Taking the Lead: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories is a booklet tells the stories of seven people who participated in the Institute for Democracy in South Africa’s (IDASA) Citizen Leadership for Democratic Governance training programme in 2003. The booklet contains articles that are remarkable for the strong sense of hope and democratic energy they convey.
civil society organising
The Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation of South Africa (OSF-SA), and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, hosted a two-day conference on the future of the Chapter 9 Institutions from 12-13 June 2008 in Johannesburg.
More than 5 000 residents from Khutsong Township in the Merafong Municipality marched to the African National Congress (ANC) headquarters, Luthuli House, on 6 June 2008, to protest against government’s plan to incorporate them into the North West province.
Marching under the umbrella of the Merafong Demarcation Forum (MDF), the protesters asked the new ANC leadership to intervene in their fight against being incorporated into the North West.
The 8th CIVICUS World Assembly will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 18th to 21st June 2008. The theme for the World Assembly is ‘Acting Together for a Just World: People, Participation and Power’.
Local Democracy in Action: A Civil Society Perspective on Local Governance in South Africa is the culmination of eighteen months of research by the members of the network. The project has sought to produce a civil society-based assessment of the key challenges, debates and areas of progress with regard to local governance and development in South Africa, and to provide local government policy-makers and practitioners with practical recommendations to improve policy, guidelines, systems and interventions where necessary.
While more South Africans than ever before have access to basic services like water and sanitation, most people perceive local government to be in crisis, with many municipalities incapable of managing finances, delivering basic services and complying with legislation.
Even so, over the last 10 years, local government legislation has become entrenched with ordinary people participating directly in their own governance. The success of two local government elections has also marked the consolidation of formal political democracy at local level.
On behalf of CAF Southern Africa, I would like to enter the public conversation on resourcing for civil society which has been taking place in various media over the past few months. For example, in a recent Sunday Times article, Andile Ncontsa of the Old Mutual Foundation states:
The budget still failed to address major concerns around job generation and poverty alleviation strategies. The reality in South Africa is that the economy has been unable to absorb labour sufficiently quickly into the economy and as a result, the level of unemployment continues to increase. This in turn affects levels of poverty within the country which in turn impacts negatively on issues such as crime, for example. The assertion that the Government has created 1.5 million jobs over the past five years has to be taken with a pinch of salt.
On 24 August 2007, the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) met with various civil society organisations (CSOs) in Johannesburg to review the ‘Policy Process on the System of Provincial and Local Government'. The gathered organisations were asked to provide inputs that will help develop and review the process of formulating a new White Paper on provincial government.