Sayed said the election was not just of fundamental importance to the youth, but also allowed young citizens an even greater opportunity to hold members of Parliament, provincial legislatures and political parties accountable during their terms of office.
He said vibrant youth participation in civic, community and political affairs, as well as socio-economic participation, often bore a direct correlation to the likelihood of active participation in voting. “Gauging from my direct interactions with youth, both in urban and rural Western Cape, during door-to-door campaigns, it is clear they want to be part of the solution to the socio-economic problems politicians speak about, and they want to see decisive leadership in this regard.
“Young people in our province wish for our communities to be safer places not by calling for the army to be deployed to vulnerable areas, but by ensuring that there is a direct focus on taking on gang violence and making communities central to the volunteer corps in taking on crime - as we did with Bambanani, for example.”
Other issues close to the heart of the ANCYL included safety in schools, a transformed economy where graduates can be employed, to see young people in Parliament and legislatures, and to see the government develop sport in communities and enhance youth-owned businesses.
“We need to re-establish a youth commission in the Western Cape government with a dedicated youth empowerment fund.
“I think we have made strides in getting youth into high positions on lists as the ANC, both nationally and in the Western Cape Young people can no longer be ignored,” Sayed said.