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A Call to Fellow Young South Africans

For immediate release: 3 April 2017

The statement of core principles on South Africa, the Freedom Charter, is characterized by its opening demand; "The People Shall Govern". The 2014 elections were the first defining elections for many young people. Youth between the ages of 20 and 29 made up the second-largest segment of voters in those elections. Through free and fair elections, we elected representatives we trusted enough to surrender our own power and collective resources, thus allowing those elected to manage such power and resources on behalf of the electorate. This is and/ was the hallmark of our democracy.

We entrusted such power and resources on the basis of good faith, with the understanding that both the exercise of public power and control over the collective resources will be done within the parameters of the terms in which such power has been granted and in the best interest of the citizens.

In the last 48 hours, the country has experienced drastic changes due to political, economic and social instability. This is not new, instead, is an issue our country has been grappling with since the 1994 elections. It is no secret that unlike the youth of 1976, we are faced with a different struggle, one which is to ensure economic freedom, a functioning democracy and a strong independent judiciary. This is the premise within which we are called upon to fight and commit to a better tomorrow, not for us but also for the next generation of young South Africans who with no doubt will experience different struggles than we did.

With recent events such as Fees Must Fall and that of Rhodes Must Fall, we came to understand that young people have the power to rally others to create positive change and when young people gather around a common cause, magic happens. We owe it to the generations yet to come to think carefully about the world we want to leave to their generation.

It is in light of this framework that InkuluFreeHeid calls on all young South Africans to participate and become active citizens, working towards the restoration of the promise of freedom, an accountable government that is responsive and transparent. Several organizations around the country have gathered to express dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs. We encourage young people to be involved in any type of civil engagement, demonstration and/ any democratic process which enables such involvement.

It falls to each of us to be jealous guardians of our democracy because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title of being a citizen of South Africa, ultimately, our democracy demands it, it needs us.

InkuluFreeHeid

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