'Youth lack political and social direction'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Nhlanhla Mtaka believes that South African youth have failed to develop their lives after the first democratic elections of 1994.

Speaking on Ukhozi FM, Mtaka said South African youth had never been known for their apathy.

Mtaka said the challenge facing the youth was a lack of capacity to represent their interests by the current youth leadership across the board.

He said there was lack of tolerance and respect for each other and general lack of new ideas inside and outside of the political spectrum.

"Youth development is regarded as an urgent and complex challenge facing post-apartheid South Africa. Fifteen years after transition to democracy, young people are most severely affected by negative socio-economic factors such as HIV-Aids, high levels of unemployment, poverty, unplanned pregnancies and lack of participation in the political process," Mtaka said.

He said it was disappointing that the youth were failing to set an agenda for themselves, but were instead participating in government-led initiatives. He said it was important to have social cohesion.

"After the elections the youth formations must come together and discuss the way forward concerning their future," he said.