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Promote youth into leadership, ANC told

ANC national executive member Ronald Lamola says the cabinet reshuffle after 2019 poll must affirm young leaders. /Mduduzi Ndzingi
ANC national executive member Ronald Lamola says the cabinet reshuffle after 2019 poll must affirm young leaders. /Mduduzi Ndzingi

When President Cyril Ramaphosa reshuffles his cabinet after the 2019 general elections it will have more young people.

But one of the most prominent young leaders, former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) deputy president and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Ronald Lamola, does not want to be in Ramaphosa's cabinet.

In a wide-ranging interview with Sowetan, Lamola said young people were demoralised by noninclusion of their peers in cabinet and Ramaphosa has to correct this.

His comments come when the ANCYL had expressed concerns that Ramaphosa overlooked young people with his February cabinet reshuffle.

"We have accepted the reality that he had to balance certain interests there. We have said in future there should be some consideration of a young generation when he appoints cabinet."

Lamola raised concerns that majority of young people were not given leadership roles.

"There must be a stampede of young people. In the coming ANC conferences, there must be a generation that's [thrust] into the life of the ANC. This must happen in any sector not only in the ANC."

Most of ANC leaders in the party's NEC are over 50 and Lamola is ranked among the youngest leaders in the NEC.

Lamola lamented the fact that some senior ANC leaders had been cabinet ministers for past 15 or 20 years.

"There must be young persons in boards and all sectors. "You can't have a society of young people and when you appoint a board of any entity you can't have what looks like the future of that country."

He said there must be a mixture of young people in all sectors to show that the country was beginning to build a future nation.

"For example, if those that are today in the JSE they were groomed when they were young. We must see that there is a deliberate action to groom a new generation anywhere in society," he said.

However, Lamola said the ANC under the leadership of Ramaphosa was moving in the right direction.

"The ANC as an organisation is beginning to move together to direct both government and society. I think we are moving towards the better position of renewing the ANC and the society's confidence in the ANC."

On the land issue, Lamola said the expropriation of land without compensation must be done with renewed vigour.

"We are sitting with a ticking time bomb; the majority of the population doesn't have land."

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