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Conference report urges South Africans to transform civic outrage into action for democracy

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
29 November 2023 | 14:05 CAT
2-min read

Picture: Section27

Section 27 and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) recently unveiled a comprehensive conference report titled Democracy and Constitutionalism, Civic Education Conference Report & Keywords. The conference, held at the historic Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, shed light on the crucial role of civic education in the lead-up to what is widely considered South Africa’s most significant elections since 1994.

In an interview with Radio Islam International, Motheo Brody, a candidate attorney at Section 27, provided insights into the conference and the report. Brody emphasised the diverse range of topics discussed during the conference, including the media’s role in democracy, the women’s movement, and the judiciary’s role in upholding South Africa’s democracy.

Brody highlighted the timely nature of the report as the nation prepares for next year’s elections, pointing out the observed increase in disengagement with the democratic process. He expressed hope that the report would serve as a catalyst for organisations and citizens nationwide to initiate discussions on crucial issues, rekindle their commitment to South African democracy, and inspire active citizenry.

“And so, what we hope is that this report is really going to serve as a tool for organisations, for citizens, and organisations across the country to start debates around these topical issues, to reinvigorate our commitment to South African democracy and to reinvigorate active citizenry amongst all of us,” Brody said.

The report captures discussions from esteemed conference participants and outlines actionable steps that should be taken to address the challenges facing the democratic system. Brody stressed the importance of motivating citizens, particularly the youth, to move beyond outrage and actively engage in the democratic process.

“Increasing disengagement requires us to be more proactive, more than just nodding our heads or tweeting about it. This report is a basis for civic education but also a call to action.”

The conference report takes an international perspective by including insights from participants representing various countries, such as the USA, the Congo, and Eswatini. Brody explained that these perspectives aim to highlight the experiences of countries without the constitutional protections present in South Africa and underscore the need to safeguard such protections in the face of growing challenges to constitutionalism.

Brody emphasised the report’s role in educating citizens and providing a foundation for necessary actions to fortify South African democracy.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.

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