A call has been made in the Youth Parliament for government to amend the Constitution to cease the existence of Orania as a state operating on its own. ANC Youth League member, Sizophila Mkhize, participated in the Youth Debate during a hybrid sitting of the Youth Parliament. Various youth from different political formations took part in 2020 Youth Parliament and raised different issues affecting young people.

The theme for this Youth Parliament debate was ‘Youth Power, Growing South Africa together in a time of COVID 19″. ”

“We can no longer as this generation allow two centres of power. Whatever clause in the Constitution that allows for the existence of Orania must be changed together with the clause that spoke about the willing buyer willing seller Act. We as young people believe that the Constitution was created, was written by humans and it can be corrected by humans. We cannot live in a country where there are people who live inside our country thinking that they have their own country, using their own currency, having their own laws in our own country,” charged Mkhize.

Issues of femicide, free data for the youth of the Northern Cape and the impact of COVID- 19 on young people also came to the fore.

EFF Student Command Treasurer General Inam Kula told the Youth Parliament that young people continue to be overwhelmed by femicide.

“Families of Gender-Based Violence continue to mourn as the country is plagued by this senseless violence and all we have to show for it is empty rhetoric. As the youth suffer and continue to the overwhelmed by femicide and heinous atrocities of child abuse, we must bring to book not only men responsible but also begin unpacking the role of the structural violence of an anti-black system and its untransformed state institutions and the role their play in normalising violence on Black bodies,” said Kula.

IFP Youth Brigade Chairperson and MP Mthokozisi Nxumalo says young people are the hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19 in the country. He says opportunities must be prioritised for young people as the South African economy is being rebuilt.

“This year unlike other years before we are faced with a hollow celebration as the world is confronted by a global pandemic, COVID-19. Indeed even without the pandemic, there will be little to celebrate for South African young people. The statistics are regularly available to back this claim. Young people are now more active in informal employment, which means that COVID-19 has hit our demographics the hardest.”

DA Member of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, Ofentse Mokae, made a call to Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul to support the petition to President Cyril Ramaphosa, calling for him to ensure that young people in different categories get free data in the province.

“We call on the Premier to support the DA Youth’s campaign for data for all. The petition has been initiated by the DA Youth and want 500 megabytes free data per month for registered NSFAS students, students from low-income families not qualifying for student loans, registered matriculants, and job seekers. We see access to the internet as a basic human right.”

The Youth Parliament was launched in 2013. It is held annually during Youth Month. It is a national discussion platform to encourage young people through active debates to take part in shaping the country and deepening democracy.