Young Leaders Programme

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. You can learn more about the DA’s dream for South Africa here.

We know that South Africa will need excellent leaders to realise this dream.

To learn more about what the Programme is all about, you can also have a listen to what our graduates have to say about it here.

Click here to view the Class of 2024 Young Leaders’ bios

The Programme

What is the Young Leaders Programme?

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. In addition, Young Leaders will be required to conceptualise and undertake a leadership project, giving them a unique opportunity to expand their influence, self-awareness and emotional maturity, so that they can become dynamic, resilient leaders who are able to tackle politics on the national stage.

Frequently asked questions

  • When will applications open for the 2025 Young Leaders Application?
  • What do we look for in a potential Young Leader?
  • What does the programme entail?
  • How much of my time will it take up?
  • Will I be able to work/study full-time and participate in this Programme if I am selected?
  • How do the Retreats work and must I attend them?
  • How will I get to the Retreats?
  • What is the Leadership Project?
  • Are there any costs?
  • How many Young Leaders are selected?
  • Who can apply?
  • Do I need a tertiary qualification to apply?
  • I am turning 35 in 2024, can I still apply?
  • I am turning 18 in 2024, can I still apply?
  • Can I apply for the Programme if I have previously applied but was not successful?
  • Can I apply for the Programme if I have already participated in another DA leadership programme?
  • Do I need to be actively involved in the DA in order to apply?
  • Do I need to pay an application fee?
  • What happens after my application has been submitted?
  • How do I contact the YLP Office?