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QUENTIN COETZEE: A decision has been taken to establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the President's response to the Public Protector's Nkandla report. That report was released five months ago, and the fact that Zuma keeps delaying his response makes it seem like he is just trying to avoid punishment, if his previous actions in this matter haven’t already rung alarm bells.

While there have been a fair share of distractions from the whole Nkandla issue, there are a few questions about who is at fault for letting this get out of hand: the Parliamentarians or the people? That is more 'chicken or the egg' logic speaking when the real problem is how the rooster, who is now known to steal almost all the food, has been allowed to remain.

Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla, where she found that Zuma unduly benefited from the upgrades, was released in March and she had recommended that he repay some of the costs for non-security features. Considering his defence of Nkandla and its costs, including the ‘I didn’t ask for this, so why should I pay’ line, that action is as likely to be taken as him resigning from office on ethical grounds.

DEAN HORWITZ: Over the past few years articles and reports have used an abundance of statistics to inform and justify the argument that graduate unemployment is a rising concern in South Africa. Using real life examples of graduates unable to find work, articles and reports have led us to believe that graduate unemployment is a substantial issue facing our economy. But is this really the status quo?

According to the Labour Force Survey, 25% of South Africans are unemployed with 70% of these people under the age of 35. Even more striking is that the unemployment rate for South Africans under the age of 25 is over 50% and growing each quarter.  These numbers are terrifying and suggest that South Africa is facing a growing youth unemployment problem which will negatively affect the economy for years to come.

KATY SCOTT: I stand with my mouth hanging as, “Would you like a bag?” becomes the most perplexing question I have had to answer all week. Do I want a bag? What do I even want, really? 

I hit this point, usually once a week, where I just have no bloody clue. Thoughts and desires hurtle about in my head and bang against my forehead. Everything I was ever once certain about turns to mish-mashed potatoes. Supper. At least I know what I’m having for supper tonight.

I fear that there is no light, and I’m pretty convinced that I’m in a ditch, not a tunnel. It’s like I’ve been given a lucky packet filled with PMS, stress and distress. Don’t try to ask me what I’m feeling, I don’t know, (and I might depress you with my answer). Where to from here?

LAURIE SCARBOROUGH: So firstly, welcome back to UCT, fine people who read this column. Good on you to brave the mountainous campus for another four months (and for reading my column every edition). If your holiday was anything like mine, it was far from restful. If you flip over to the Features section you’ll see that I was involved in a musical at the Artscape, and rehearsal were almost daily, stretching into the darkest hours of the night. Very exciting and everything – dreams come true, standing ovations, gold stars, etc etc. 

Besides the obvious stand-out moments of being on a stage that every performer lives for, I think one of things that will stick with me is the sheer amount of make-up that is smeared on your face in your pre-show preparation. 

PARUSHA NAIDOO: Sexism, ageism and (South Africa’s personal favourite) racism, are generally the dominant themes that come to mind when we enter into heated debates about discrimination. But wait, there is another “ism” to add to our list of prejudices - accentism. Your response may be “Did she just make that up?”

While the word was underlined in red when I typed it, it does exist, at least that’s what Google tells me.  Accentism essentially refers to the discrimination of someone based on their accent. So beyond skin tone, hair colour and gender, our accents act as signallers. We unconsciously associate accents with class, education and cultural backgrounds. We instantly form attitudes towards people based on their twangs and drawls.   

ROXANNE JOSEPH: Seven months since the death of iconic former president, Nelson Rolihahla Mandela, South Africans gear up to spend 67 minutes of their day giving back to their country.

Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of the late statesman’s birthday, July 18, in 2009, by the UN (United Nations) General Assembly. It was in response to a call Madiba made a year earlier, when he asked the youth to “take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices”, according to the official Mandela Day website. “It is in your hands now,” he said.

ROFHIWA MADZENA: The Joburg Radio Days conference ended today with a focus on the youth segment of radio consumers. Rofhiwa Madzena weighs in on the debate.

The Debate
Radio today does not focus enough on the youth , according to one of the speakers on this morning’s opening panel on the final day of the 2014 Joburg Radio Days conference at Wits University. Speakers on this panel tried to outline their various approaches to attracting and servicing the youth market.

ROFHIWA MADZENA: The length of the pause a South African teenager took on television today was a little more than just awkward. She was asked, in an interview, about the significance of June 16th.

The pause led to nothing but a confession that said she did not know the significance of the day, except to say that “on this day we wear our school uniform and don’t go to school”.

That pause though was more than enough time for me to formulate my dramatic shock at the ignorance of young South Africans who now understand very little of the patriotism and hope for a bright future which was expressed by the youth of 1976.

VIOLET MDULI: How many of us have ever had “the talk”? The sex talk, with our parents. I first had the talk at the age of 12 with my grandmother. Was it awkward? Very much so. However, l am grateful to my grandmother because “the talk” shaped among other things, my knowledge on sexual related diseases and how best to prevent them. The same sadly cannot be said for everyone.

LAURIE SCARBOROUGH: Too many times have I heard the refrain “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain”. It seems a rather narrow and weakly supported view that is dropped into conversation around election time. And while my left thumb is still stained a henna brown, I thought I’d be the devil’s advocate for a day.

So firstly, as a wise comedian by the name of George Carlin once said, “If you vote, you have no right to complain.” Dear Georgie argues that as soon as you participate in the voting system, you enter into the “game”, if you will. Voting has rules, and one of those rules is that somebody wins. You have accepted the invitation to the game and played it. You legitimise the voting system, even if you disagree with it on some level, by participating. You are then responsible (or collectively responsible with the other 18 million people who voted) for the outcome of the vote, regardless of whether your party wins or not, because you accepted the rules. He argues that someone who doesn’t vote, therefore has every right to complain because they are not responsible for the scoreboard results. 

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