A 17-year-old climate change activist, who attends school in Khayelitsha, is preparing to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos later this month.

Ayakha Melithafa will be speaking on panels alongside Time Magazine’s 2019 person of the year, Swedish teenage activist, Greta Thunberg.

Melithafa says she hopes to inspire social and climate activism in South Africa through her work. She says South Africa has an important role to play in leading the world to a more sustainable future.

“This is a big deal. It’s not only a big deal for me but for my family, my community and my country as a whole because I’ll finally be able to voice out authentic South African voices at a much greater scale because we are actually facing climate change every single day. We’re living through climate change every single day. It’s not something that’s coming, it’s something that’s already here and it’s very important for us South Africans to stand up as well as the continent of Africa. We have a big role to play in global negotiations.”