Since the beginning of this year, every Friday during school hours, 17 year-old matric student Raeesah Noor Mahomed has been boycotting classes and keeping vigil with a handful of other brave students outside the gates of Parktown High School for Girls. Like many thousands of children all over the world who have joined the Fridays For Future movement, her plea is simple: that adult politicians match their big words about the climate crisis with action. Last week she sent a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, which he has received personally but not yet responded to. We publish it below.
Dear President Cyril Ramaphosa,
My name is Raeesah Noor-Mahomed and I am a 17-year-old matric learner at Parktown High School for Girls in Johannesburg. I have been boycotting school every Friday since 17 January 2020 with the aim that a climate emergency be declared.
Mr President, the country you lead today impacts the leaders of tomorrow: which is the youth of South Africa. As a young person, I feel it is important that you do everything in your power to ensure that you are leaving us a bright South Africa.
I would like to firstly touch on your State of the...