Report-back: Who is heard in the Democratic South Africa?

Idasa’s Political Information and Monitoring Service Programme (PIMS) hosted the first of their three-part Building Democratic Societies debate series on 4 May. The debate, held in Idasa’s recently launched Cape Town Democracy Centre, was well attended by the public. The debate was entitled “Who is heard in the Democratic South Africa?”

In recent years public discourse has been increasingly dominated by the politics within the elites, while political spaces for ordinary citizens to participate have been reduced. The rising levels of violent protests in towns across the country speak to the increasing levels of frustration among the poor, who seemingly have no stake in our democracy.

Thus, the debate was an attempt to construct some public dialogue around issues of citizenship. Speakers Eusebius McKaiser (Centre for the Study of Democracy) and Dmitri Holtzman (Equal Education), chaired by Hennie van Vuuren (Institute for Security Studies) provided provocative and insightful commentary on the current state of democratic politics and active citizenship. The discussion was interesting and lively and created a necessary momentum for the rest of the series.

Justin Sylvester, Idasa

Missed this debate? Come to the next one: Is the Media a Critical Ally in South Africa’s Democracy?

Is the Media a Critical Ally of South Africa’s Democracy?


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