificed so much for. It is also our duty to protect the ruling government as mandated by President Zuma when addressing the ANCYL National Conference in Mangaung in 2008 that, ‘the youth of this era face the enormous challenge of defending the ANC and to consolidate the gains we have made in the national democratic revolution’.

This means that we must recognise and accept the effective role that young people ought to play in shaping the economic and political climate of the country. It also means that our society must play a pivotal role in putting ways and means to ensure that South Africa raises credible and progressive leaders of tomorrow. These leaders of tomorrow should and must never act for their own selfish and personal interest but must put the interest of the society, working class in the forefront at all times.

We find ourselves at such a crucial epoch as a nation. We as young people are calling for the realisation of economic freedom in our lifetime. We have been denied of this birthright for so long, even long before we were conceived. To effectively transform any society, young people have to be empowered particularly those coming from the working class backgrounds with means of production. Post 1994 the country never invested much in the wellbeing of its youth hence today we see a middle class that can hardly influence any policy. 

Young people should also be trusted with the responsibility of driving the economy towards emancipation of all humankind. There is no other way by which we can show our earnest and concern for the creation of a democratic multi-racial South Africa if the mineral wealth that’s beneath our soil is still in the hands of the minority.

Our call is to say, the national wealth of the country must be restored to the people as a whole as declared in the Freedom Charter. Nobody can tell us what a progressive society looks like if the majority of the people do not own anything. Realising economic freedom in our lifetime must be at the centre of our developmental agenda as a nation. 

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