DATE: 22 May 2014
TIME: 17h30 for 18h00
VENUE: ICIC AUDITORIUM – 71 WATERKANT STREET (opposite Hemelhuijs)
PARKING: Street Parking free after 5pm.
The hype and expectation in the build up to our fifth national and provincial elections, has now come and gone. While winning political parties are left dividing up their spoils in the allocation of seats, larger political questions remain. 20 years into South Africa’s democracy, serious fault lines have appeared, particularly in the ability of citizens to participate fully and meaningfully in our democracy, and hold elected officials to account.
Is it true that the current proportional representative system for national and provincial elections does not enable citizens to hold individuals to account? Is the current electoral system still suitable in order to address the specific socio-economic and political challenges that face our democracy twenty years on? What lessons have we learnt from the mixed system at a local level?
We propose a discussion on what such reform will look like, if necessary, and discuss ways to achieve greater accountability. Topics to be discussed include:
(i) What happened to THAT report known as Van Zyl Slabbert!?
(ii) Where should civil society focus its efforts? An ability to influence party lists? Finding ways to make constituencies work?;
(iii) Section 19 of the Constitution guarantees every person the right to stand for public office. Are ready for independent candidates?