Born frees can show us the way

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THE wonderful note on which The Big Debate ended on TV this past week concerned the generation of “born frees” who could be said to hold the future of our country in their eager, creative hands!

I was blown away by the young group who articulated what we all need to embrace – that colour and race don’t come into their choices when it comes to making friends. This, to me, at this seemingly fragile time in our country’s history, is the foundation upon which all South Africans need to build, and build quickly and strongly.

We cannot and must not be strangled by old prejudices and the distrust which permeates the minds of many. This does not mean that we do not respect the tragedy and loss of hope which has strangled the lives of so many, or that we should notmake reparation, either through new laws or through acts of love and kindness, one to another. As our constitution sets out, the heritage of all citizens must be respected.

There are certainly many young people amongst the born frees who are bitter and frustrated and they have a right to be, as so many see a future under the current government without jobs, thus without self-respect, as the economy staggers. Many who have furthered their education are amongst these young people.

Their problem is not with colour or creed. It is about their future, their ability to provide for themselves and their partners and families as they forge ahead. It is about self respect, paying for a home, food, education for their children, affordable health care.

In the Ipsos poll in November last year many young people interviewed said that they were not interested in voting as they felt a change in government would not change their situation. These young people were clearly in need of a clear and vibrant message, and the Democratic Alliance provided that for South Africa – and the world – to see.

The DA’s Johannesburg March for Six Million Real Jobs in Johannesburg highlighted the plight of the jobless and the state of paralysis of President Jacob Zuma’s ANC. The 8000 who marched last week were brave, peaceful. Among them were many born frees!

It is hoped, as we move towards May 7, that this was a watershed moment for them and that they will take a firm hold of their futures, participate in the general election on that day, and consider carefully where they make that cross.

Bernice Wright, DA councillor

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