The agony of a black South African Youth

28 Oct

In South Africa, the black youths are waifs, a nothing, and a no man in their own country.

Economic Freedom march (Picture appropriated from The Star)

Let me perhaps put it on record that I fully support Julius Malema’s call on economic freedom especially in our lifetime. On Thursday (the 27th of October) scores of youth supported a march organised by ANCYL, South Africa’s ruling party’s youth wing, even I was going to march to the chamber of mines and to the bourse if I had spent the previous day in the street corner basking in the sun while marvelling at every passing luxury car owned by bourgeois from some leafy suburbs.

It makes perfect sense to me that most of – if not all – of the protestors were black youth. The lives and the conditions of black youth in this country have reached an appalling state marked by hopelessness and helplessness. The black youths are waifs, a nothing, and a no man in their own country. An action of some sort is needed; hence the march to the said houses is justified.

The fight for economic emancipation does not mean fighting against a certain race group, the action that might polarise the country even further, but rather the fight against the ruling government’s failing to address the issues that affect young people’s lives and that include the case of unemployment amongst other things. It also does not mean taking from one race group to the other – As far as I know that’s a crime and it is tried before the court of law.

Black youth in this country are showered by gloom and despondency and that is largely attributed to the failing of state policies on youth empowerment. The gross economic inequality needs to be addressed as matter of urgency before the youth of this country follow the example of their counterparts in the Arab nations. I hope that the ruling party is aware that it only takes one tweet to topple the government, as it was the case in Tunisia.

The black youths are waifs, a nothing, and a no man in their own country.

The economic inequalities bring further sufferings in young people’s lives. Teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, unemployment and to borrow a line from Mr Thabo Mbeki (….and so on and so forth and stuff like that) contributes to a deteriorating standard of living and quality of life in black people’s communities, hence they will always support initiatives like that organised by the ANCYL on Thursday.

If we want to see less crime, less service delivery protests, more children who can read and write, we thus need to address the issue of economic inequality in a more robust and transparent way. By that I mean all government and business organs need to address the issue of unemployment immediately before one angry youth update his twitter status to show his frustration.

In no way am I suggesting that unemployment affect only black youth, but it is clear that it affects them more than any other race in this country with figures standing at about 7% of white unemployment and a staggering 30% of blacks are unemployed.

It is a tragedy and a travesty that black youth continues suffering economically despite the fact that most of them have the means and the skills to end poverty they experience in their daily lives. Most of them have university degrees, but yet they spend a better part of their day basking in the sun. The brains remain unused, what a crime not to grant them equal access to job and entrepreneurship opportunities.

The economic conditions of black youth in South Africa are agonising in every sense of the word!!!


Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Economics


Tags: ,

4 responses to “The agony of a black South African Youth

  1. Nkosinathi

    October 29, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Dumi U don`t know what your article did to me man..I feel like by being in Varsity I am also going to be part of the Capitalist. I felt your words bra and Honesty some tears fell of my chin when i think of these things.

    You know I was reading some comments about the March on Times live and News24 and i could n`t understand why most people where twisting it into a race issue. I am scared the way white people perceive us of course not all of them. This is so touching from the perspective of someone like me who have gathered some framework of such things. I am even scared on how this country is going to be as times goes on because what I see is quiet disturbing.

    Another thing, we will never be like the Arabs, I think we are scared to implement things just like our government who fail to do so with great economic plans they have in their green papers. when I recall the Egypt scenario of a student who burned himself alive because he believed that another world is possible. the gap between the poor and the rich in this country is already ranked the second in the world yet we still stay in our rooms and saying things are going to be alright. When i look at some of the Black folks who are unemployed, it hurts me so much that some of them might never even get a glimpse of employment beside trying to make their own which will not be funded by anybody.

    I think about my kids…what kind of the world would they be living in? things are changing faster and we have to admit that we are Isolated from that change in this country. It can be traced back to what Khaya Dlanga said in one of his article. He sated clearly that in South Africa we don`t have leaders. the question is how long?

    Much respect for the article that touched me more than any article you ever written. Thanks bra.

    • Dumi-rocks

      November 1, 2011 at 12:36 am

      It is a deeply emotional piece I have written especially when you follow the comments on facebook. Buddy, it worries me too, upon completion of my degree I am going to be given a particular class like a middle class, upper class, no class and etc etc class, that will leave me vulnerable to people who are neither classified nor given living standard measure. I am afrad that when the next protest happen, it will not be about the JSE or the chamber of mines, t will be about everyone who lives in a plush suburbs, black or white. It will be chaotic that day.

      Never say, never, what happened in the Arab nations can happens in South Africa at anytime, it all depends on the explode of the ticking time bomb, that should explode fairly soon. If young people are frustrated enough, everything can happen my brother. Remember, impossible is nothing.

      I would like to disagree with Khaya Dlanga when he say that South Africa does not have leaders. What Julius Malema, did, was a display of leadership. he led hopeful young chaps to the houses that controls in his own words “the means of production”.

      Thank you for your continuuing support!

  2. Mahlwane

    October 29, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Well written my friend, well written. I too strongly support the call for economic freedom in our life time. Unemployment is too high, poverty is too high and inequality is too high. What saddens me is how some people have reacted to the call made by the ANCLY. It is fine for people to disagree with the call for nationalisation of mines and land appropriation without compensation but they should not and I repeat never disregard the problem the ANCLY is trying to address with these radical solutions. We cannot as a nation continue to ignore this and go on with our lives as if nothing is wrong. I guess some seem to think that as long as it does not affect them personally then it probably is not their problem but as you correctly stated it only takes one tweet and what the ANCYL organised march has shown us is that the youth is not pleased with how things currently stand.

    We have are facing massive youth unemployment and unless something is done these young folks are going to be a burden on the economy. Let me stop right here before I get emotional….but hopefully the march was effective and concrete solutions will be implemented soon.

  3. Vuyo

    November 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm


    In this comment, I have, and quite deliberately, chosen to be broad. I hope that through my broadness I will inevitably still be able to cover the precise issues raised by, but only only, Dumi’s article. I put to the fore all my relevant knowledge – hoping, and rightfully so, that the reader(s) of my comment will be able to locate, or rather, pick up, what is relevant and use it for the best benefit of responding to the key issues raised by Dumi’s article.

    I hope, also, that the intellectual and/or right-thinking reader will be able to safely pick up and store what I have written (but is not relevant here) in his memory and thus use and apply such knowledge where it rightfully needs to be used and applied.

    Gentlemen, as you should be rightfully called, I thought I ‘should’ sincerely apologize, and in advance, for those comments I have made below – which you may find inappropriate. With the right to freedom of express, I am left in a dilemma as to whether or not I should really apologize. I leave it on your sole discretion to decide whether or not I should apologize.

    As progressive scholars (NB: I see myself as such), we tend to be broad enough to such as extent that those of less intelligence (if there are any) struggle to find relevance of the contributions we make into the body of knowledge.

    There are, of course, exceptions here. However, time and space does not, it seems, allow me to deal with such at the moment – hence I now move on to making my brief comments on the article in question.


    My comments:

    There can be no doubt in my mind that we need strong socio-political policies in this country. And it should follow that these strong socio-economic policies need to be complemented with a corrupt-free executive branch of the state – so that these policies could be administered in the most efficient manner possible.

    Why do we need the above?

    There are various reasons as to why we need the above. My reasons are as follows:

    (a) firstly, without these strong socio-economic policies, economic emancipation will remain an illusive dream to achieve,

    (b) secondly, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lift the South African people in general, but the South African youth in particular, out of the morass of poverty, and

    (c) thirdly, it would be impossible to respond to our country’s current socio-economic imbalances.

    No doubt gentlemen that all these three reasons set out here affect the South African youth – directly.

    One of our major shortfalls in South Africa is that members of the executive strong rely on the doctrine of separation of powers in executing their duties and in administering state policies. They construe this doctrine to such an extent that the jurisdiction of the courts is entirely excluded from policy issues. They argue that members of the judicial branch of the state should, as a matter of strict law, solely focus on legal issue – and should not, in any way, involve themselves in matter of politics and policy issues.

    This is a major problem in our country because when the executive does not execute its policies, which, inter alia, should focus on job creation and economic emancipation, there is no one else (aside from the supervising judiciary) to compel them to execute such policies. As a result, we have all beautiful policies published in government gazette and not practically administered by members of the executive.

    We all know that our challenge to economic emancipation and youth unemployment does not come to us as a result of the country not having relevant economic policies to address such issues. These challenges (economic emancipation and youth unemployment) come to us as a result of ineffective and corrupt members of the executive who do not administer our policies with integrity or in the manner in which they are meant to be administered – hence I argued above that we need, in addition to strong socio-economic policies, a corrupt free executive branch of the government to properly administer our policies in such a manner that our challenges (economic emancipation and youth unemployment) would fall away.

    I am – as always – open to criticisms.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: