LETTER: Living up to Madiba’s ideals
BUSINESS DAY /21 DECEMBER 5.50/ Themba Mzula Hleko
“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. I admire young people who are concerned with the affairs of their community and nation, perhaps because I also became involved in the struggle whilst I was still at school.”
These were the words of Nelson Mandela. To me, this was a call for action by Madiba to all the youth to engage in civic duties to make SA a better place to live in.
However, there are many socially undesirable instances that derail our youth from realising their potential because they are a resource that can help the country push boundaries towards prosperity. The triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment are the impediments that hold the youth back. The moral degeneration of society has also rubbed off badly on the youth.
The African axiom of ubuntu based on respecting the elders is being abandoned. Children are beating their parents and teachers. Crime, drug abuse, unplanned pregnancies, HIV/Aids — these are the social ills we are now dealing with.
However, on the brighter side, I would like to commend the department of rural development and land reform for its National Rural Youth Service Corps, a skills development programme that is living up to the ideals of Madiba.
The programme is progressive in that it has created an environment for socioeconomic freedom through nation-building and community service. It is a two-year multiphase programme that builds participants through soft and hard skills training as well as leadership training.
Through programmes such as youth leadership development, the corps focuses on personal discipline, entrepreneurship, teamwork, leadership, community development and first-aid.
The discipline inculcated during this phase builds the participants’ characters so they are mentally strong in their development trajectory to uplift their communities and deal with social ills. It is the way to go in empowering our youth.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER