Tag Archives: women


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.

Electing Councillors – A Guide to Municipal Elections

This manual explains the rules for local government elections. What are the rules for voter registration, party registration, ward candidates and party lists? What happens on voting day, how are votes counted and how are the results determined?

The aim of this guide is to assist anyone who participates in the election or assists in making it happen. This includes election officials, candidates, parties, observers, journalists, civil society and anyone with an interest in the elections. The guide is the result of a collaboration between the Dullah Omar Institute, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa Office and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

20-22 June | Understanding taxation and state building in sub-Saharan Africa

The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, has developed a multi-year project on “Understanding tax reform and state building in Sub-Saharan Africa“. Currently in its second year, its purpose is to research taxation as an instrument for building state capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

With their varied colonial and post-colonial histories and systems, and their diverse tax systems, Botswana, Cameroon, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria were selected as the case studies, and research partnerships with public servants, civil society activists, academics and others have been put in place. The creation of country profiles is under way, and forthcoming activities include this three-day workshop in Johannesburg, 20-22 June 2016.

28 June | How does socioeconomic transformation impact service delivery at the municipal level?

South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Social cohesion and economic growth are key drivers for job creation, attracting investment and creating economic opportunities to help accelerate service delivery. The looming threat of junk status and political infighting ahead of the elections coupled with regular service delivery protests across the country has raised the stakes for local government to deliver on basic services.

How are political parties addressing socio-economic issues at a municipal level? How well or badly are local municipalities doing in addressing some of these challenges and what changes can we look forward to.

Democracy Works Foundation (DWF), in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa, invites you to it’s second Political Café. Join Nompumelelo Runji (independent analyst and author) in conversation with Shaka Sisulu (independent socio-political commentator), Marina Mayer (Economist and lecturer at Wits Business School) and Stewart Wilson (Director of SERI).

13-16 July | Vuyisile Mini Winter School 2016

The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University, which includes the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), will host its Vuyisile Mini Winter School 2016 in Grahamstown on 13-16 July 2015.

This winter school, which is named in honour of a hero of the South African labour movement and liberation struggle, will be aimed at trade union office bearers in the Eastern Cape. It will create a space in which all participants can engage critically with social democratic ideas, particularly as those pertain to the linking of social policy and labour market interventions.

21-22 July | Reviewing a decade of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership

In 2007, the EU-South Africa Strategic partnership was launched. Aimed at strengthening relations between the two, a number of high-level meetings took place under its rubric. Following the economic crisis of 2008, which is reshaping internal EU country relations as well as its relations with South Africa, and the growing emphasis on South-South solidarity by the Zuma administration, the strategic partnership is increasingly under pressure.

With this relationship reaching its first decade next year, the SARChI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, are undertaking a review of the strategic partnership, particularly in understanding what makes it strategic for both the EU and South Africa, and how this has evolved in practice.

1 Jun | The 2016 Municipal Elections: What can we expect from SA’s youth?

Democracy Works Foundation (DWF), in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa, invites you to it’s first Political Café.

South Africa holds its fifth municipal elections in August 2016 during a period of increased political volatility in our young nation. We discuss the power and impact that youth have in the upcoming municipal elections. How will eligible youth voters participate in the electoral process – what issues are they concerned about? And how are political parties responding and what do they have to offer the youth? Join Nompumelelo Runji of the Sowetan in conversation with Thamsanqa Masingi (Enke – Make your Mark), Pearl Pillay (YouthLab), and Khaya Dlanga (independent political commentator & author).

5 Aug | Who Makes South Africa’s Foreign Policy?

In 2015, the SARChI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, hosted a workshop entitled ‘Towards a Participatory Foreign Policy’, aimed at considering the role of a range of stakeholders in shaping South Africa’s foreign policy.

In building on these initial discussions, the SARChI Chair and FES are inviting research papers contributing analysis on the role of these stakeholders, and how these actors have shaped South African foreign policy over the course of the first two decades of democrac