Mfuleni youth question Ramaphosa

Youth in Mfuleni attended a meeting with Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday. Photo by Masixole Feni.

Johnnie Isaac

7 January 2015

Lack of jobs for black graduates was among concerns raised by young people in a meeting with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa in Mfuleni yesterday.

Ramaphosa spoke at an event organised by the South African Youth Council.

He called on South African youth to liberate itself from poverty and unemployment. He said there were plenty of opportunities for young people who were imaginative, innovative and creative.

“Young people cannot only be jobseekers, they need to be job creators,” he said.

Ramaphosa called on young people to read books in order to deepen their knowledge. “Young people don’t read. They want to be educated but they do not read. Many young people hardly read a book in a year. They want to learn by rumour and listening to Twitter and Facebook.”

Ramaphosa said the ANC needed cadres who were educated, ambitious and disciplined.

A member of the audience who did not identify himself said he had a university degree but was struggling to get a job while his white fellow graduates left university and landed jobs. Ramaphosa replied that South Africa’s youth was choosy about jobs. He said young people demanded jobs without suitable qualifications while there were opportunities for them to gain experience.

Another member of the audience, Xolani Mdoda, asked Ramaphosa to do something about university councils that he said were hostile to the ANC. Ramaphosa referred the question to the deputy minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana who was also present. Manana said universities had autonomy though they were public institutions funded by the government.

He said government was doing what it could to transform them.

A member of the audience who didn’t give her name said she was involved in a farming project and needed land to extend the project in order to create more jobs for youth and women. In response Ramaphosa called for the ANC in the province to assist her.

Another individual who identified himself as Loyiso Notshokovu said government projects were concentrated in Cape Town, and not in other towns in the Western Cape.

He said the DA hired its own people when it rolled out programmes and called for the ANC to do the same. Ramaphosa said government catered for all the people of South Africa and not just ANC members and said party membership was irrelevant.

Another resident asked for a platform where young people could share ideas. Ramaphosa said government departments did have platforms and advised her to approach them.