Occasional Paper

The Impact of Democracy on Public Participation in the SADC Region

“This paper grapples with the complex interconnection and interface between public participation and democratic governance on the African continent in general and South Africa in particular, after a decade of electoral democracy. The first section presents a conceptual framework for the understanding of public participation. The second section assesses the form and content of the current political liberalization in the Southern African Development Community since 1990. The third unravels the essence of citizen participation, both at the national and local level. The fourth looks at some of the factors that hinder public participation, ranging from the structures of local government, parliamentary representation and the behavior of leadership.”