South African Politics Impact | Article | FTI Consulting

South African Politics and the Impact on the Young Generation

Strategic Communications

September 8, 2016

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The recent violent protests by students at campuses across the country earlier this year is said to have cost R460 million in damaged property. But it is too simple to just measure the cost of destroyed property as the true cost of the protests. Young South Africans have been waiting for 23 years to see the fruits of the “rainbow nation”.

They have been patiently waiting for the government to introduce and implement policies that cater for all, change the education system and arm students with the skills that can empower them to start their own businesses. That patience has now started to wane.

So many activities have taken place over the past few years, directly affecting the youth of today. We have even learned to coin the phrase ‘Born Frees’ meaning those who were born post our freedom of 1994. Today the so-called born-frees are 22 years of age, and of full age to cast their votes in the forth-coming municipal elections. Besides, those four years younger than them will be for the first time registering their maiden vote come August.

The youth doesn’t see things the same as those older than 35 years. Many of today’s leaders in both business and politics don’t fully comprehend the needs and the psyche of this new generation. The recent #FeesMustFall campaign that quickly spread all over the country like a wild fire is testimony to the fact that we either do not understand the youth or we just do not want to listen to the youth. The #Feesmustfall protest was the biggest after the 1976 Soweto Uprising where students literally forced the government to listen.

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