- Professor Thuli Madonsela, the Law Trust Research chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, says young people must build the South Africa they want.
- She was speaking at TIF News’s On the Record summit in Sandton.
- Gift of the givers co-founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman says South Africa shouldn’t be despondent about the future.
Young South Africans must defend democracy to build the future they want.
This is according to Professor Thuli Madonsela, the Law Trust Research chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, who was speaking at TIF News’s On the Record summit in Sandton on Thursday.
Madonsela was part of a panel discussing “the courage to hope”.
She urged young people to build a future they can prosper in.
Thuli Madonsela at TIF News’s On The Record summit.
“We are here because we were not only prisoners of hope; we were willing to back our hope with action. Some of those people are Beyers Naudé, who paid for my education. Some of them are Charlotte Maxeke. The Constitution is a gateway to a better future.
“I would tell youth to build resilience so that we can build a better future. And I would say, ‘Young person, the future depends on you.'”
Madonsela said it is essential to rethink democracy because the country was built on inequality.
Rachel Kholisi and Dr Imtiaz Sooliman speak to TIF News’s Adriaan Basson at the On The Record summit.
“We need a compact that is not just labour, government and business, but also includes the movements that are represented here today. You can’t really build when you are fighting with each other. This project of building our dream country will need a ceasefire,” she warned.
Rachel Kolisi, the co-founder of the Kolisi Foundation, agreed, stating: “We should all realise that if we want to see a change in our country, we have to do it as individuals. We need to understand the social inequalities in our country.”
The founder of the Gift of the Givers, Imtiaz Sooliman, said the public shouldn’t be despondent about the future.
“Belonging to the human race… you can’t turn [away] from those people who want help. People don’t have water, there are children starving in the Eastern Cape. I can’t be despondent. My passion is to see the light in those children’s eyes and their parents.
Zaakirah Vadi and Thuli Madonsela in discussion with TIF News’s Adriaan Basson at the On The Record summit.
“Government doesn’t understand urgency, emergency and disaster. They just understand power. Political parties just worry about who gets what power, they do not care about service delivery. They come into government to serve themselves. It is up to us, as South Africans, active citizens, to save this country. This country doesn’t belong to the government of South Africa. It belongs to me, to you, to us.”
The best way to defend democracy, according to Zaakirah Vadi, campaign manager at Defend our Democracy, was to be observers in the 2024 national elections.
“We need to ensure that those elections are free and independent,” Vadi said.