A youth perspective: Action must be taken to mitigate corruption

Santhani Rungan

Santhani Rungan

Published Jun 15, 2024


DEMOCRATIC South Africa is 30 years old – a fully-fledged adult in my eyes. It is in its third decade and has faced the trials and tribulations of young adulthood. The country has taken its time to navigate the journey and has emerged victorious, perhaps slightly bruised but definitely not broken.

It has used the values upon which it was raised to give power to the disenfranchised, a voice to those who needed it most, and unity to its Rainbow Nation.

Despite South Africa’s accolades, the urge to be cynical is tempting. After about a year of immersive clinical experience as a doctor in training, I cannot help but feel frustrated and disappointed. The shortfalls between the vision for our health-care system and reality became increasingly evident with the more time I spent in public health-care facilities. It does not help that, at times, one feels powerless, caught in a system that is broken and seemingly unable to do anything tangible to fix itself.

I do not see myself walking away, simply because I believe there is hope. As a young adult, it was my first time voting in a national election and it was a life-changing moment. To see so many members of my generation turn up at the polls was incredible. The atmosphere was embodied by “2024 is Our 1994”. Despite all our differences in terms of class, age and colour, we were united by our right to vote.

Similarly, my admiration for my family members, colleagues and seniors who remain in the public health-care system grows by the day. To stay here requires heart and an even greater resolve. I salute all the health-care workers who surround me and continue to inspire me each day.

KwaZulu-Natal is another source of encouragement for me. The past few years alone have brought untold levels of catastrophe. My home province is, once again, suffering an onslaught from nature. I convey my sincere condolences to everyone and their families affected by the tragedies.

““Kwazilience" epitomises the spirit Durbanites defend. The culture and community found here are unparalleled.

However, goals without plans are simply wishes. I hope to see concrete measures in place to ensure that our province continues to embody the tenets enshrined in our Constitution. There must be action and defined standards in place to mitigate corruption and mismanagement of public funds.

Furthermore, I hope to see more opportunities for the youth in terms of employment and community development.

On a personal level, I sincerely look forward to possible improvements in the infrastructure and capacities of health-care facilities so that patients may receive the care they deserve, and that health-care workers may work in conditions more conducive to their mental health and physical capabilities as human beings.

May we, as the youth, continue to strive for our dreams and ideals. We have the power to change the course of the nation. Our time is now.

Santhani Rungan matriculated at Eden College in Durban in 2020. She is a fourth year medical student (MBChB) at the University of the Free State.

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politicsyouth day