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Umsebenzi Online

Volume 3, No. 12, 16 June 2004

In this Issue:

Umsebenzi Online dedicates the 16 June edition to the Young Communist League. Published here is the YCL Charter for Young People's Rights which the YCL will release at June 16 events across the country. This release will also include the inaugural public unveiling of the YC Logo which is also published here.

A message to all young South Africans from the Young Communist League of South Africa


Make the voice of every young person count!

Fight for the Charter for Young People's Rights

The Young Communist League of South Africa believes that capitalism devalues the contribution of young people to our society, using young people as cheap labour, ignoring youth concerns and handing them nothing more than scraps they call benefits. Capitalism limits life opportunities for young people. Capitalism frustrates our young hopes and needs. Capitalism denies us jobs, free education and skills training. This is because capitalism means the control of the economy by a few fat cats who pay our parents starvation wages. Yes South Africa is a democracy, but it remains a capitalist society.

For the rights of young people

Since 1994, the ANC has brought democracy, peace, water and housing for millions, electricity, and hope for a better future. As young people we have gained:

  • No more apartheid education
  • The National Student Financial Aid Scheme supports poor students
  • We have opportunities for skills training
  • The Youth Commission & Umsobomvu Youth Fund are our voice & power

But we still have many problems. Many of us are still not employed: the capitalist bosses are not investing in jobs, skills training & our education. We face HIV/AIDS, crime, and many other problems. At the root of these problems is capitalism.

But workers and poor people can challenge and defeat capitalism. Even the youth has a role to play in challenging capitalism. The YCL calls on all young South Africans to joint the anti-capitalist struggle by fighting for a Charter for Young People's Rights.

The YCL believes that such a Charter must ensure that young people have the rights to:

  • Free quality, public education for everyone
  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Decent work, training and skills development
  • A decent standard of living
  • Access to information and life free from discrimination

But this Charter must not just be a paper document. It must be a living document which ensures that the voice of every young person counts. We, as young people, must make our voices heard. We have clear needs and interests. We want:

  • A good future and a better life now
  • Opportunities to realise our talents and aspirations
  • Quality public education, knowledge and skills
  • No denial of education because we cannot pay
  • Employment and an end to crime
  • Treatment for people living with HIV./AIDS
  • Good health services & other social services
  • Opportunities and facilities for recreation, sports and culture
  • A caring government which listens to us

Free quality public education

  • Abolish school fees
  • No expulsion of students from schools because they cannot pay
  • Abolish fees for tertiary education
  • Increase funding to education
  • End government funding of wealthy private schools
  • Expand childcare places at tertiary institutions, alongside other measures to make education accessible to women
  • For school and university syllabuses informed by the needs of all-round human development, and not dictated by interests of capitalists
  • Strengthen School Governing Bodies to ensure that the control of education content rests with students, staff and the community.
  • Extend democratic rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of dress, and freedom of association, to all secondary and higher education students
  • End the domination of university senates and councils by business representatives

The right to work and skills

  • The level of all learnership allowances for young workers must be the same as the minimum wage in each industry
  • Increase government spending on job creation, rather than handing subsidies to big business who have failed to produce any jobs for young people
  • All young people must have a right skills training
  • All young people must have a right to work
  • Young workers must join trade unions to protect their rights

A decent standard of living

  • All young people must have access to social security benefits
  • Government must provide shelter for young people who are forced to remain in impossible and sometimes dangerous family situations

End discrimination

  • Young people must have the right to live independent lives free of discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, origin, social status, ability, marital status, language, etc.
  • End to the legal harassment of young people
  • Young people have the right to information on sexuality and proper sexuality education at schools. The right to this information is fundamental for young people's sexual health, mentally and physically.
  • Provide sex education in schools that informs young people of all the variety of non-coercive sexual relations.
  • Make available free safe contraceptives, including condom vending machines in secondary and higher education institutions.

The Young Communist League says: Challenge capitalism to win a better life today and in the future!

Build the Young Communist League

As young people, we must build our power and voice in government, in the economy and where we live, work and study. We must be organised:

  • politically in the YCL, organisations for unemployed youth, students, etc.
  • in community based organisations where we stay
  • in exciting campaigns for education, employment & our other needs
  • in the economy, in co-operatives and in COSATU trade unions
  • even our cultural and social lives must be part of the anti-capitalist struggle

The Young Communist League is your anti-capitalist and communist youth organisation which stands for the interests of all young people. We mobilise young people to work and struggle together, to reject crime, the abuse of women, children, drugs and alcohol, to fight for the equality of all young people, against racism, economic exploitation and all forms of discrimination. We promote social, recreational and cultural activities among young people. We are the youth wing of the South African Communist Party (SACP).

Contact the Young Communist League

Head Office
National Secretary (Buti Manamela)
Tel - 011 339 3621,
Email - yclinfo@ycl.org.za
Joyce Tsipa,
Cell 0824011345
Email botihanya@webmail.co.za
Eastern Cape
Convenor: Xolani Tshayana, Cell 0836462813
Email tshayan@vwsa.co.za
Vusi Nkambule, Cell 0837096936
Email jvusi2003@yahoo.com
Free State
Kgathatso Malete, Cell 08
Email khathatsom@anc.fsc.gov.za
Northern Cape
Thembisa Mlatha, Cell 0723705168
Email mlatha@union.org.za
Nkosiphendule Kholisile, Cell 082939 4035
Email nkosiphendule@sacp.org.za
North West
Kentse Segwana, Cell 0834169767
Email kentsesegwana@yahoo.com
KwaZulu Natal
Sizwe Shezi, Cell 0837096936
Email sira@absamail.co.za
Western Cape
Sam Maine, Cell 0731952525
Email mainesamueal@hotmail.com

Issued by the Young Communist League, Tel 011 339 3621, Fax 011 339 4244, Email yclinfo@ycl.org.za

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