An analysis of public participation in the South African legislative sector

Scott, Renee (2009-03)

Thesis (MPA (School of Public Management and Planning))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


Globally participatory democracy is viewed as essential to ensure a high level of legitimacy, contribute to empowerment and strengthen democracy. Although South Africa is a representative democracy, it also adheres to the principles of participatory democracy as Parliament and the nine Provincial Legislatures are constitutionally mandated to elicit public participation in its decision-making and policy processes. This study’s main aim is to determine whether the public participation strategies employed in the South African legislative sector at present are effective and enhance decision-making and policy processes. Following a discussion of the theoretical context and rationale for public participation, a limited international perspective on public participation was given. The study proceeded to explore the application of public participation in the local South African context with specific focus on the legislative environment. In order to provide evidence in support of the research statement an investigation was done on the current state of public participation in the South African legislative environment. Responses from a semi-structured questionnaire on public participation in the South African legislative context were processed into a comparative table to obtain an overall picture of the legislative sector. From the findings it is clear that there are many positive factors and innovative ideas in place across the legislative sector, yet the weaknesses still far outweigh the strengths.

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