Youth In Limpopo Prepare for the 2024 General Elections
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers joins forces with IEC and UNDP to launch an election campaign in Limpopo equipping communities on the 2024 elections #WeAreVoting2024.
On the 30th of June 2023, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers wrapped up youth month with the #WeAreVoting campaign in Limpopo, at Lenyenye community hall. This esteemed campaign was MC’ed by Ouma Shai. Councillor Mabitsela Fumayo Caiphus welcomed all the guests, in his welcome he advised the community that not only are they at the event to just attend but to engage and try to find understanding in some of the issues and current affairs happening in our country. Reflecting on the youth network, Councillor Kabelo Matlhope, who serves as the ACTIVATE! Civic Education champion says “Activate to him it is like an eye-opener, the main purpose why we are here #WeAreVoting’ we came in numbers to engage young people and the community, ours is to teach communities about the importance of voting, encourage young people to go and register in numbers to cast their vote, and why their vote matters”.
He added that Activate is a change drive machine for young people, the network has shown young people where they belong, and how to become generalized and it shows a cycle of courage on how as a young person, where you belong.
“Leaving no one behind” Importance of civic education
Supported by the United Nations Development Plan (UNDP), Mr Bongani Matomela, in His address gave a brief overview of what the United Nations is and the work they are doing with the united nations “United Nations is an international organization of countries set up in 1945, in succession to the League of Nations, to promote international peace, security, and cooperation. It was formed after the Second World War when the country decided to come together and ensure there was peace and stability. There are about seventy in the world.
We are partners with IEC and Activate change drivers in civic education”. He also touched on sustainable development goals ‘He mentions that “It talks about promoting participation and access to justice” He encourages the Lenyenye community to look into this goal. “There is a slogan we use #Leaving No One Behind we want to encourage voting and essentially leave no one behind, one of the commitments we have with ACTIVATE! change drivers are that when encouraging young people to vote, “what is it to us, why to push this narrative’ ours is to educate young people and have young people in the forefront exercising their constitutional rights, also the United Nations would appreciate to see democracy led by young people and democracy that is vibrant”Bongani Matomela.
Voter education with IEC
Acting regional outreach officer from the IEC Mopani district, Mr Ronald Tshinkange, addressed the crowd on the importance of voting. “Let’s talk about democracy, voting and the reason why we should actually vote also including voting requirements that are necessary for one to be able to register so that one can participate in the elections. Who can register? You must be a South African citizen, with a green bar-coded identity book (ID book) or smart card or a temporary identity document/certificate and be 16 years of age or older and you will be able to vote when you are 18 and another important point is that one must register in person” said Mr Ronald Tshinkange. The first thirty attendees to register to vote were offered IEC T-shirts.
National Youth Policy
Unpacking the national youth policy interrogating policy as a tool for guiding voting decisions. This panel discussion was moderated by Thamsanqa Masingi, who leads ACTIVATE policy education programme, and represented the panel CEO and Founder of Ezamaswe education centre for Innovation. She says they are focusing on economic aspects using education. Followed by Mr Rhudzani from the Department of Women, youth and Persons with Disabilities their mandate is to advance the interests of young people, women and persons living with disabilities, lastly, on the table Ms Mantsho Mpiti from Ga-Mothupa representing the NYDA and she is equally the founder Hashtag operation bereka-mosadi which deals with issues of women and young women who are vulnerable. Questions posed on the NYDA were why is there always an issue with access? Ms Mantsho Mpiti answered, “The main question the office is always asking itself is, what is it that the youth are doing wrong/ not following right channels, as the NYDA we always want to do outreaches but we don’t always get invites from organizations and communities to come and educate the communities at large of what the NYDA is all about”. All the speakers emphasized the best interests they have at heart for community upliftment and youth development and they expressed their gratitude for the platform to engage the community of Lenyenye where they serve.
End of the event Councilor Mabitsela Fumayo Caiphus expressed his gratitude to the esteemed guests, councils, ACTIVATE! change drivers, the IEC, the UNDP, the NYDA, entertainment(Brain Hennessy and Sarafina), Phusela High School and other present stakeholder involved for honouring the invite and coming in numbers, the attendees headed to lunch and a tour to Ezamaswe education centre for innovation.
About the author:
Kgabo Legodi is a 2018 Activator, Freelance writer and a creative.