The Democracy Development Program organized a dialogue with young people in Pongola Municipality and surrounding areas, this was held on 06 August 2021. This dialogue was done in partnership with the Pongola Local Municipality, National Youth Development Agency, KZN Office of the Premier, and various stakeholders in the area of Pongolo. It was guided by the theme “Creating an Enabling Environment for Young People to Engage in the Spirit of Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke”; also looking at the structures under local government, issues faced by young people in Pongola, and lastly reflected on the recent unrest in some part of the country. The dialogue explored youth participation from a futuristic approach, reimagining what the future will look like if young people were more informed on democratic processes beyond political party influences and social ills limitations.
The dialogue’s project objective was to engage young people on how they can meaningfully participate in their community structures for the purpose of developing democracy in South Africa and beyond. It was also to give young people an opportunity to contribute by giving input on what they need as young people and what they think needs to be done to address the issues they are facing. The indicator for this was to invite young people in Pongola and surrounding areas to engage on this topic at hand and explore how they meaningfully contribute towards youth empowerment and participation.