Statement: Youth activists and leaders from civil society convene in Johannesburg to define and build a new collective pathway for a reimagined future

From the 10th to the 12th of February 2023, 94 young activists and leaders from all across the country gathered in Braamfontein for a Strategic Planning Meeting to discuss the formation the National Youth Coalition. The convening was a result of months of engagements between our respective civil society organisations in the pursuit of greater collective action with the intention to work more closely on common areas of concern to respond to the urgent and pressing challenges currently plaguing our society, with particular focus on the youth.


Press statement: A call to join the Youth Day Parade for Justice and Change

The collective, made up of over 100 organisations, was initially engaged in May 2022 in response to a call for action on June 16th made by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Youth Activism Programme. The first mass collective event was convened under the Youth Day Parade for Justice and Change, where over 2000 youth marched to the Union Buildings to handover a memorandum to the Presidency, who has since not sent a response to the demands.

Commemorating Youth Day 2022 with mass action honoured the legacy of those who gave their lives in the pursuit of the freedom we have today. In our call to action it was stated that, “young people need to organise and act together if the major issues concerning us are to be taken seriously and solved… the hour and national mood demands that young people… stand up… We must organise and work together to highlight the grave and urgent need to act against the failures of the state to deliver on its mandate. Our collective future will be shaped by what
we do now!”

After consultation with the partnering organisations in December 2022 it was agreed that a strategic planning session be hosted to discuss a way forward as a coalition. The convening was organised by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Kagiso Trust, with support from the organisations listed below.

Deliberations over the weekend were robust and encouraging. Signifying a new hopeful pursuit to find solutions and to create alternative spaces for youth engagement to work across our differences in order to build a future that is worth living in and fighting for. Seventy organisations were represented and contributed to the vision, mission, objectives and values of this broad based National Youth Coalition.

An interim steering committee has been tasked to carry forward this collective for the duration of 12 months to help navigate the formative stages of the National Youth Coalition.

In the immediate future, the coalition will attempt to tackle issues such as youth participation in democratic and decision-making processes, youth participation in elections, poor literacy rates, school drop-out crisis, reduction of the digital divide, encouraging and promoting greater civic responsibility and activism to help address local and systemic issues such as climate change, substance abuse, safety, corruption and more.

Over the next few months, members of the coalition will focus on increasing membership, development of an operational model and forming its structure. The steering committee will be supported by seven working groups, which will be tasked with developing and implementing campaigns. The working groups are:

  1. Decent work and employment
  2. Quality Education
  3. Health
  4. Gender
  5. Climate Justice
  6. Governance
  7. Arts and Culture
    Organisations interested in joining the coalition must register their interest using the following link: Further communication will follow once the process for incorporating new partners has been finalised.

    We are hopeful that this coalition will help galvanise the collective voices of youth in pursuit of a just and equal South Africa. The future rests on what we do today!

The National Youth Coalition Steering Committee

For further enquiries please contact
Irfaan Mangera – 0729108483 –

Participating organisations:

  1. ACTIVATE! Change Drivers
  2. Active Citizens Movement(ACM)
  4. African Climate Alliance
  5. African Climate Reality Project
  6. Ahmed Kathrada Foundation
  7. Amnesty International South Africa
  8. Assembly of the Unemployed (AoU)
  9. Auwal Socio-economic Research Institute (ASRI)
  10. Azania 27
  11. Be the future foundation
  12. Black Womxn Caucus
  13. Club 747
  14. CorruptionWatch
  15. Defend our Democracy
  16. Democracy Development Program
  17. Durban South Peace Builders
  18. DWYDN
  19. Ekujuleni kwenhliziyo
  21. Equal Education Law Centre
  22. Face of Tshwane Ambassador
  23. Fight Inequality Alliance
  24. For The Youth By The Youth
  25. Shato Foundation
  26. Freedom Charter Foundation
  27. Fridays for Future
  28. Generation Am Woke
  29. Goldfields Community Forum
  30. Greenpeace Africa
  31. Heartlines NPC
  32. Innovating Kasi Organisation
  33. Jobs Recruitment Knowledge
  34. Kagiso Trust
  35. Katekani Community Development
  36. Kopantsho foundation
  38. KZN Youth Empowerment
  39. Lilixa Services
  40. MET Agency for Development
  42. Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
  43. New Bronville NPO
  44. NWU LGBTQIA+ society
  45. Omang-Who Are You Youth Development Initiative
  46. Palestine Solidarity Alliance (youth league)
  47. Project O
  48. Project Potential South Africa
  49. Psychological Society of South Africa Student Division (PsySSA SD)
  50. Rivonia Circle
  51. SAWLA (South African Women’s Lawyer Association)
  52. SECTION 27
  53. Soul City Institute
  54. South African Youth Council
  55. South African Youth Indaba (SAYI)
  56. South Deep Parliament
  57. SRHR Africa Trust
  58. The Climate Ambition to Accountability Project (SACAN)
  59. The Daily Vox
  60. The Menstrual Project
  61. The Right2Protest Project
  63. Tuks 4 Climate Justice
  64. Voice of the People Movement
  65. Women In Need Organisation
  66. Y+SA Network
  67. YMCA South Africa
  68. YouthArise
  69. Zero Dropout Campaign
  70. Zero Waste Durban