Violence and crime are serious problems in South-African society. Young people are considered either the perpetrators or victims of violence, but also hold the key to creating safer communities.
For this reason, the Department of Community Safety of Gauteng Province together with the South African Police Service had established Youth Crime Prevention Desks (YCPD) to involve young people in violence and crime prevention. However, due to a lack of strategic internal and external communication, this volunteer-based structure had not been able to contribute effectively to crime prevention.
Therefore, a social media initiative championed and owned by the youth in selected areas within the Gauteng Province of South Africa was geared towards enhancing their active participation in political decision-making processes through the use of new and traditional media. The project was launched to facilitate dialogue between the youth, their communities and local authorities on issues of violence and crime prevention and was embedded in local structures due to its close cooperation with municipal institutions.
The participating youth desks also got involved in government consultations for their areas’ local integrated development plans, where they presented input gathered through new and traditional media platforms. The pilot municipality Ekurhuleni has already committed to continue supporting the initiative.
YCPD: #EKSE! My Voice, My Safety, (OV) 4’41”