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For Youth Day we asked first-year journalism students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to write for us.

This is Mandisi Soga's piece: 

From scepticism on the free tampons issue to unemployment and crime, there really is a  plethora of issues we as South Africa’s youth grapple with today. Some of the key issues  which need urgent proactive attention are: unemployment,  inequality, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and depression.

One that I would like to focus on, that affects me on a daily basis as a young person in SA, is  crime. We know this all too well. Nobody is safe from the pervasive grip of crime: from the  elite who have motion detectors in front of their gates to the poverty-stricken who only have
the “Gevaar die hond!” or “Lumnkela inja!” (directly translated to Beware of the Dog) sign  in front of theirs, even though sometimes there is no dog at all. Crime affects us all. White.  Black. Pink. Everyone.

Which is quite ironic because South Africa now has one of the largest private security  industries in the world From costly CCTV systems to huge "fort" walls and at least two locks, it's evident almost  everywhere that we've gone to extensive security measures to ensure the safety of ourselves  and our loved ones. But crime has still manages to afflict almost everyone. Police haven't  allayed our fears and many South Africans now seek the protection services rendered by private security  firms.

And so, after 25 years of democracy, for the majority of us South African youth, however, the  future doesn’t look much safer or even better than the past.

* Speak up like the youth of ‘76 by tweeting your opinions and challenges to the new @GovernmentZA's Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with  Disabilities: Minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane using #speakup76 @IOL or write to IOL at [email protected]