17 June 2012

South Africa: Zuma's Behavior a Slap in the Face of Young People

Photo: Werner Beukes/Sapa
A police officer tries to control a tense situation between an angry Cosatu crowd and Democratic Alliance supporters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

press release

By failing to remain in South Africa on Youth Day, one of the most important days in South African history, President Zuma has demonstrated once again that he has no interest in engaging the youth of South Africa.

Young people make up over 70% of South Africa's population, and with 3.2 million of them unemployed, are also one of the most vulnerable groups in society today.

The youth of South Africa are in crisis, and on the one day that the focus should be entirely on addressing the challenges they face, the President chose to leave the country - ostensibly abandoning 70% of his people.

This façade of concern about youth issues is wearing thin. It started with the refusal of the President to implement the youth wage subsidy, despite overwhelming evidence and support in favour of its implementation. This was simply because Cosatu, who the President is relying on to be re-elected as the president of the ANC, oppose it. On the youth wage subsidy the President has chosen to sell out the dreams of young South Africans to his own political aspirations.

Yesterday the President did this for a second time when he chose to abandon the youth of South Africa on the one day dedicated to their struggles and achievements. His choice is a slap in the face of young people everywhere.

Mbali Ntuli , DA Youth Chairperson

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