Youth must take advantage of democracy and register - Jordaan

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 4, 2016

Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan has encouraged young people to register this weekend in preparation for the local government elections in May 18th.

Jordaan, who was conducting a walk around on the North and South Campuses of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Friday afternoon, spent several movements talking to students about the importance of voting, and also took time out to pose for photos.

In an interview with the campus’ radio station soon after, Jordaan stated that the youth have a vital role to play in society, as “they would one day determine the policies implemented”.

“For a numbers of years, more than 80% of South Africans were not allowed to vote. Our fight for democracy was a hard fought one, and one which young people should never take for granted,” Jordaan said.

He stated that the Metro has the possibility to join the ranks of the world’s so-called smart cities, and that it would continue working to create jobs so as to prevent young people from seeking employment in other parts of the country.

“Only 12% of those who actually graduate from this university, actively stay here. If we want to retain their skills, this Metro must act differently, which is what we are doing”.

Quizzed about the recent outbreak of student protests at campuses across the country, Jordaan stated that the challenge of skills development and costs needs immediate sorting out.

“If the barrier of skills accusations is financial, then we have to address it. We cannot say on the one there is a huge skills shortage, but then complain when the very students bring up the cost factor. It cannot be that students are prevented from realising their dreams due to costs,” Jordaan said.

Asked about the problems of racism, Jordaan said it would no longer tolerate “reverence of the country’s racist past,” and that the focus of a non-racist country must rate as a priority.

“Racism is racism and it must be condemned. No matter the colour of your skin, we must all stand together against racist conduct,” he said.