‘Parliament is not a retirement village’

todayJuly 3, 2023 63

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Newly-elected ANC Youth League (ANCYL) President, Collen Malatji, says Parliament is not a retirement village and the days of young people being moved out of positions of power are over.

Malatji made the remarks during a media briefing at the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg today.

Malatji and his team were elected at the weekend, ending eight years of no leadership for the youth wing of South Africa’s governing party.

The young lion says the ANCYL won’t accept anything less than 50% representation in Parliament and at provincial legislatures after next year’s elections.

The 30-year-old says his leadership is serious about bringing radical change for the benefit of young people.

Malatji also took a swipe at the former ANCYL President, Julius Malema, who is now leading the Economic Freedom Fighters.

He says assertions that Malema was in 2012 expelled from the ANC for fighting for economic freedom is a lie that needs to be clarified.

“He was fired for ill-discipline. He was fired for contravening the Constitution of the ANC and youth league. He wanted to the youth league to be a cult organisation like the EFF. There in the EFF there – no matter how education you are – you can’t even speak. Educated doctors, boNdlozi, run around with water everywhere. Here in the ANC – you are allowed to bring your views,” he adds.

The ANCYL President says the league has outstanding issues that need to be ironed out and they will be addressed at the league’s NEC meeting.

The date for that conference, he says, will be announced at a later stage.

Malatji says they are going to have a hybrid sitting where all the provinces will have input for the final declarations of the conference.


Malatji also raised concern over underpayment of journalists who, he says, are overworked.

He also commended the members of the Fourth Estate for staying throughout the weekend, working tirelessly to ensure that their conference is covered.


Political Analyst, Professor Siphamandla Zondi, says the ANCYL must be commended for ensuring 50/50 gender representation, in comparison to the 2015 group.

“The number of women that are in leadership and the woman in the deputy presidency – is a positive development because every time we comment on these issues it must be based on the last outcome,” he says.

“Of course you might like a lot more racial diversity that speaks to the ANC’s non-racialism policy. But this gives the ANCYL time to reflect,” Professor Zondi adds. Article by Nokwazi Qumbisa

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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