Who the youth want to lead the ruling party

Mthokozisi Dyantyi, 31, sells the paintings of SA's Struggle heroes in Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto before the start of the ANC elective conference in Nasrec tomorrow. / SANDILE NDLOVU
Mthokozisi Dyantyi, 31, sells the paintings of SA's Struggle heroes in Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto before the start of the ANC elective conference in Nasrec tomorrow. / SANDILE NDLOVU
ANC Elective Conference
ANC Elective Conference

The ANC's succession battle has left members of the party's youth league divided over who should take over the reins from President Jacob Zuma.

Sowetan spoke to some of the young people in Soweto ahead of this weekend's elective conference to gauge their views on the matter.

Some of the youth expressed their support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, whom they said will "fix the ANC", while others said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be instrumental in implementing radical economic transformation.

Pitso Moremi, 25, ANCYL member from Phiri, backed Ramaphosa as the next president of the ruling party.

"I believe Cyril will be the next president of the ANC.

"I know that NDZ will give him a run for his money because she also has the backing of big provinces like Free State and some of the structures within the party like the women's league ... but I think he will win it," Moremi said.

He said even if Ramaphosa failed to win, he would like to see the incoming president focusing on a number of issues that affect the youth such as education and unemployment.

"There are a lot of young people in the township who have completed their matric but can't afford to get tertiary education or even get jobs.

"The National Youth Development Agency has failed in its attempt to empower the youth. We need a more practical vehicle that looks at the issues of unemployment and for it to tackle them head-on."

Moremi said free higher education should be prioritised above all else in order to build a solid foundation for the future.

"If the next president does not concentrate on education, then he or she would have failed the youth of this country. We are the people who will be taking this country forward ... but we can't do that if we don't have the educational tools necessary," he said.

To be honest, I would like to see NDZ being president. She knows the needs of women in this country and can help to address them. Females know how to take care of families, NDZ can take care of this country

An ANCYL member from Orlando said he would like to see the next incumbent focusing on equality. Mswelakhe Ntshingila, 23, said it would be ideal for the ruling party to have its first female president in order to promote and implement policies on equality.

"To be honest, I would like to see NDZ being president. She knows the needs of women in this country and can help to address them. Females know how to take care of families, NDZ can take care of this country," Ntshingila argued.

He said the need to eradicate corruption would also need to be prioritised as some members have been fingered in a number of scandals.

Nathi Mashinini, an
ANCYL member from Dube, said there was a need for the incoming president to be able to implement policies adopted at the ANC policy conference.

He said it doesn't matter who would be at the helm by the end of the conference because whoever is chosen will have to advocate what party delegates have agreed upon.

"There is a serious need for radical economic transformation to be adopted and implemented. It doesn't matter if it's Cyril or Dlamini-Zuma because they will not be there because they want to be there, they would have been placed there by the party," he said.

Mashinini said he would like to see the next president of the ANC focusing on creating channels that will put young people in a position that makes it simple for them to
become entrepreneurs.

"Black people need to be given tools that will allow them to start their own businesses because government can't hire everyone. If people are given skills and knowledge ... that makes it simple for them to start their own things and be liberated," Mashinini said.

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