AS the National Planning commissioner responsible for organising the youth event on Saturday at Nangoza Jebe Hall, I am extremely disappointed with the front page article in The Herald on Monday ("Manuel loses his cool over NDP critics").
I am objectively trying to convince myself that the piece's angle and rationale is not premised on the race-to-the-bottom of trying to up readership through being selective on what gets reported and leaving out that which was the real objective of the event on Saturday.
The event was an initiative driven by the youth of the Nelson Mandela Bay.
The following youth organisations have worked very hard over the past two months to put together position papers containing their own recommendations on what is feasible to implement through decisive action (spearheaded by youth organisations in the Bay themselves): Napdi Youth, InkuluFreeHeid, SRCs of both NMMU and Rhodes University, NMMU's student chapter of Abasa, Youth in Action Organisation, Fundisa Primary Fund and· Eastern Cape Environmental Network.
These youth organisations were also supported by Ithembelihle, Cowan and KwaMagxaki High schools. The highlight of the whole event was them committing to certain actionable steps and doing so through signing a collective youth declaration.
Never in the life of the process which has taken three years to come to fruition did we have as symbolic a gesture as the signing of the NDP banner and young people saying "we are willing to stand up and be counted for contributing to something positive". Never has this happened in any of the nine provinces, it was the first time this was being done here in the NMBM.
So for reporter Mkhululi Ndamase completely to miss the significance of this – and choose to focus on what he deemed fit to focus on – is chronically disappointing, to say the least. A seriously missed opportunity.
Here in the Bay we are plagued with so many dysfunctional aspects in the local government sphere and it bears all of us down even to reflect on the on-going shenanigans. So if, for once, something great happens and is really being driven by the future leaders of tomorrow, we fail to make noise about it and report accurately on it, I am at a loss as to what we would ever celebrate.
Zanele Bridgette Gasa, Port Elizabeth