Burden me!

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today in South Africa, a vast numbers of youth find themselves shouldering burdens too heavy for the average adult to cope with. If there’s anything to do, the country needs to provide job opportunities for its youth.

Looking at the recent revolution sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, I thought that perhaps gerontocracy culture might be another problem in this era. Well, I missed the point – leadership is a problem. Like in many countries – developed or not – South Africa’s best young minds will continue looking for a better life outside their borders where they think ability and merit mean something to them. Some claim that to get a job in South Africa today you need connections while those educated and skilled feel relieved because they feel less guilty for leaving the country to live a comfortable life abroad. Historical disadvantages continue to have an adverse effect on millions of the youth, particularly looking at the education and unemployment. HIV Aids and drug problem have since joined in. It is not surprising that most of the new HIV infections in South Africa affect mostly young people under the age of twenty-five.

Unlike some of the North African countries that are going through revolution to get rid of the old-age leaders, South Africa does not have a problem of gerontocracy culture. However, the conduct disorders from some of our government ministers constitute a heavy burden to the development of the country’s youth. Corruption and greed has surpassed the need to re-orient existing services to make them accessible and user-friendly particularly for the youth. Our young leaders have used their advantages to elevate the prospect of becoming millionaires by reaping from the mouth of those who voted them into power. Is it a dog-eat-dog type of situation? The need to encourage innovation has succumbed to bribes and corruption in the government tenders. Every week appears with its corruption tales. Meanwhile HIV-Aids and drugs continue cleaning up the frustrated youth – the hope of the country.

Be that as it may, its not HIV-Aids and drugs that destroy the youth – our leaders are. Does it ever cross their minds that raising educational outcomes and increasing employment levels would mean more opportunities for young people? Unfortunately what we see is the continuation to reward suspended, corrupt and underperforming directors. Companies increase the salaries of the senior staffs while in the process those at the bottom receive retrenchment notices. Who cares about the copper cables thieves when Gautrain and other latest developments are created for the elite few? Ubuntu has succumbed to pure greed.

England has recently experienced its fare-share of what the irate youth are capable of. The truth of the matter is that the unemployment youth are like a time-ticking bomb. Gerontocracy culture or not, South African leaders needs to offload this heavy burden of frustration from its youth.

  1. Jan says:

    I really like this piece. I do often ask myself why there seems to be so little urgency with regard to the improvement of our schooling system? Why is it that, instead of raising education standards, we have to adjust matric marks at the end of each year. Do we do it for our kids or for our underperforming education ministers to look better? In the long term our country will also bear the consequences. We may lament the fact that apartheid education has produced youth leaders who fail to see the irony of leading an economic freedom march the one day and then jetting off in business class the next, but who will we blame in ten years time?

    • blueishmind says:

      The current government has made sure that no one is to blame for this. We do not only have clueless teachers in our public schools, but actually clueless government leaders as well. Indeed they were not voted to read but to lead….

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