Deputy provincial- and legislature leader Bobby Stevenson attended the launch of a new youth branch in Hofmeyr for Youth Day. Below is an excerpt of his speech:
“We are hungry and want jobs and a decent education”, is the plea of our province’s youth.
You have the power to bring about a change in your circumstances – let us celebrate the fact you have this power. Not through the toyi-toyi but through the ballot box.
By 2014, 30% of the voters of this Province will be under the age of 30. You are a powerful constituency and you must use that power to change your circumstances. While honouring the past you must also own your future.
The youth of 1976 made huge sacrifices to stand up against a system that offered them no future. Today the youth must show the same courage and say enough is enough.
You do not have to accept joblessness, a rotten education system and broken service delivery. You do not have to continually live in fear of the criminal element.
The policies of the Democratic Alliance offer the youth of this Province an opportunity of get ahead in life and reach for your dreams. Our Province has a high rate of unemployment – 43,1%. In the last year we lost 46 000 jobs – the highest of all provinces. Why accept this. A youth wage subsidy as advocated by the DA would create opportunity for over 423 000 jobs, but the Government is failing to act.
The DA is leading the second freedom struggle which is a struggle for economic freedom. The ANC cannot change because it is held captive by factional interest.
You do not have to be the sacrificial lambs that are offered up on the altar of political expediency because government is afraid of Sadtu in the case of education and Cosatu in the case of the youth wage subsidy.
You are being betrayed. You are being left behind.
By utilising the power of your vote you can choose hope over despair, opportunity over broken promises and a brighter tomorrow in place of the helplessness of today.