Democracy, as a concept of the rule by the people, finds different expressions in systems of election and governance around the world. What is understood as democracy is thus subjective and often determined by socio-political and economic choices that have been made historically and often go unquestioned in societies over time.In recent years, South Africans of various backgrounds have been faced with frequent moments of personal and collective reflection about what constitutes its democracy, how democracy functions and, most importantly, what is the role of the citizen in maintaining a functional democracy in South Africa.
In 2015 and 2016, South African young people have challenged the definition of political participation” by extending their political voice beyond voting, party protocols and normative forms of mobilisation. From student protest and the Occupy Luthuli House protest to the active absence from the voting stations as protest, young people have begun to rethink political power through civic engagement.
On November 28, Democracy Works in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa and Liliesleaf will host it’s 5th annual ‘State of Democracy’ debate titled ‘The end of ‘Western democracy’ as we know it? An opportunity for Africa to show a new path.’
Made in SA is SABC3’s brand new teen reality series that introduces, profiles and follows hip and happening young people on their journey to fulfilling their dream careers. In a mentorship programme they are faced with some tough challenges that they need to complete in order to achieve their career goals.
On 22 November 2016 the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in partnership with the German Africa Foundation and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung will host a discussion in Berlin on the on the challenges facing democracy and the rule of law in SA, 20 years after the introduction of the first free-standing constitution.
This visit is part of the Southern African Regional Youth Forum hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. This German foundation has always found itself on the right side of history supporting the great causes for national liberation but more importantly remaining connected long after in the consolidation of that democracy. Zambia and FES are therefore happy fellow travelers in the expedition of supporting the democratic project on the continent.
On September 1st, 2016 the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) launched a new Working Paper series called Fiscal Histories of Sub-Saharan Africa. The series aims to increase the knowledge base on taxation as an instrument in the building of state capacity in southern Africa, as well as its role in shaping state-society relations in the region.
Many economists claim that a national minimum wage in South Africa will entail adverse consequences and inevitably leads to widespread job losses. These arguments offset possible gains from raising wage levels with ensuing rising unemployment in the country.
From 02nd to 04th September 2016, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in collaboration with the University of Fort Hare will hold the third of four annual sessions of the Fort Hare Autumn School in Morgan Bay, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape.
A national minimum wage in South Africa, if set at an appropriate and meaningful level, can reduce working poverty and inequality and support economic growth. This is the finding of a recent report by the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative at the University of the Witwatersrand.
By establishing a wage floor below which no employers are permitted to pay the employees covered, minimum wages are able to meet their central objectives as defined by the International Labour Organization of covering the basic needs of workers and their families.