With the upcoming local elections building momentum and encouraging a national dialogue on the feet of the 40th Youth Day anniversary; there has been an evident rise of youth participation within local governance.
Active citizenry has been the topic of interest for citizens from all walks of life recently. Through this ‘enlightened’ mindset change, South African youth are now making it their mission to be involved in the building of THEIR communities and country.
Through networks such as ACTIVATE! the youth are realizing their potential and learning how it is that they can have a positive impact in their local government. The network is made up over 2000 young people that are serious about bringing about change all over South Africa. As a collective they are motivating each other to innovate, inform and be the positive spark to those around them. Active citizenry is highly encouraged by ACTIVATE!, this has seen a number of young people standing for the upcoming elections.
“As a teacher, I want to educate the younger generation on how local government works. I want to encourage them to get involved so that they can make sure that the most important issues are addressed.” Tumelo Lephogole, Student teacher, North West.
Driven by the motivating slogan; ‘For the youth by the youth’, activators from remote parts of the country are leading by example through highlighting that leadership should prioritize delivering on the promises that are made to communities during campaigning. A new era of accountable leadership is on the rise.
“Through our vast network of youths committed to change, we at ACTIVATE have seen a growing amount young South Africans actively contributing towards crafting the ideal society that they would like to live in,” says Nelisa Ngqulana, ACTIVATE! Communications Manager. “We are so pleased to see a group of our activators running for office in the upcoming elections, as that shows a great sense of responsibility and commitment to driving change”.
From civil servants to entrepreneurs, activators are putting their passion to good use through creating synergies that would best serve the communities that they live in. Be it through the Arts, Education of Sports, activators are highlighting basic community needs through positively showcasing local governance decay through at time providing self-funded solutions. Through networks such as ACTIVATE! youths are provided with a platform where they can interact and share their common challenges and achieved successes.
Anzani Tshifheya from Venda, identified herself as a Community builder. Through support provided by ACTIVATE! she is mobilizing change in her community through sports. ‘Riakona Sports, Arts and Culture Events’ is a project that I initiated with my sister. We are currently at the process of sourcing sponsorship so that libraries and sports centers can be built in our village,” she says. “It is simple things such as ensuring that they are adequate facilities that provide remote communities much-needed moral and sense of importance. If the government is unable to reach us, it is our responsibility to ensure that we act on what we want”.
ACTIVATE! has 82 observers across nine provinces, and six network members running for office in the upcoming municipal elections representing different political parties. In the running is also an independent candidate.
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ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.
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