South Africa’s Driving Force for Change initiative

Last updated: 2 August 2023

The Driving Force for Change programme is a pilot project from the South African Federal Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to provide financial support to initiatives developed by young people with a positive impact on climate change. In July 2020, youth and youth-led organisations were invited to apply for funding of projects across several areas: waste management solutions, climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity and ecosystems. The projects submitted were evaluated according to criteria that included their environmental impacts as well as social and economic impacts, and their potential for replicability and scalability. Out of 250 applications received, 13 concepts were selected in November 2020 to receive financial support of more than ZAR 1 million (USD 70 000); they were all realised as operational projects. Besides engaging young people in reaching South Africa’s environmental goals, the initiative’s projects also helped address the country’s unemployment crisis, which particularly affects youth. 

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