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IEC takes democracy programme to learners

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, is expected to launch a campaign aimed at promoting electoral democracy among learners.

“The objective of the Schools Democracy Programme, which has a focus week from 25 – 29 April to coincide with Freedom Day, is to promote electoral democracy among learners, and prepare them to be active citizens, who will be part of decisions about their own future,” said the IEC ahead of the launch.

As part of the campaign, thousands of learners across the country will engage in civic education and electoral registration activities.

Friday’s launch of the Schools Democracy Programme 2022 campaign will take place at Rekgaratlile High School in Kuruman, Northern Cape.

Basic Education Deputy Minister, Dr Reginah Mhaule and Bonolo Modise, the Northern Cape Provincial Electoral Officer, will address the launch. IEC staff will be on hand to assist students with information. They will answer questions about democracy and elections democracy, as well as demonstrate the latest election management technology.

Research has shown that while young people make up the majority of the South African population, their participation in elections remains low.

The IEC is addressing this through, among others, the Schools Democracy Programme and the Tertiary Institutions Voter Education Campaign.

“Empowering the young citizens of South Africa with knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for active citizenship and encouraging them to register and vote is critical to nurturing our young democracy.

“This is supported by research that shows that once people have voted once, they usually continue to vote in future elections,” said the Commission’s Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo.

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