MEDIA RELEASE

Khulisa hosts dialogue circles to
encourage more youth to vote

RELEASE DATE: March 2024

18 March 2024 – Leading up to this year’s elections, Khulisa Social Solutions has been closely engaging with youth to encourage a greater level of participation in the upcoming elections. Through ongoing dialogue circles throughout the country, Khulisa is educating youth on the importance of voting while unpacking the social challenges and attitudes that have prevented youth from voting in previous elections.

In the 2019 general election, only 19% of eligible 18 to 19-year-olds registered to vote and only 15% of this group voted. In the 20 to 29-year-old age group, only 30% of people voted. Furthermore, according to SA Voter Sentiment Report, less than 20% of South Africans aged 18-19 years and only 40% of the 20 to 29 age group are registered voters. There are almost 7 million unregistered voters under 30 years and close to 11 million unregistered voters under 40 years of age. These statistics highlight the urgent need to empower young people to exercise their democratic rights through voting.

“It is crucial for us to understand why South African youth have not voted in the past. We cannot afford to have a chronically low youth voter participation. Our country’s economy, political landscape, service delivery and foreign investment is all largely reliant on youth participation and representation in government. Election campaigns should be prioritising our youth demographic to understand their concerns and perceptions of the political landscape and to encourage them to vote,” says Lesley Ann van Selm, Managing Director of Khulisa.

“According to feedback from our last dialogue circle, many youth participants indicated a mistrust in government with a poor track record on service delivery and not fulfilling promises. There is a general sentiment that youth believe that they elections are not the most powerful avenue for seeing change in their communities,” adds Van Selm. “We need to shift this perception urgently. If we had to take into account the 18 million unregistered youth voters, that is enough to turn a seat and completely reform the political landscape.”

By understanding youth needs and concerns, Khulisa in partnership with relevant stakeholders, aims to tailor voter education programs to effectively address barriers and ensure the youth are well-informed about the electoral process.

“Having these critical discussions with on youth how they feel about participating in the election process will help us and pre-identified any concerns, barriers or obstacles that may prevent them from engaging in the voting process. By understanding their perspectives, we are aiming to create an inclusive and supportive environment that encourages youth participation in elections.”

To find out more information on Khulisa Social Solutions and their work to support male GBV victims.

About us

Khulisa Social Solutions is a non-profit company that helps vulnerable children, youth, and communities unlock their potential and develop skills toward a sustainable future. 

 

It operates nationally, employs over 225 staff through 19 offices, and works in approximately 150 communities in collaboration with 350 NGO partners, impacting the lives of close to 200,000 people per annum.

 

Khulisa partners with national and local government departments, schools, correctional facilities, community leaders, corporates, thought leaders, academic institutions, and private companies. Khulisa’s internationally acclaimed and locally rewarded best practice programmes deliver positive and measurable impact with the main focus on youth and community development.

For more information, contact

Lesley Ann Van Selm | 082 601 2299 | lesleyann@khulisa.org.za  | media@khulisa.org.za 

www.khulisa.org.za