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Monday, 19 July 2021

Encouraging youth participation in elections

WORKING TOGETHER: Michael Hendrickse, Head of the IEC provincial office, speaks during the recent virtual launch of the collaboration. WORKING TOGETHER: Michael Hendrickse, Head of the IEC provincial office, speaks during the recent virtual launch of the collaboration.

A collaboration between the Journalism Programme and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)’s Western Cape office will be aimed at fostering and researching youth participation in the 2021 local government elections in the province.

CPUT and the IEC have been working together for several years and this year’s collaboration will involve several online activities.

The journalism programme will assist the IEC to curate content to promote participation by South African youths in the elections.

The IEC will provide real-life opportunities for students to develop their skills in electoral news media production.

“The collaboration, especially on our side, is born out of a need to emphasise the importance of our young people and their participation in the electoral process, not only as bystanders, commentators, observers even but as active participants, be it as a voter or even as a candidate”, said Michael Hendrickse, Head of the IEC provincial office.
Journalism lecturer Sisanda Nkoala said while the youth vote is a very important one, apathy among young people when it comes to electoral matters has been widely acknowledged and is something that has puzzled society.
“One of the initiatives that we will be engaged in will be research that looks at why it is that young people in the province are not engaged, or are thinking of not voting and then using those findings to craft messaging in the form of public service announcements etc. that will hopefully prompt young people to see the elections as something that they want to get involved in.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za