In South Africa, childrens' right to participate in decisions affecting their lives is highlighted in the Children's Act (2010) and the South African Schools Act (SASA), (1996). The benefits of listening to and involving young people in decision-making are far reaching, providing insights into their perceptions of their own lives and experiences, their needs, and problems affecting them.
The RCL is an important structure for building the capacity of learners and developing youth leadership skills at schools. The RCL is the only recognised and legitimate representative learner body at public schools, and has demanding responsibilities and duties. The elected learners have full voting rights on the SGB.