Item 908 - President's Award takes voter education to Nation's Youth

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President's Award takes voter education to Nation's Youth


  • 1999-05-20 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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South African Government Information Website

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President's award to help with Voter Education

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  • English

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THE President's Award, the country's largest non-political, non-denominational national youth programme, is spear-heading a voter education drive targeted at the country's young people.

There are an estimated 5 860 024 million registered voters in their teens (724 022) and twenties (5 136 002), many of whom have not cast a vote before. The President's Award hopes to reach more than 500 000 of them before voting day.

It is staging voter education workshops at various centres in Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Free State. Venues include schools, colleges, community halls and correctional facilities. Among prison venues is Pollsmoor, where President Mandela, patron-in-chief of the President's Award, spent the final years of his imprisonment.

President's Award trainers and presenters have long been active inside many prisons, usually helping young offenders acquire job-related skills.

The voter education programme has been made possible by a R250 000 grant from Matla Trust. This makes it possible to produce instructional pamphlets, mock ballot papers and stationery. Additional material is being provided by the Independent Electoral Commission.

Says Ismail Ayob , a spokesperson of Matla Trust: "We selected the President's Award for this work because of their non-political status and the credibility they have in the community.

"Their trainers and presenters have extensive experience of dealing with young people. They know their concerns and how to communicate simply and effectively. The fact that these trainers already work with young offenders was another advantage as it is important that this effort reach as many young people as possible.

"It is important to communicate democratic values and an understanding of electoral processes to our young citizens. The President's Award is ideally suited for the job."

Two different workshops are being presented, lasting between 11/2 and 3 hours. There is a general course, one structured for those who have voted previously and one for those who have not voted before.

Says Vanessa Crous, managing director of the President's Award: "We are targeting young people of voting age, with special emphasis on those attending schools and colleges or those at present in correctional facilities. We hope to take voter education to 24 correctional facilities in all.

"We will be using experienced trainers who usually assist young people with skills training as they strive to qualify for our bronze, silver and gold medals. In some cases, advanced President's Awards participants close to completing their gold medal qualifications will deliver voter training as part of their community service module.

"The fact that we already have extensive youth training programmes in place meant we were well positioned to respond when Matla Trust approached us. We're delighted to be able to help."

TEL: (011) 444-0650
FAX: (011) 444-0690

CELL: 082 745 2258
TEL & FAX: (0234) 4-1859

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: South African Government Information Website. Accessioned on 23/12/06 by Helen Joannides




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