ANC.  Youth League president Collen MainePicture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)
ANC. Youth League president Collen MainePicture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)

Maine urges Cabinet newbies to focus on unemployment

By bongani hans Time of article published Jun 1, 2019

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Durban - ANC Youth League president Collen Maine has called on the league’s present and former leaders who have been appointed to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet to come up with fresh ideas to reduce unemployment among the youth.

He was referring to ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza, deputy to Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Thembi Siweya, a member of the league’s national executive committee who is deputy to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, and Ronald Lamola, who was the ANCYL deputy leader under Julius Malema’s presidency and is now Justice and Correctional Services minister.

Maine said they “have a responsibility to ensure that they help the government come up with ideas of how to deal with issues of unemployment, because it is ballooning”.

“If it is not attended to it will explode and there will be a revolution of the unemployed people against the democratic state,” he said.He commended Ramaphosa for creating the Department of Employment and Labour, which would focus on “the 9.8 million unemployed South Africans, of whom 60% are young people”.

“We welcome the appointment of those who led the youth league before, and those who are still leading it right now.

"These young people will bring in new ideas to the Cabinet.”

Nzuza and Siweya were among 34 deputy ministers announced by Ramaphosa early this week.

Despite having government experience as former North West Local Government and Human Settlements MEC, Maine was not selected for the Cabinet, and has become an ANC MP.

He said he was unfazed by his exclusion as he was young and stood a good chance of receiving “future opportunities”.

“I’m left out because the ANC does not owe anyone anything,” said Maine.

The ANC’s culture was to deploy members to positions with responsibilities. Being an ANCYL president did not give him an automatic right to be appointed as a minister or deputy minister, “as we serve at the behest of the organisation”.

When asked if he hoped that he would be deployed to the Cabinet in the future, he said, “I place that in the hands of the ANC”.

“We join the ANC without expecting material reward. I am currently a Member of Parliament so the ANC will decide whatever it wants to do with me,” he said.

Maine is to step down as ANCYL president. KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo, and National Youth Development Agency chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni are to bid to replace Maine during an elective conference, to be held at a date yet to be announced.

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