THE language used by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema at the June 16 commemoration indicates a disturbing trend in youth politics.
Malema told the crowd that President Jacob Zuma and the government owed the youth because they had voted the ANC into power.
The expectations are legitimate but we should be careful not to recreate a culture of entitlement reminiscent of early years of liberation.
As it did then, a culture of entitlement still disempowers and only makes people resentful when what they thought was their right does not materialise. Also of concern is that the ANC youth seem set to makeentitlement their battle cry.
The ANC Youth League in Gauteng was bold to say they expected Premier Nomvula Mokonyane to give young people tenders. As with Malema, they believe they are entitled to special treatment because young people had helped the ANC secure a decisive victory.
We agree with the broader sentiment that the youth expect the new administration to eradicate poverty and joblessness. But we should all rid ourselves of the idea that our sectarian interests are more important than those of others in our society.
If Zuma owes anyone, then he owes all of us. He is not only a president of the youth, the workers or ANC members. He is a South African president.
Malema ought to know that the government they helped entrench campaigned on a ticket that together with society - including the youth - it could do more to meet the real challenges that face South Africa.