Youth social cohesion dialogue in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal


Exploring solidarity among youth groups.

ACCORD, in collaboration with the Bekezela Community Foundation (BCF) and Inkosi Thandisizwe Mpungose of the Mpungose Traditional Authority, hosted a dialogue for the youth in the district of Eshowe, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The dialogue, which took place on 11 November 2022, focused on the role of the youth in contributing to social cohesion, fostering peaceful co-existence and preventing conflict within their communities and society.

ACCORD and the BCF recognise that the socio-economic challenges experienced in pre-urban and rural areas are related to conflict and violent crime. This particular dialogue thus served as a platform for the young people of Eshowe, to reflect on these challenges, the potential conflict triggers thereof.  The dialogue also provided food for thought on ways in which youth could contribute towards peace and security in their community. The conversation was co-facilitated by Mr. Bhekithemba Thungo and Mr. Mzwandile Ntuli, with contributions from ACCORD’S General Manager for Research, Mr. Senzo Ngubane, and Inkosi Mpungose.

The discussions helped unpack the concept of social cohesion and the role it plays in building peaceful communities. The participants highlighted the need for social cohesion within their region in order to unite the communities and to be able to tackle socio-economic issues such as poverty and high youth unemployment. The participants expressed a desire to collaborate on efforts and events such as the formation of youth forums, sport and athletic teams, and mini gardens in order foster social cohesion whilst simultaneously attending to the socio-economic issues in the region. Equally, the participants recognised the importance of working together with local government, traditional authorities and civil society organisations such as the BCF.

ACCORD recognises the essential role of the youth in preventing conflicts and maintaining peace within communities and the institution remains committed to creating platforms to advocate for youth involvement in matters of peace and security.

Article by:

Aphile-amanzima Mazibuko
Community Development Officer at She Leads