24 Feb 2021 – A group of 150 young South Africans supported by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in collaboration with Jasoro Consulting held an online validation meeting to finalise a youth-centred submission into the second South African APRM Country Self-Assessment Report. This project was undertaken through the South African APRM Popular Sensitisation (SAPS) Project, to feed directly in to the South African Second-Generation Country Review, expected later in 2021.
The validation exercise took place against the backdrop of several workshops, youth-led working groups and a number of iterations of writing a comprehensive youth submission that began in September 2020. The 84-page report covers the following thematic areas: Institutional Planning, Education, Economic Participation, Climate Change, Peace and Security, Land and infrastructure, Health and Social Services, Inclusion and Social Cohesion and Political Participation.
The submission provides a youth-driven framing of the issues and a wide range of well-considered recommendations from youth to government as part of the APRM process.
The South African Government was represented by Dr Patrick Sokhela (Department of Public Service and Administration ) who welcomed the report and requested South African technical institutions who are currently developing the South Africa Self-Assessment report to consider the findings and recommendations of youth in their work.
Mr Thulani Tshefuta (Chairperson of South Africa’s APRM National Governing Council) praised the initiative and reminded South African youth that the NGC was open for compiling a well drafted report. He further said, “The Second-Generation Review of South Africa will hold public forums, focus group discissions and welcome submissions by the civil society”.
On behalf of the APRM Secretariat, Mr Lennon Monyae thanked the South Africa APRM structures, SAIIA led by Mr Steven Gruzd, Jasoro Consultancy and South African youth for making the APRM process relevant to young people and giving space for youth to positively contribute towards good governance. He further informed participants about the APRM Secretariat’s ongoing process of developing a supplementary Youth Tool Kit as part of the APRM Deepening the Review Process.
The final report once finalised and validated is expected to be formally presented to the South African Focal Points, NGC and Continental Secretariat for consideration ahead of the South Africa Second Generation Review Report.
Gruzd said, “It is so important for young citizens to articulate their views on governance issues directly affecting them, and the APRM is a vital tool for doing so. The seriousness with which the youth worked in this process is testament to their commitment and bodes well for the country’s future.”
For more on SAPS, visit https://saiia.org.za/project/south-africa-aprm-popular-sensitisation-project/