Youth: the key to South Africa’s greatness

Image: Getty, Ihsaan Haffejee
Image: Getty, Ihsaan Haffejee

Youth participation is fundamental to addressing the challenges faced by the world. In this blog one of our Youth@SAIIA members shares her thoughts on the important role youth can play in achieving the SDGs and why it is vital for young people to feel empowered to take action.

The youth are South Africa’s key to reaching greatness and we need to focus on more ways of empowering youth.

One of the greatest fears of an average young South African is to have to deal with the same obstacles our parents’ generation faced and are still dealing with. This includes a lack of water, an ineffective education system, increasing unemployment despite being more qualified, and poverty becoming a ‘normal way of life’. These issues seem to have embedded themselves in the nature of South Africa – most youth are too busy trying to survive to care about the amount of positive influence they can have on the development of our country.

It seems our generation will still have to find solutions to these on-going issues.

As the youth, one of our biggest obstacles is realising the amount of power we possess. In situations where we do realise the intensity of our power, we fail to utilise it in the most effective and beneficial way. We are seen as the future of this nation, but how will be able to establish a future when we are living in a disastrous present?

There is no reason to wait until we are ‘old enough’ before we begin contributing to the establishment of sustainable solutions that can lead to South Africa being pulled out of this darkness. We need to become aware of the different platforms we can use to make our voices heard, and use key documents to support us, such as the National Youth Policy 2020.

South Africa is a beautiful nation, consisting of a diverse and capable people with even more capable youth. Through the proper and efficient utilisation of our different resources, we need to start tackling the obstacles our parents have been dealing with. With only one year before reaching 2020, we need to start focusing on implementing initiatives that enhance the capabilities of young people to transform the economy and society.

2 Apr 2019
Blog by

SAIIA Programme