Hunting for votes

Johann Kikillus,
Ocean View Care Centre

We have reached that season again where political parties try hard to get our votes.

I have made a point this year of listening to the various manifestos. In my opinion, once all the emotive phrases and “hot air” are removed, there is very little left that is of any substance.

Most of the parties place crime and unemployment at the top of the priority list. But I fail to hear any real solutions on how to fix those two enormous problems.

When one looks back over the past ten years, it is clear that whatever plan was implemented back then certainly did not work.

Gangsterism and youth unemployment continue to keep many young people trapped in a state of hopelessness.

I agree with the priority lists, but I believe that the approach in dealing with these issues needs to change.

Our departments of social development, education and health do not in any way create an environment in which young people can reach their full potential.

This goes for across the whole country, so no political party can point fingers.

Since January, I have spent quite a bit of time criss-crossing our rural areas and what I see there is most tragic.

I have spent close on two decades working among disadvantaged youth and have noted that the plight of those who are not resourced is getting more desperate.

It is also clear that our policy makers and those who are in influential positions have lost touch with what is happening on the ground.

We need to understand that no political party can fix this mess. What is needed is more input from civil society, especially the religious sector.

However, I want to encourage young people to not abstain from voting. Get involved and make a difference. Above all , don’t fall for everything that you hear. Rather vote for a party that has a proven track record of looking after the people, engages with communities and first and foremost, uplifts the youth.

When these elections are complete, I trust that the elected governing party will come down to the far south so that we can all sit together and come up with a long-term solution that will empower all of our young people and pull them out of their state of hopelessness.