Youth organizations play a vital role globally and in South Africa, and serve multiple purposes. Many youth groups in the country focus on promoting political awareness and providing employable skills, which is crucial considering South Africa’s staggering unemployment rate of 32.9% and a low voting turnout of 49.2% among university students in the last election.
The following is a list of five youth organizations in South Africa remedying the current low voting turnout and high unemployment rates.
5 Youth Organizations in South Africa
- Xaveri: With the mantra, “(Different, but) South African at Heart” at the core of their vision as an organization, it is clear that Xaveri is serious about creating a better future for South Africans. Xaveri SA, since 2007, aims to create a better future for South Africans by fostering a community of young people interested in social and political issues. The youth group, similar to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, hosts a variety of team-building events from paintballing to community clean-ups.
- South African Students Congress (SASCO): As the largest student-led youth organization in Africa, SASCO advocates for equality in terms of gender, race and class, while also striving for improved access to educational opportunities. With a focus on ensuring success within educational institutions, the organization rallies for more equality in access to learning equipment for those who are unable to afford such things – e.g., reduced university fees. The organization has executed several successful events, such as holding guest lectures at universities across South Africa and organizing protests.
- Harambee (Youth Employment Accelerator): Harambee, a leading force in poverty reduction in South Africa, has provided support to 3.5 million work-seekers. The organization collaborates with 936 employer partners to address unemployment effectively. Harambee not only assists with job applications but also works closely with its partners to generate income opportunities and offer valuable professional work experience.
- Ahmed Kathrada Foundation: The foundation, established in 2008, aims to deepen non-racialism and preserve Ahmed Kathrada’s legacy as a political activist against apartheid in South Africa, spanning from 1948 to 1994. Operating under the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s governance, the “Youth Activism Programme” has successfully set up and maintained 30 youth clubs in various communities across South Africa. In these clubs, youth leaders impart valuable knowledge on effective activism within their communities. Additionally, the Foundation’s website offers a wide range of free resources related to activism, including downloadable workbooks, benefiting young individuals and fostering their understanding of democracy. So far, more than 8000 of these activism workbooks have been distributed.
- Livity Africa: This organization for youth in South Africa aims to develop content creation and entrepreneurial skills among its members. With offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, it offers training to individuals aged 18 to 25. The organization runs a content platform called “Live SA,” which is managed by young people and provides a forum for discussion on topics such as careers, relationships and stock trading. Over the course of 12 months, the platform’s growth exceeded 100%, attracting more than 600,000 content consumers. This platform teaches the important skill of digital literacy as well as research and presentation skills, all of which are in high demand among employers.
These five youth organizations in South Africa are making a positive impact on the community and increasing the chances of young people finding employment. As the country continues to heal from the effects of apartheid, these organizations are promoting inclusivity and a more liberal society.
– Christian Vince