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Strengthening the capacity of young people to reduce gun violence in their communities

  • Amount funded: £88,408
  • Year: 2020
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Locations: South Africa
  • Grant stream: Open grants call

Firearms play a significant role in the perpetration of violence and crime in South Africa and young people are particularly affected.

Project partners
C-19 People's Coalition
International Action Network on Small Arms
Children's Radio Foundation
Alex FM
The Institute for Security Studies
Gun Free South Africa
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How we are helping

The project aims to strengthen the capacity of young people in four provinces to influence attitudes to community safety and contribute to the development of policies and laws aimed at reducing gun violence.

About the project

It is estimated that 23 people are shot and killed every day in South Africa. Young people are particularly affected by gun violence, with the highest homicide rates found in the 15–29 years age group. Adopted by the South African Parliament in 2000, the Firearms Control Act (FCA) is the principal Act governing firearms control in the country and has led to a reduction in the number of people shot and killed. The Act is under review and the Amendment Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament in 2020-21

This project aims to strengthen the capacity of young people from six communities across four provinces in South Africa so they can influence attitudes towards gun violence and community safety in their communities, and contribute to the development of policies and laws aimed at reducing gun violence; including advocating for the FCA Amendment Bill that’s under review in parliament to be enacted.

This will be achieved by:

  • Developing and implementing a training programme for youth facilitators so they can develop and implement safety initiatives in their communities; this will include the establishment of Gun Free Zones in schools and other public spaces
  • Facilitating dialogues in target communities to raise young people’s awareness about the risks posed by guns and gun violence and mobilise support towards community safety initiatives
  • Youth’s perspectives on the Amendment Bill will be sought and their input on the bill documented and submitted to Parliament
  • Youth will be supported to do oral presentations at public hearings in Parliament on the Amendment Bill and to follow up on the implementation of amended legislation
  • Producing policy briefs focussed on firearms control related matters ranging from global good practice to an analysis of South Africa gun-related crime patterns
  • Creating a communications strategy that will encompass a social media campaign and local media liaisons
Project Partners
C-19 People's Coalition

Gun Free SA is a member of the C19 Peoples Coalition, an emerging civil society collective seeking to ensure that South Africa’s response to the Covid-19 crisis is rooted in social justice and democratic principles, and recognises our duty to prioritise those who are most vulnerable, who face the pandemic with hunger, weakened immune systems and poor access to housing, health care, and social safety nets.

International Action Network on Small Arms

Gun Free SA is a founding and active member of the International Action Network on Small Arms, a global movement against gun violence that links hundreds of organisations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.

Children's Radio Foundation

A simple idea motivates the Children’s Radio Foundation: If young people are given the tools and skills to express their ideas and share their stories, they will be able to access a world of wider opportunities.
Since its founding by Elizabeth Sachs in 2006, the Children’s Radio Foundation has created a network of more than 1700 trained youth radio reporters across six countries in Africa, who broadcast on local and national radio stations and via social media.


Sonke is a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa. We believe women and men, girls and boys can work together to resist patriarchy, advocate for gender justice, and achieve gender transformation.

Alex FM

Gun Free South Africa works closely with youth programming on Alex FM, empowering young reporters to create content on GBV and gun violence prevention. Alex FM is one of the oldest community radio stations in Gauteng. It was established by the Alexandra Community Trust and first went on air on the 1st September 1994. The station broadcasts to the Greater Alexandra Community, the entire North Eastern Johannesburg, and the surrounding areas. is an independent, community advocacy organisation that seeks to build a more just and people-powered Mzansi.
To do this we’re working to turn every cell phone into a democracy building tool so that no matter where you live; what language you speak or what issue you care about, you can take action with others

The Institute for Security Studies

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) partners to build knowledge and skills that secure Africa’s future. Our goal is to enhance human security as a means to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity.
The ISS is an African non-profit organisation with offices in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal. Our work covers transnational crimes, migration, maritime security and development, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, crime prevention and criminal justice, and the analysis of conflict and governance.

Gun Free South Africa

Gun Free South Africa is an organisation committed to reducing gun violence in the country through public policy advocacy, public education, and awareness raising and community mobilisation aimed at building safe communities. Gun Free South Africa played a key role in establishing the Gun Control Alliance, a civil society alliance of over 450 organisations that advocated for stricter gun laws, facilitating the passage of the Firearms Control Act 2000. Research shows the Firearms Control Act has saved thousands of lives from gun-related violence.

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