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Meet the Free State’s youngest MPL, Karabo Khakhau

Khakhau took her place as the DA increased its seats from five to six of the 30 in the Free State legislature.

Free State MPL Karabo Khakhau. Picture: Karabo Lerato Khakhau/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The youngest person to sit in a provincial legislature in the country is the Democratic Alliance's (DA) 21-year-old Karabo Khakhau who said sitting in her first caucus in the Free State on Tuesday reminded her of how far young people have to go to be heard.

Khakhau took her place as the DA increased its seats from five to six of the 30 in the provincial legislature.

She said her priority would be to find out why 60% of pupils who start school in the province didn’t make it through matric and to get more young people into the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

Khakhau laughed about the average age of the "grandmothers and grandfathers" in the legislature.

But she said she was there to do serious business and to address the plight of “young people between 16 and 24, of whom 64.5% are unemployed".

"We have a further 39.6% of 25 to 34-year-olds who are unable to find work,” she said.

She said the agriculture and manufacturing industries should absorb these young people, but they needed to be educated first.

“When you look at 2013 alone, 40% of students who started 12 years ago were able to matriculate while 60% of them fell through the cracks. And we want to investigate why we have such a high dropout rate in the province.”

Khakhau said young people’s voices would drive the agenda in the Free State.

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