South Africa has a young age structure, with 60% of its population in the 0-34 age bracket and the youth working age of 19-35 accounting for a fifth of its population.
The country’s youthful population needs to be properly harnessed by provision of appropriate skills, training and quality education and employment opportunities. This is seen as an opportunity to accelerate the country’s industrialisation and structural transformation.
In the 2019 national and provincial elections the country saw a decline of youth participation in the electoral process. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) reported that 16% of 18 and 19 year olds and 54% of 20 to 29 year olds registered to vote. The country has since 2012 seen a decline in youth formations – thus resulting in minimal youth participation in the policymaking processes.