Schools Democracy Campaign off to a good start
22 June 2023
Grade 12 learners at Sarepta Secondary School were reminded of the important role young people play in a democracy by exercising their right to vote.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape launched their Schools Democracy Campaign at the school in Kuils River. The learners were encouraged to register to vote as soon as they turn 16 to ensure that they are on the voters’ roll when they are 18 and eligible to vote.
Yolanda Basson, Principal of Sarepta Secondary, said the school was privileged to be part of the event. “It is up to you, our future leaders, to make a difference in our country.”
Western Cape Provincial Electoral Officer, Michael Hendrickse, dispelled the myth that voters are only relevant every five years during elections. He said people have the right to vote as well as the responsibility to hold elected politicians accountable.
The Schools Democracy Programme is part of a larger Youth Democracy Programme.
The objective of the campaign, especially in the run-up to the 2024 general elections, is to:
- Educate youth citizens about their civic and democratic rights and responsibilities;
- Engage youth citizens’ views about electoral democracy and impact of participation thereof through debate;
- Empower the learner and student electorate with information to participate meaningfully in democratic and electoral processes;
- Promote and conduct online voter registration using voter management devices at targeted schools and tertiary education campuses.
Jayden February, a member of the school’s Representative Council of Learners, encouraged his fellow learners to register to vote and said voting gives you an opportunity to be part of decision making.