Democratic Alliance (DA) Young Leaders Programme 2019 for young South Africans

Application Deadline: 17h00 on Friday, 31 August 2018.

The DA Young Leaders Programme is deeply grounded in the DA’s vision for South Africa. The Programme seeks to develop and grow our country’s future leaders responsible for upholding this vision of One Nation with One Future, and our core values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity in politics and government.

In the DA’s South Africa, all individuals will have the opportunity to live a life that they value. This South Africa is dynamic and innovative, with a growing, inclusive economy and capable government which defends the Constitution and ensures equal opportunity for all – regardless of where they are born, how they look, or any other arbitrary characteristic

The Young Leaders Programme is an intensive, year-long, part-time political leadership development course, known around the world as the gold standard in political development. The Programme strives to give passionate, young South African leaders the opportunity to develop themselves to their full potential, irrespective of their background.


  • The YLP is open to all young South African citizens between the ages of 18 and 35, with a track-record of leadership excellence.
  • These applicants must share the DA’s vision and must have proven themselves to be passionate leaders set on making a difference in South Africa.
  • Participants must either be living in South Africa, or if they are temporarily abroad, be returning to South Africa in time for the start of the programme.
  • The Young Leaders Programme does not cover international traveling costs.

The DA’s Young Leaders Programme (YLP) is a political leadership learning and development programme for South Africans between the ages of 18 and 35 who align themselves with the DA’s values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity. Participants of the programme are highly motivated individuals, interested in pursuing a career in politics or the public service, with the aim of creating One Nation with One Future.

Over the course of one year, participants of the programme will be given the chance to broaden their political knowledge, critical thinking and communication skills. Participants will also get to know themselves, and their personal leadership style and development needs a lot better during dedicated sessions on leadership and personal development.

Young Leaders typically demonstrate many of the following characteristics:

  • A Personal ideological alignment to the DA’s vision of One Nation with One Future, rooted in our values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity;
  • A high level of interest in, and knowledge about, South African politics and current affairs;
  • An excellent understanding of the DA’s principles and policies;
  • A demonstrable leadership track record;
  • Examples and evidence of having taken initiative, stepping outside normal roles to start something new;
  • The ability to argue and reason well;
  • Passion, drive and confidence;
  • An authentic motivation to be actively involved in politics in future;
  • A high level of self-awareness, maturity and emotional intelligence;
  • Involvement in the DA.

Time Commitment

  • The YLP is a part-time course, allowing participants to continue with their normal occupation while on the programme. It runs annually from February to November. That said, the Programme is rigorous and time consuming in terms of its requirements and assignments. During the course of the year, the entire Class of Young Leaders will meet for five weekend-long retreats.
  • In between retreats, Young Leaders should be prepared to commit time out of normal work or study hours to complete programme assignments, meet with mentors and leadership coaches, as well as develop and manage a leadership project in their communities.

Are there any costs?

All costs directly related to the YLP are covered by the DA.

How many Young Leaders are selected?

A national group of approximately 15-20 Young Leaders are selected annually.

 What happens after my application has been submitted?

  • Applicants will receive an automatic system email confirming they submitted a form online.
  • Applications are reviewed by the Young Leaders Office and applicants will receive a confirmation email within 48 working hours, indicating whether their application package is complete or incomplete. If you do not receive this confirmation, please contact the office.
  • All applicants who have successfully submitted a complete application package will be required to complete a 2-hour long online test between 6 and 9 September 2018.
  • The invitation to the online test will be sent to applicants on Wednesday, 5 September 2018. This email will contain all the details on how to access the test
  • Assessment test opens on Thursday, 6 September and will close on Sunday, 9 September 2018.
  • Short listing of applications
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview. Selection Process continues.

Click here to download the Frequently Asked Questions document.

How do I contact the YLP Office?

The preferred method of communication is e-mail: [email protected].

Alternatively, you can call the Federal Head Office at: 021 465 1431.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Young Leaders Programme 2019


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