The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is going to have a 20% representation in Parliament and provincial legislatures after the general elections.
This was promised by President Cyril Ramaphosa while delivering a keynote address at the youth league’s rally in honour of its former leader Peter Mokaba in Cato Crest in Durban on Wednesday evening.
Ramaphosa said this was a great start.
“We want quality young people who will distinguish themselves. We long for a day we will have a young president. Our country needs courageous young women and men,” Ramaphosa said.
This can be interpreted as an attempt to appease the youth league, which has been calling for a 40% representation in government.
ANCYL KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo, called on Ramaphosa to consider the best young people for Parliament and legislatures that the youth league has put forward.
Ramaphosa said South Africa needs more leaders like Mokaba.
“South Africa needs more Peter Mokabas in terms of a youth which immerses itself in the daily struggles of our people. This means that the youth league must be seen within communities organising with the people,” the president said.
Ramaphosa described Mokaba as a revolutionary, saying he was able to win the confidence of young people.
“Today we don’t have a revolutionary in our national space. Today some claim to be revolutionary. We must use him as a mirror.”
Ramaphosa said Mokaba was not afraid to raise concerns about the movement.
“He raised issues directly and to the point.”
Touching on the state of the youth league, Ramaphosa said he wondered what Mokaba would have said today.
He said Mokaba’s youth league was well endowed with political clarity.
Ramaphosa told youth league president Collen Maine that young people are saying they don’t feel the leadership of the youth league and that they only see it when it issues press statements attacking and defending individuals.
The youth league under the leadership of Maine has been accused of failing to address the issues affecting young people.
Ramaphosa said the youth league should be defenders and storm troopers of non-racialism.
Although the youth league is now a shadow of its former self, Ramaphosa lauded it for setting the national agenda.
He said the league was the first to raise the issue of land and free education.