Economic freedom slogans not enough, Ramaphosa tells ANCYL

2015-09-29 21:46
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday told the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal that chanting slogans of economic freedom was not enough.

"As young people, you must sharpen your understanding of the economy of South Africa. You must not only talk slogans, you must know how our economy works."

Ramaphosa was speaking at a Freedom Charter Forum at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on issues of the economy and Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime.

He also reflected on the country’s gains and shortcomings.

"You must know what makes up the economy. You must take the trouble to understand economic issues because the life we are trying to give our people is driven by the economy," said Ramaphosa.

"If we do not take the trouble to understand the economy, we will only be shouting and chanting slogans.

"When they talk about the Gross Domestic Product [GDP], you as the youth league must have a keen understanding of what we are talking about."

He said he knew that some of the members present did not know what the GDP was.

"We must be sharp politically. Let us go an extra mile. I challenge all of you to learn about the economy If you didn’t get a chance to learn about the economy in school, teach yourselves now."

He said the Youth League could do this by reading newspapers and attending night schools.

"You need to understand what drives the economy of our country, to the point that when the Governor of the Reserve Bank reads a statement about interest rates going up, you know what it means."

'How many of you read books?'

He said it was the Youth League’s responsibility to understand the economy because it was the future of South Africa.

"You also need to know your statistics because you are the future… you must know what they mean when they talk about disposable income."

He said politics and the economy were intertwined.

"Our social understanding of things is a given, but we must know what is the impact of economics on our politics and on social developmental agenda."

Ramaphosa told the gathering that in 1994 South Africa had inherited a lot of problems.

"We are the only government that this country has ever had [which was] making sure that we solve our problems."

He called on the Youth League to read and to come up with bright ideas.

"How many of you know and have read the National Development Plan? As the Youth League, go and read and understand it.

"How many of you read books? Many young people don’t read.

"Give yourselves time to read books and absorb knowledge into your system, feel sick if you are not reading because through that, you will be clever, effective [and] provide good leadership. That is what we want from you," said Ramaphosa.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics

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