n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Perceptions of South African youth of leadership development programmes : a case in the Lepelle-Nkumpi municipal area

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



The South African youth faces multiple challenges that range from illiteracy, drug and alcohol abuse, crime and HIV/AIDS, to unemployment. These challenges and many other ills in society have led to interventions by government, and private and other civil societies. The government has established and initiated a number of programmes that aim at building capacity and helping the youth to cope with these multiple challenges. Some of the programmes are aimed at building leadership capacity among the impoverished youth in rural communities. A lot of money is being invested in these programmes, which are meant to develop young South Africans. However, there are some young people who do not participate in these programmes. They are also not in the formal education system, self-employed or employed elsewhere. And they are despondent. The government, private sector and non-governmental organisations are trying hard to bring these youths and others into the developmental arena, so that they can be active participants in the economy of the country in the near future. However, little research has been conducted to assess the broad impact of the various programmes in the country. The contribution that these programmes are making toward improving the livelihoods of young people has to be determined on a larger scale. Nevertheless, this article reports on an investigation that was conducted on a smaller scale, at the Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality. The aim of the research was to explore the perceptions young South Africans have of the leadership development programmes that they have participated in. A mixed research approach was used to collect data and the key findings indicated that knowledge accumulated through participation in the programmes does not always translate into practical applications. However, the programmes were deemed to be valuable in instilling a positive life-view. The study recommends that support systems be established in the rural areas to assist young people with life challenges.

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