AFTER reading the article about the South African medical students who went on strike in Cuba, I felt compelled to respond.
I think the context of the students' strike exposes two critical issues that, if allowed to continue unchecked, may well continue to cause the country great embarrassment as well as further denigrate our global image.
First, the growing sense of entitlement among the youth, particularly those from so-called "disadvantaged backgrounds", is becoming a problem.
It appears that more and more young people are expecting something for nothing.
They want to enjoy the benefits of the country but are not prepared to work for it.
Perhaps this is the result of the pre-1994 expectations that have not been realised, or perhaps there are other reasons. This article shows that even with the opportunities that exist for young people to better themselves and to use these opportunities to help in creating a better society, there are some who fail to see the bigger picture.
I am a coloured male who has worked to get where I am.
There were opportunities that came my way but that did not negate the necessity to work hard, nor did it entitle me to anything.
I have had to learn the value of hard work and I'm afraid this value is sadly lacking among many of our youth, despite the opportunities that they are presented with.
Second, the use of strike behaviour has become a key facet of what I call the "culture of protest".
In South Africa this culture has become a regular feature of life to the point where it has seemingly become generally accepted as the only way to deal with structural and other problems.
What the youth of this country needs to realise is that while the culture of protest may be entertained and regarded as acceptable here it does not mean that it is regarded as acceptable elsewhere, nor that it will have the same kind of impact.
Our youth needs to mature to the point where we can learn to deal with our issues in a manner that will not cause embarrassment to ourselves, our families, our communities and our country.
Dr T Petrus Senior Lecturer (Anthropology) Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University