Enhancing the Efficacy of Public Participation in Policy-Making and Implementation through Civic Education: A South African Perspective

By Reuben Sebenzile Masango.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The efficacy of public participation depends, among others, on the extent to which the public has knowledge about the functioning of the state and its institutions, and the rights and obligations of citizens. In order to make public policies which are responsive to public needs, and ensure that government is accountable; members of the public should, among others, express their needs and be aware of their rights and obligations such that they can use them in an appropriate manner. The current Constitution of the Republic of South Africa has several provisions for public participation. The effective implementation of these constitutional provisions is influenced by the levels of civic education in the country. Research shows that the percentage of people whose highest level of education is a higher education qualification amongst the population aged 20 years and over is low in South Africa. Furthermore, the democratic government, which was introduced in 1994, operates differently from its predecessor. In view of the above, it is argued that civic education could and should be used to enhance the effectiveness of public participation in South Africa.

Keywords: Public Participation in South Africa, Civic Education in South Africa, Efficacy of Public Participation, Public Participation in Policy Making and Implementation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp.65-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 575.294KB).

Prof. Reuben Sebenzile Masango

Professor in Public Administration and Management, Department of Political & Governmental Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Reuben Sebenzile Masango is an Associate Professor and Head of Department of Political & Governmental Studies in Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth in South Africa. He has been an academic in this institution since 1995. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Administration Honours, Master of Administration and Doctor of Administration, which he obtained between 1991 and 2001, from the University of South Africa.He also holds a Secondary Teachers Diploma which he obtained in 1985 and has been a secondary school teacher for 9 years before joining the Higher Education Sector. His field of specialization is Public Administration and Management. His main area of interest is public participation. He has published several articles in South African national journals.

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