ESTELLE Ellis’s report in The Herald of June 12 on abortion, which declares that the "right given to women is being misused by kids” (page 4), is dramatic. It precedes the national celebration of Youth Day on June 16 by five days and coincides with Kazeka Kuse’s well-written article, "Youth Day means nothing to jobless young people” on page 14 of the same edition of The Herald.
However, while this "non-judgemental” research is contextualised in a post-apartheid environment and the "born free” girl child generation, it fails to foreground the socioeconomic conditions within which it is located.
The omission is highlighted by Kuse’s comments that our youth have nothing to celebrate because they are "broke and hopeless”, that 51% of our youth are unemployed and that out of four unemployed people three are under the age of 35.
It is a globally-recognised fact that South Africa is a violent society (hence Shrien Dewani’s successful bid against extradition), that we are the rape capital of the world and, according to the World Economic Forum, that our literacy and numeracy rates rank as third worst in the world at 132 out of 134 countries.
We need to create a future with hope and dignity for our youth, we need to give them a proper education and job prospects that extend beyond piecemeal bodily labour as well as decent, weather- proof homes, flush toilets and a safe, healthy environment in caring communities.
While the ANC continues to lead the country, abuses our resources and entrenches the divide between the haves and the have- nots in South Africa, the hopeless, born free generation will carry on with unsafe sex and illegal abortions because the government is not looking after them.
Please think about the roles of the men and boys in unplanned teenage pregnancies, and the tragic plight of our youth before casting your vote in 2014.
South Africa’s children deserve better than this!
Celeste Barker, Dawn (DA Women’s Network) provincial chairman, Port Elizabeth