Reward bid taints ANC

Thabo Kupa, the ANC Youth League's Gauteng secretary, has demanded that young people be given tenders as a reward for helping the ANC clinch the April election.

Thabo Kupa, the ANC Youth League's Gauteng secretary, has demanded that young people be given tenders as a reward for helping the ANC clinch the April election.

In his words, "young people are not condoms that will be used to win elections and thrown away afterwards".

It may not have created the same excitement as the infamous "I didn't join the struggle to be poor" line by his erstwhile comrade, the then head of ANC presidency Smuts Ngonyama, but it is up there with unfortunate lines spewed by politicians.

For Kupa, a government contract is the only way of proving that the relationship between the new government and those who campaigned for it was not a mere flirtation.

This type of thinking represents the commodification of politics. Services and what is in the best interest of our democracy now come second to a "what's in it for me" mentality.

Kupa leaves nothing to the imagination. The new premier must give him and other young people who campaigned for an ANC victory government contracts or else she was party to the abuse of the youth.

Kupa's might be a lone voice and in the grand scheme of things, of negligible weight. But it represents a school of thought that has forgotten why the struggle was waged in the first place.

As a representative of the movement's youth faction and therefore the future of the party, correcting the error of Kupa's ways will be forestalling a future in which people think that the louder they shout, the closer they get to a tender.

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