Cape Town – The United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Congress of the People (COPE) on Friday sharply criticised the ruling African National Congress (ANC), calling the party a “corrupt ruling elite”.
In a statement, Mosiuoa Lekota for Cope, said corruption and bad governance by the country’s current leaders are betrayal of the ideals of the youth of 1976.
“They flout and undermine the Constitution, for which the 1976 generation paid the supreme sacrifice, which is the framework to attain the socio-economic rights as contained in the Bill of Rights.”
Lekota said the majority of the youth are suffering the brunt of poverty, unemployment, lack of opportunities and economic exclusion.
“Today, half of the cohort of learners who enter the schooling system drop out without a trace. The majority lack proper infrastructure in schools, adequate learner support material as well as quality teaching and proper support for teachers.
“Students in colleges and universities constantly sacrifice their valuable lessons time to engage in protests to force an uncaring government to accede to their demands for bursaries, accommodation and inclusion,” he said.
Speaking to UDM members in Nelson Mandela Bay, Bantu Holomisa said the core issue facing youth in the country is corruption.
“Especially when it comes to those charged with the task of governance and ensuring that the dividends of democracy filter down,” Holomisa said.
“The UDM’s youth must be aware that far too many people, who were in the vanguard of the struggle, have let the country down by lining their and their families’ pockets.”
Holomisa referenced the so-called Gupta leaks as proof of corruption in the country.
“These, now infamous, emails have so far proven authentic and nobody has outright claimed that they are fabrications. This should send a strong message to you, that you cannot fold your arms,” he said.
Holomisa ended his speech by telling UDM members that the coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay is stable.
“If you are not aware, a three-member committee scrutinised the situation and found that the Executive Mayor and the Deputy Executive Mayor were both at fault in many respects,” he said.
“We [the coalition partners] therefore took the stance that they either should shape up or ship out. Everyone must do their work, and follow the law and rules of the municipality.”
The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan municipality is governed by a three-party coalition between the Democratic Alliance (DA), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and UDM.
Youth Day commemorates a mass protest against the Apartheid government’s policy of Bantu education in Soweto on June 16, 1976.
It is estimated that between 3000 and 10 000 students marched on the day and a heavy police response resulted in at least 176 causalities. The apartheid government claimed only 23 students were killed.