Wed, 27 May 2020

I feel much safer in a foreign country

27 Apr 2019, 00:45 GMT+10

Name: Siphamandla Mnayni

Age: 33

Occupation: Engineer

Good day, President Ramaphosa

I hope that you will consider the issues raised by young South Africans who are planning to or have left the country to find opportunities elsewhere. Sadly, the majority of the young people who have left to pursue their careers elsewhere are the skilled ones who can add value, be it in the private or public sector. However, the opportunity has given some of us international exposure, with the hope that one day we will come back to serve in our country.

I list some of the socio-economic issues that are making it difficult for young people, both black and white. I am a black engineer, by the way, currently based in Middle East, so the political and gloomy economic outlook is not only affecting young white people.

1. Crime rate in the country - this is one of the main concerns. Our stats are sky rocketing and I feel much safer in a foreign country.

2. Youth unemployment and quality of education - we need to re-look the curriculum that is thought in schools and universities. Technical skills, entrepreneurship, financial management must the introduced early in our curriculum. I am impressed with what the education MEC in Gauteng, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, is doing. May he be considered to oversee the whole portfolio across the country?

3. Cadre deployment - it's so hurtful that most critical positions at provincial, municipal level and in SOEs are given to people who are not qualified academically. This is costing the country billions of revenue.

4. Debt to GDP ratio - this needs to change, it's scary and it's having an impact on infrastructure development that have potential to unlock and stimulate economic growth. We need to move away from social grants and high maintenance for MPs and ministers. In fact, governmental heads must use public infrastructure. It must be mandatory for people that are working in the health portfolio to use public hospitals, children of the public office bearers must use public schools, etc. Having high debt is a constraint to economic growth.

5. Corruption - our country doesn't deal decisively with those who have been found guilty of misappropriating tax payers' money. They are left with impunity and yet, you keep on squeezing the tax payers.


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