League dialogue sparks youth debate

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

(File photo) Deputy President of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) Ronald Lamola. Photo: Mujahid Safodien

Students attending an ANC Youth League dialogue at the University of SA (Unisa) openly voiced their opinion on Thursday.

Final year political student Maryna Laas said when she heard the ANCYL talk she felt excluded because she was “white and Afrikaans”.

Yet she was passionate about South Africa and wanted to assist in making a change.

She said she did not believe that taking land without compensation would even solve half of the country's problems.

This was after ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola, during a political overview, said young black South Africans were not being allowed to participate in the economy.

He said maximum participation in the economy was class-based and race-based.

“It only allows a particular class to participate in the mainstream economy,” he said.

Lamola said it was because of this that Section 25 of the Constitution, which relates to property ownership, needed to be amended.

He said whites were still living a “Hollywood” lifestyle while the majority of blacks were relying on social grants.

Laas said the only way to solve the country's problem was to educate the poor.

“There is a lack of skills... Government needs to put all the money into education,” she said.

Bursaries needed to be given to anyone who wanted to study further after school.

Another student agreed with Laas.

“There is no use giving hand-outs; take people to school and educate them,” she said.

“We can't be angry... there is so much hate and bitterness.”

She asked the ANCYL what would happen after the land was taken.

“How do we know people will benefit?” she asked.

She said she felt that only those spear-heading the campaign for land would benefit.

There were a number of students who disagreed, saying there was corporate greed and only the white minority were benefiting from the economy.

A student said she felt South Africans were “puppets because of corruption”.

“Everything is blamed on apartheid... it's been 18 years.”

She said the country needed to move on from this.

Earlier, Lamola said nothing had changed since 1994, the first time a government was elected democratically in South Africa.

“We need to break the apartheid economy we received in 1994.” - Sapa


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