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Thato Andile Majola
 
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The ticking time bomb

07 March 2014, 22:30
Dear reader, 
I am neither a writer, nor a politician. I am just a scientist working as a teacher.  My opinion only counts to me in as far as my right to freedom of expression. And so I do not wish to impose any views on you, or make any assumptions about your interests.
Is it true that the unemployed young people of South Africa are a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode, and if so, when is the explosion taking place?

Unemployment in South Africa means so many things to different kinds of people. Julius Malema recently remarked that when people have land, they would no longer be called unemployed, but will be called land owners. His method: Expropriate land without compensation. Some commentators have spoken out against this looming threat to property rights. Technically, if a working age individually who is healthy and is able to contribute productively to the production process Individual is actively seeking paid employment, without any success then that individual is "Unemployed"

South Africa is a young democracy, with a relatively young population. This means our future depends largely on the actions and decisions made by members of what I call the " Talent Generation". The ruling party of Mandela was the only political movement that called for a non-racial and non-sexist democratic society. This stance contains within the implication that inequalities cannot be allowed to persist without challenge.

Many of us in the corridors of power are talking about what can be done about "Them", referring to those unfortunate not to have jobs. A lot of what is said is said from the other side of the fence, we attend conferences, draft proposals, speak about plans to make changes, and we end up alienating those who have to live with the triple threat of unemployment, inequality and poverty.  It is important to note that the people who claim to know the answers: analysts, politicians, scholars and members of the "talent generation"  often speak from a position of privilege because the system has been kind to them. It is wrong of me to imply that our educated compatriots cannot and do not want to relate.

This implication is borne out of a personal observation. When one finds a job, whether they qualify for it or not, the first advice they offer to their still unemployed friends is: Try this, go to that company, phone this person, or similar sets of phrases, as advice. The advice always seems to assume that the individual in question has not tried those avenues, or that he/she is too lax or lazy.
It is true that delivery protests are often about development than delivery, but who are we to tell those who have very little that they cannot do what seems to be their only source of courage?

I do not advocate for protests and I am not against them, in fact I regularly take part in the protests back home in Bekkersdal. However, it is sad that people are not heard, or deliberately ignored by the authorities except when they go on a rampage. I was indifferent about protests, until a police nyala shot at me and my 6 friends as we were walking out of the petrol station. There is no question that the people of South Africa have had enough dimplomacy to last a generation, what we now want is intention+action that will give us the desired results.

As a preliminary measure, The Infrastructure program must set a specific priority of building community based centres of higher learning. It is good that institutions such as Tuks, UJ have township based campuses, but these are not enough, as they only serve a limited number of students. I have not travelled to Alice, but I believe the presence of Fort Hare in its midst gives it a certain viability as a small town, because the student population, plus faculty create a market that can sustain the hordes of unemployed people on the margins of society.

The real question on this matter is who will detonate this time bomb? And the answer is someone with offices in Pretoria will probably set in motion the impending social collapse in places like Diepsloot, Evaton and other less known places.
My plea to politicians is that they remember their call to serve and not be served. Ultimately, whether Julius Malema is right or wrong, or whether you boo Zuma or not, South Africa's future is in your hands, if you decide to exercise your God-given talent and lead minds towards real libaration of the mind, which is :Truth.

I hope Reeva's family finds peace and forgive Oscar, and that Oscar accpets his fate.
Thato







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