Activism is simply not cool

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Global apathy towards politics and the youth's growing interests in materialism were to blame for young people steering away from political activism, University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu said yesterday.

He said the fact that the membership of the ANC Youth League had declined since 2004 should not be viewed in isolation.

In his report to the league's national conference in Bloemfontein, former secretary-general Sihle Zikalala said the league's membership in good standing had dropped from 500000 in 2004 to 317000.

Provinces said to have been badly affected by the decline were Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape, Free State and Northern Cape, while Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal had growing memberships.

Zikalala blamed the lack of recruitment of youths from minority groups and the exodus of youths to upper structures of the ANC.

But some youths pointed fingers at the factionalist leadership style of the former Youth League leadership under its ex-president, Fikile Mbalula, and Zikalala.

Those who raised accusing fingers against the MbalulaZikalala leadership were from the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Mpumalanga, the provinces whose structures were disbanded and replaced with interim task teams.