Throughout 2021 South Africa experienced immense turbulence, with significant implications for all. From the Covid-19 pandemic, the contraction of the economy and steep rise in unemployment,  to the social unrest which erupted in July, the events of the past year brought into sharp relief just how much our society depends on a capable state with strong and accountable leadership.

Among our society’s most vulnerable and marginalised segments are young people who are said to inherit this earth but are systematically excluded from shaping its future. From the political process to the frontline services they depend on to improve their socio-economic outcomes and lead dignified lives, young people are the most affected but least consulted in what it will take to make a better tomorrow today.


Young people are the most affected but least consulted in what it will take to make a better tomorrow today.


Following the social unrest that erupted in July 2021, Accountability Lab South Africa undertook a listening campaign to hear, platform and amplify the Voices of the Youth in South Africa. These reflections were collated into a multimedia collection of short articles and podcasts, where young people – in their own voices – unpack why they thought the social unrest happened in the first place, what it tells us about the social conditions young people in South Africa are living under, and what young people’s hopes are for a more accountable, inclusive and responsive government. 

Being on the ground, they have a deep and lived understanding of South Africa’s societal challenges, and with their whole lives ahead of them, have clear and bright ideas for how to rebuild our society for the better. From being deliberate about undoing structural inequality which produces unemployment, poverty and crime, to strengthening South Africa’s public institutions to be more transparent and accountable, these young people present practical pathways to freeing all of South African society from the prevailing bondage of hopelessness and despair. The content is being published in partnership with The Daily Vox.

What’s included?

Opinion pieces produced by our contributors can be found here.

Nine podcasts with each of our youth contributors are being published on The Daily Vox.

All of the material produced for and contained in this Voices of the Youth Campaign package is published and made available for use under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.


For more information, please contact:

Samantha Mashapa

[email protected]