With the national elections taking place next year, South Africans need to engage and have effective and productive discussions to save and to move South Africa forward.
Well-functioning democratic constructs, robust and sound political governance are essential to social and economic development.
On the other hand, a lack of voter knowledge, political parties’ performances, voting preferences and general understanding about elections can weaken the rule of law, service delivery, transparency, accountability and decision-making of the elected party and their politicians.
Civil society groups such as religious and educational institutions, community and professional associations, stokvels, ratepayers’ associations, free, objective, unbiased and factual media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are important building blocks for economic growth, reconciliation, healing, social cohesion and monitoring and evaluating of government departments.
Through active participation in civic organisations, citizens become knowledgeable about government policies and actions, and can effectively hold government departments such as municipalities accountable.
Hence, citizens need to establish forums and public meetings with the different political parties in order to learn and study their policies, vision, previous performance, their undertakings, and to access general political knowledge.
These political meetings will help deepen our young democracy, increase democratic participation, and create active citizens.
Strong and inclusive civic organisations can make all the difference in helping civil servants, municipalities, provincial and national government to manage South Africa’s numerous challenges.
* Mohamed Saeed, Pietermaritzburg.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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