The study contextualises the position of child citizens in the South African democracy and highlights
how education for democratic citizenship is employed through a literacy-based approach. The qualitative
study was exploratory and based on a lesson presented to nine-year-old township children by giving
them language-related tasks. Through the children’s voices we present the life experiences that expressed
their need for basic services, education, extra facilities and security. We argue that children need to
experience the benefits of democracy and education for democratic citizenship to build and sustain a
resilient democratic society.