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3 May 2013
Public Dialogue on Democracy at UWC

Public Dialogue on Democracy at UWC


As part of its ongoing dialogue series, the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Department of Political Studies will partner with the Democracy from Below Campaign to co-host a Dialogue Event on "Democracy from Below".

The dialogue event will take place at the UWC Library Auditorium on Friday 3 May 2013 from 8:00am to 9:30am. Anyone wishing to attend the event must be at the Library Auditorium at 7:40am sharp .The event will be broadcast live on The Forum at 8am on Friday. This public dialogue will bring together students, workers and staff at UWC, as well as a diverse group of community organisations in and around the Cape Town metropole.

Four panelists who represent a diverse set of views will open the dialogue and address issues related to: the progressive and transformative thrust of the South African constitution; the challenges facing people in our society; the importance of building a mass-based and emancipatory/progressive response to issues; and why building democracy from below is important. The audience will be able to engage on what democracy means to them, issues affecting their communities and how to solve them.

Since November 2012, Democracy from Below has engaged communities on their understanding of democracy and how to exercise their democratic rights which are stipulated within the constitution. The Democracy from Below Campaign has established local structures in Cape Town, East London, Johannesburg, Durban, Tshwane and Lusikisiki. The idea is to create spaces for ordinary people to discuss issues affecting them and our country and to contribute to strengthening our democracy by building it from grassroots.

The goal of the event is to facilitate open dialogue with the following outcomes:

(i)         To find out about Democracy from Below’s aims and objectives,as well as how they intend to achieve these aims and objectives.

(ii)        To provide a forum to debate conceptions of democracy.

(iii)       To motivate ordinary citizens to remain informed and active despite the numerous deficits in South Africa’s democracy.

(iv)       To deepen democracy through active participation and dialogue.

The campaign aims to reach out to all communities so that thousands of ordinary people can reclaim democracy from below in politics, in the economy and in society. The campaign also aims to inspire the younger generations who must be at the heart of building democracy and making connections with their communities.