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WHILE many of us are looking forward to next month's Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup, our future leaders in Limpopo are asking crucial questions.
Contestants of the yearly Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards are concerned about the pace of infrastructure development, preparations and also whether the tournaments are financially sustainable.
The assertive, confident and brainy Grades 11 and 12 pupils are also concerned that the soccer events will only benefit urban areas while people in the rural areas will continue to lead miserable lives.
Their questions arose during lively discussions on current affairs affecting South Africans, including the positive and negative outcomes of the World Cup and Confederations Cup.
After their prepared speeches, the contestants emulated politicians in the province. They criticised the base behaviour of certain politicians before, during and after the elections, saying some of the leaders lacked ubuntu.
The pupils said the government has failed to deal with crime, but wasted billions of rands on hosting sporting events. They also lamented that unemployment was rising alarmingly.
They believe that the best way to market the tournaments was to have a roadshow to villages to tell ordinary people about the opportunities that they and small businesses can tap into.
"The government should start telling us how we are going to benefit, said Mulalo Mammburu from Louis Trichardt High School.
"We should be informed as to how sustainable the stadiums will be afterwards and how they will change the poor culture of attendance at local soccer games," Mammburu said.
The contestants also criticised the government's plan to employ more police officers to prevent crime during the tournaments. More police visibility was needed now and will still be needed after the soccer events, they said.
Leandre Buys was the Limpopo winner. The finals be in Johannesburg on June 20. Buys, 18, a pupil at the Merensky High School, Tzaneen, had delivered an uplifting and motivational address titled In Search of Excellence . She pipped Mulalo Mammburu and Elizabeth Ndou of Thenwe High School.