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Youth Council Held Its First Executive Meeting

In the Photo FLTR: Geraldine Anthony (CDW), Earl Pearce (Office of the Speaker), Winnie Xame (Administrator-Youth Office), Lenodia Smith (Assistant Secretary – Youth Office), Shaan-Marie Piedt (Additional member – Youth Council), Desidereus Claassen (Chairperson – Youth Council), Xola Douse (Public Relations – Youth Council), Felicia Stoffels (Secretary – Youth Council), Leeroy Lindt (Additional Member – Youth Councillors), Franklin Booysen (Youth Development Officer), Wayne Petersen (DSD)

Oudtshoorn, 13 September 2023 – The Youth council of the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality held its first executive meeting on 12 September 2023 at the Thusong Centre, with the Youth Department, Community Development Workers & Department of Social Development. This is very exciting as these council members will mentor the future leaders for the Junior Town Council that will be established later in the year. The Youth Council comprises of seven executive members, Lenodia Smith (Assistant Secretary – Youth Office), Desidereus Claassen (Chairperson – Youth Council), Thulisa Britz (Deputy chairperson), Xola Douse (Public Relations – Youth Council), Leeroy Lindt (Additional Member – Youth Councillors) Shaan-Marie Piedt (Additional member – Youth Council), Felicia Stoffels (Secretary – Youth Council) and 30 youth councillors.

The objective of a youth council in local government is to empower young people and provide them with a platform to actively engage in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and communities. The key objectives of a youth council in the local government are:

  • Youth Empowerment: Empower young people to become active and responsible citizens by involving them in civic and community activities. This will build their leadership skills and sense of civic duty.
  • Youth-Friendly Services: Work with local government agencies to develop and improve services that directly impact young people, such as recreational facilities, mental health services, and educational programs.
  • Community Engagement: Promote community engagement and volunteerism among young people by organizing and participating in community service projects and events.
  • Education and Awareness: Raise awareness among young people about their rights and responsibilities as citizens and provide education on local government processes and how they can get involved.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with other local government bodies, community organizations, and youth-serving agencies to maximize the impact of youth initiatives and programs.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Continuously assess the effectiveness of youth council initiatives and make improvements based on feedback and outcomes.
  • Leadership Development: Provide opportunities for young people to develop leadership skills, engage in public speaking, and learn about governance and public administration.
  • Youth Networking: Foster connections and networking opportunities for young people within the community, which can help them in their personal and professional development.
  • Youth-Driven Initiatives: Encourage young people to propose and lead their own projects and initiatives, allowing them to take ownership of issues that matter to them.

In essence, a youth council in local government serves as a bridge between young people and the local authorities, aiming to create a more inclusive, responsive, and youth-friendly community. It fosters active citizenship, promotes youth participation in democracy, and contributes to the overall development of the community.  Soon, they will be working with the different ward councillors of the 13 wards in the Greater Oudtshoorn.