Ramaphosa urges youth league to step up and lead SA youth to honour Mokaba

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

Published Jan 12, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the ANC Youth League to lead South Africa and its youth in championing social issues.

In an address hosted at Kwanyamazane Alliance Church, Ramaphosa honoured former youth league leader Peter Mokaba for his bravery and contribution to the struggle against apartheid.

Ramaphosa addressed a lecture on Thursday ahead of his January 8 statement set for this Saturday.

The president described Mokaba, also known as the Lion of the North, as one of the most admired young leaders of the ANC.

“We meet to honour a great son of our soil and express our feelings towards the most admired youth league leader as we march toward our 112th-year rally and we march towards an overwhelming majority in the upcoming elections,” he said.

He urged young people to help the ANC move forward and engage the private sector on the need to include them in rebuilding South Africa, adding that the ANC has done well to ensure education becomes accessible to young people.

“It is you, the youth, that can help push the private sector and you who can be educated like the Sol Plaatjies and the Mahabanes. They were the young leaders of the ANC who had 10 000 PhDs and were so well qualified. We want comrades, and comrade Blade and I have set up a fund to support young people. It is the ANC youth league that must lead this process. The ANC Youth League must lead in many regards. This is the time when education is easily accessible and this is the time to be excelling and being serious with our education,” he said.

He said the ANC has done well to ensure education is accessible to young people with more than 75% of young people having access to free education.

“The ANC has done well to ensure education is easily accessible and its pro-poor policies have led to remarkable advancements in the 75% of school learners who are exempted from paying for fees. Our record shows steady progress, and the youth league must support these interventions through showing commitment and through ensuring that we get involved in the education of young people,” he said.

Ramaphosa urged leaders of the youth league to be at the forefront of social issues. He said as the school calendar begins each year, more than one million young people begin their schooling yet less than 50% of them finish school at the end of the 12-year period. He urged the youth league to question this negative aspect of the country’s social problems.

“I want the youth league to answer the question ‘Where are the young people?’ and ensure they do not fall in the abyss. The ANC youth league needs to focus on that and raise great awareness in another problem of HIV/Aids,” he said.

He said Mokaba would have been with young people on a number of issues faced by them.

“Our people must see the youth league taking up social issues such as GBV and crime. It is you who have the capabilities. Leadership is not only about politics, but about leading social issues,” he said.

The Star