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