The DA leadership candidate who has the concerns of the youth at heart is Mbali Ntuli, writes Luyolo Mphithi.
In my personal capacity as an MP, Leader of the DA Youth, a member of Federal Council and a Federal Congress delegate, I have spent the last few months examining the offers of candidates contesting the various positions at our Federal Congress. It is encouraging and inspiring to see that the DA has the calibre of many talented, committed, and great leaders who will take the DA forward.
I believe that now, more than ever, young people must raise their voices without fear and claim their space.
Ageism is a fundamentally illiberal worldview that reduces the value of young people to a mere biological factor, refusing to consider them on merit as individuals with their own experiences, talent and appeal to voters.
We need a disruptive moment
South Africa is in desperate need of a disruptive moment to change and improve our country; a necessary disruptive moment to bring innovative solutions and ideas to improve our country, and particularly that of our country's young people. We need to reimagine our society, together and build a country where all South Africans feel a sense of belonging. Our current way of doing things is not working and the only way forward is to win over all South Africans to ensure we give South Africa a real shot.
I have served in youth politics for the last eight years, within DASO, DA Youth, African Liberal Youth and recently the International Federation of Liberal Youth. The youth without question is where my focus is and my support is given to the candidate that has consistently spoken about the importance of improving the lives of young people, Mbali Ntuli.
I believe that Mbali Ntuli is the kind of leader who can lead this disruptive moment to change the lives of South Africans, with new and innovative ideas to address old problems. As a former DA Youth Leader, she has full knowledge of the lived experiences of young people. A group of people disillusioned with politics and looking for a party that will offer new solutions.
Young people are not an "experiment" or a "science project". We are just as capable as the next person. I've been clear then and I am clear now - young people must raise their voices and claim their future. Today once again I want to affirm that commitment and believe that young people are just as capable to lead and to set the national agenda.
Support the youth
It is important to speak in support of young people when they don't have jobs, or access to institutions of higher learning, or support for their start-ups. It is just as important to also speak in support of young people when they raise their hand to lead. My politics have always been clear and they will not waiver now. Young people to the front!
Our fight is no different now than it was then. We remain committed to the fight against youth unemployment. We will continue to ensure we hold the decision makers to account both internally and externally. I would like to encourage all young people regardless who they will be supporting, to remain true to that commitment. As we have always done in the DA - whoever wins we will ensure we support them. Ours will remain #YoungPeopleToTheFront.
- Luyolo Mphithi is a DA MP and a party youth leader.