Youth challenge leaders

14 August 2008 | Story by Chris McEvoy

panel speakers
Facing issues (from left) Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Dr Alex Boraine and Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel addressed the challenges facing South African youth in a panel discussion hosted by UCT.

Racism, apathy and BEE policies were some of the hot topics at a lively panel discussion held at UCT on 12 August about the challenges facing South African youth in the new democracy.

The discussion, titled Visions Voices and Hopes of our Youth - What's missing in our new democracy, was attended by Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel, Dr Alex Boraine and Dr Mamphela Ramphele, who responded to points raised by youth representatives from Khayelitsha, Athlone and Rondebosch.

Tackling the issue of racism, Ramphele noted that this was a global challenge which was not unique to South Africa. "We can't just label ourselves a rainbow nation and think all our problems will just go away," she said.

Boraine thanked host Associate Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela of UCT's Department of Psychology for the opportunity to hear and respond to the issues raised. "The youth are not our future, but our present," he said. "They must speak out now, or we will never hear their voices."

"The emergence of new challenges and threats to our democracy have made the need for dialogue in our society more important than ever," said Gobodo-Madikizela of the event.

young people
(from left) Nomusa Mthethwa (Durban Girls College) Amy Thornton (Rustenburg Girls High School) Nosiphiwo Matiwane (Tafelsig High School in Mithells Plain) David Hamilton (Uxolo High School) Nicole Wilson (Alexander Sinton High School) were all part of the discussion panel.

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