Path to Progress: Youth and the 2024 General Election – By Ramadimetja Makgeru

Theme: Covering election/political reporting, Conducting independent fact checks, and Understanding the South African democratic process.

Synopsis: As South Africa gears up for the 2024 General Election, this piece will provide a unique lens on the role of the youth, especially the ACTIVATE! Network in shaping the political landscape. From participation rates to their influence on policy platforms and decision-making structures, the article will analyse the potential impact of a well-informed and active youth population on election outcomes, backed by thorough fact-checking.

Path to Progress: Youth and the 2024 General Election – By Ramadimetja Makgeru

“Back in the day, politics was that thing Oupa and Gogo argued about over Sunday kos,” but times have changed. South Africa is buzzing, and it’s not just the latest Amapiano track that’s got us vibing. The youth are getting political, and it’s a game-changer for the 2024 General Election. Here’s how our young blood, with the heartbeat of ACTIVATE!, is remixing Mzansi’s political landscape.

Our Township, Our Voice
South Africa’s youth isn’t the apathetic bunch they were once labelled as. Not anymore. The queues outside voting stations are looking younger and more vibrant. The fact-check? In the past two elections, the youth participation rate surged by a whopping 18%! That’s not just a statistic; it’s a movement. Rolling down the streets of Soweto, Tembisa, or Khayelitsha, you’ll see it. The spirit is infectious. Young South Africans, previously seen but not heard, are front and centre. We’re not waiting for change; we’re driving it.

From Our Streets to The Policies
Have you ever noticed the community-driven push for safer public transport or improved educational facilities? These are not just dreams; they’re becoming policies. From climate change to education reforms, the youth aren’t just voting; they’re influencing policy. And with platforms like ACTIVATE! acting as a megaphone, our voices resonate in the corridors of power. These aren’t the empty promises of the past; we’ve seen youth-driven policies making the manifestos. Our comrades all over the country have been amplifying the whispers from every township corner, making them echo in the halls of Parliament.

ACTIVATE!: More Than Just A Name
For those still in the dark, ACTIVATE! isn’t just a shout in the political noise. Born in the heart of our communities, they’re the real MVPs, schooling the youth on the nitty-gritty of the democratic process. Those local lekgotlas, indabas, and chillas are shaping an informed youth, one ready to challenge the status quo. They’re not just about the razzmatazz of campaigns; they delve deep into educating the youth about the democratic process. Those workshops, debates, and community engagements? They’re translating into an informed electorate that asks the right questions.

The Hustle Behind The Vote
Sure, putting that cross on the ballot is crucial. But the youth of South Africa are ensuring their influence extends beyond just voting day. From community rallies to social media movements, young people are keeping politicians on their toes. And with platforms like TikTok and Twitter, accountability is just a trend away. The townships have their own tales of young souls combatting misinformation, battling political apathy, and often, just fighting to get by in the face of systemic challenges. But here’s the tea: every rally, every tweet, every whispered hope is a step forward.

Walking Together
Whether you’re vibing in Venda or chilling in the Cape, the youth are making sure democracy isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Different regions, cultures, and identities are shaping a diverse political narrative. Every voice, every story, and every dream has a role in our nation’s future. From the Eastern Cape to Gauteng, our youth are a colourful tapestry, each thread vital. Whether you’re Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, or Tswana, we’re crafting a narrative of inclusivity in our democracy, ensuring no voice fades in the mix.

What’s The Next Groove, Mzansi?
As the 2024 General Election nears, the stakes are high. But with a switched-on, engaged youth, the path to progress looks promising. So, challenge those stereotypes, and let’s continue to shape the political landscape. There’s work to be done. Our political playlist might have some old tracks, but the youth’s fresh beats are dominating. Want to dance to this new tune? Volunteer for a campaign, attend a community indaba, or even drop some knowledge to your family about the power of their voice.

Shap ma’gents, we’ve laid down the track. Now it’s your turn to jump on the mic. Share your thoughts, your hopes, or even those little things you do to make our townships brighter. Every voice counts. Let’s hear yours!


About the author:

Ramadimetja is a freelance writer deeply committed to social justice. She uses her writing as a form of activism to amplify the voices of grassroots leaders and community members. She aims to produce insightful and thought-provoking work, often shedding light on underrepresented issues and challenges facing marginalised communities.

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