Electoral Commission of South Africa
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) is South Africa’s election management body, an independent organization established under Chapter Nine of the Constitution. It conducts elections to the National Assembly, provincial legislatures and municipal councils. Since 2022 Civics Academy partners with the IEC on a capacity-building project in the form of train-the-trainer workshops on topics of civic education for IEC staff. Beyond training initiatives, Civics Academy and the IEC collaborate on various other events on civic and democracy education.
Department of Higher Education and Training
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) oversees universities and other post-secondary education in South Africa. The mandate of the DHET includes skills development and strengthening institutions of higher learning. In 2020 Civics Academy and the DHET launched the Lecturers’ Guide “Facilitating Active Citizenship” to be used for the subject Life Orientation at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges (especially Topic 4 – Citizenship) throughout the country. The Guide aims to support teachers and lecturers to introduce selected topics of civic education to students in a fun, interactive, digital, and modern way. Since the inception of this project, over 450 lecturers nationwide have been trained on the usage of the guide.
Department of Basic Education
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) oversees primary and secondary education in South Africa (Grade R to Grade 12), with a vision to provide access to lifelong learning, education and training opportunities for learners, which will, in turn, contribute towards improving the quality of life and building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic South Africa. The DBE supports Civics Academy by broadcasting its educational videos on democracy, governance, elections and citizen participation via the free-to-air DBETV Channel 122. Through this partnership, young people are given easy access to civic education through digital content. Against the backdrop of the 2024 national elections further collaboration is planned.
ACTIVATE! Change drivers
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is a multisectoral youth development programme that aims to contribute towards the capacity building of young people to ensure that they become active citizens who drive positive social, economic and political change for South Africa and the global good. Their national network has over the past 10 years delivered a leadership development programme to over 4500 young people from across the country with tools to enable platforms for youth leaders to connect, share ideas and be empowered to become active change drivers in their communities. Civics Academy collaborates regularly with ACTIVATE! Change Drivers on different projects and activities aimed at enhancing civic education and active citizenship among the youth.
Nelson Mandela Foundation
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on memory, dialogue and legacy work, founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999. The foundation is the custodian of his life and times; it is a committed facilitator of his living legacy; and it is mandated to promote his lifelong vision of freedom and equality for all. Together with the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation launched the project Civics Academy in 2016, and the NMF has been supporting its growth and development since then, collaborating on youth democracy dialogues and the launch of the Civics Academy lecturer guide for TVET colleges “Facilitating Active Citizenship”
Thuli Madonsela Foundation
The Thuli Madonsela Foundation (ThuMa) was established to extend the legacy of the founder, Professor Thuli Madonsela which aims to empower persons and communities to make democracy work for them, and to defend democracy through ethical leadership, governance and legal empowerment. Civics Academy is grateful for the ThuMa Foundation’s support, and they have collaborated on various online events around civic education.