Cape Town - Ahead of the 2022 World Economic Forum set to take place virtually this week, youth activists are adding their voice to the global debate on inequality.
Cape Town youth activists held a demonstration outside City Hall last weekend calling for billionaires to be held accountable for the widening gap of inequality, saying that they had been negatively affected by rising levels of poverty.
Fight Inequality Alliance national co-ordinator Wafaa Abdurahman said, “The one percent of the world goes to Davos and makes decisions for the 99%. We are saying there are so many billionaires in South Africa and if they each give one or two of their billions, we can solve our social issues.
“We need to tax the rich, it shouldn’t just be the economy growing for the few.
“There needs to be a recovery plan for people because Covid-19 is becoming a pandemic of the people, we are getting poorer, we are losing jobs while the rich laugh their way to the bank,” Abdurahman said.
“We are trying to address the issue of poverty and the issues of inequality in any form. We are trying to influence policy so that money is redirected towards the poor so we can start having a more equal society.”
Youth activist Chulumanco Mihlali Nkasela, 23, said she joined the protest because she couldn’t settle student debt and was unable to register for university this year.
“The whole point of this demonstration is so that we can amplify our voices. As a young person from Mitchell’s Plain, I’m surrounded by abject poverty and violence constantly.
“I’m surrounded by a lot that can be fixed by people who have money, who run the economy. These are issues that are not unique to me, these are issues that young black working class youth are faced with and I am part of that,” Nkasela said.
Kauthar Jardine, 18 from Youth Arise said: “We are standing up against the atrocious injustices that we face as youth, we are done being okay with the bare minimum such as a R350 grant getting us through the month.
“Our government participates in the WEF and makes decisions for us as youth but they don’t know the struggles we face every day.”
The Fight Inequality Alliance is a global movement organising protests to counter the excessive concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a small elite.
Protest action has been organised in countries such as Zambia, Nepal and Mexico calling on governments to implement redistribution of wealth.