Initiated in 2015, the Junior City Council is represented by 99 junior councillors from different schools across the three regions of Ekurhuleni.
The structure was launched with the aim to formalise youth issues, develop leadership capabilities and educate young learners about municipal structures and governance matters.
The pass out parade held at the Germiston Civic Centre, last Friday, provided an opportunity for the young councillors to reflect on their challenges and successes and share highlights of their term of office.
In her closing address, the junior speaker of council, Sikhanyisiwe Pondwa, emphasised the two-tier mandate of the Junior City Council, which was to act as a preliminary governance structure for the metro and secondly, for the junior councillors to assume the role of community ambassadors by collating youth issues and addressing them through formal council processes.
“It has been an amazing journey of growing in the knowledge of government, and to the outgoing councillors remember you remain leaders and ambassadors,” she said.
Taking the podium thereafter was junior executive mayor Cecile Matabaro who began her farewell speech with a thought-provoking opening, “The end is not the end if one has created a sustainable path for the next generation.
“During our term, we learned the importance of understanding the importance of OR Tambo’s legacy and the principles that guided him,” she said.
In order to serve their communities better, the junior councillors had to hone specific skills and part of their grooming included being educated on the children’s constitution and understanding how local government works.
Keynote speaker Kennedy Sefadi left the young learners inspired by embedding the mindset of a conscious leader.
“It is either you are conscious or you live in other people’s consciousness, you are either working towards building your dreams or using your potential to build someone else’s,” said the young author and helicopter pilot.
Speaker of council Ald Patricia Kumalo bid farewell to the young leaders and thanked them profusely for serving their communities well and representing the municipality with diligence and a spirit of servitude.
The metro’s Junior City Council will elect the new junior administration in 2018.
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