The Mayor of the Durban Youth Council, WBHS Grade 11 pupil Siyabonga Sangweni, may be about to hand over his role at the end of his term of office in four weeks but that does not mean he is truly stepping down. After a recent gathering of several Southern African youth councils at a conference in October, Siyabonga was elected into a new position – Chairperson of the Southern African Youth Inter-Councils Action Network (SAY•I•CAN).
“I still can’t believe it,” Siyabonga admits, “but I’m ready for it. I’m ready to do the work. Through the junior councils of Southern-African countries, we will deliver an apolitical and representation brand of youth activism that aims to assist society through ethical leadership, information sharing, mass mobilization and delivery. Basically, we want to do what we can, where we can, with what we can.”
Siyabonga takes over the role of Chairperson from Saul Musker, former Mayor of the Johannesburg Junior Council and will be helped by his two deputies, Emma Wiehman and Julia Chaskalson from the Junior Town Council in Paarl and the Johannesburg Junior Council respectively.
With his new term of office going into his matric year, one can’t help but worry how he’ll cope with all of his commitments, but Siyabonga explains, “It’s going to be a juggling act, that I know, but I thrive on a hectic schedule so that is what will keep me going.”