SA's youngest MP Itumeleng Ntsube says 'born frees' must use freedom to their advantage
For the youngest MP in the sixth democratic administration Itumeleng Ntsube, since freedom was attained in SA a lot more still needs to be done.
Born in the dusty streets of Botshabelo, in the Free State, the 20-year-old ANC MP has been given a mandate by the governing party to be part of its 230 members in the National Assembly.
Ntsube, who matriculated last year, says his peers born after the dawn of democracy should be thankful for the opportunities before them.
"Generations that came after democracy owe it to those who fought to bring about democracy in South Africa. Blood was shed for others to enjoy the fruits of freedom, therefore all of us have the responsibility to ensure that we use the institutions of democracy in a manner to uplift the poor masses of our people," Ntsube told Sowetan.
Yesterday, the country celebrated Youth Day at the Polokwane Cricket Club in Limpopo to commemorate 43 years since the June 16 1976 Soweto student uprisings that ended with hundreds of young people killed by the apartheid government when they protested against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
According to Ntsube, "born frees" must utilise the freedom that they enjoy today to their advantage.
"Young people must perceive democracy as a platform to raise their aspirations and concerns, to speak highly about their conditions and equally providing solutions to the ills of society.
"Young people must always engage in a revolution that seeks to change living conditions of the oppressed, weak and marginalised. Nothing for us without us," he said.
The young man says being the youngest MP is a privilege and he acknowledges that, "I am tasked with a huge responsibility to represent the people across the length and breadth of South Africa, particularly young people."
He attributes his political achievements thus far to being raised in a township like Botshabelo, where there was no hope, particularly for those who faced poverty head on.
"At that time, our brothers and sisters dropped out of school and education not being fashionable, myself finishing off my matric was indeed a milestone achievement."
His message to young people is clear: "Young people must keep the hope alive, they mustn't submit to injustice and unjust law that doesn't advantage them and their future."
He further said that "political power" without "economic power" is a symbol without substance or "useless".