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Place power in the hands of the people as per ideals of the Struggle

By leaving governance to parties we lose out on leadership, skills and ideas of many who work every day for a better SA

Tessa Dooms Columnist

The people shall govern. These four words underscore a fundamental principle that those who fought for democracy in SA in the 1950s and beyond believed in. Now, 28 years after SA’s first democratic elections, the role people play in the governance of this nation has been reduced to casting a vote every few years.

In the context of a proportional representation electoral system which centres on political parties, the ability for the people to govern is mediated by political elites; individuals and groups with the resources and networks to contest political power at the ballot box regardless of their legitimacy, competence, ethics or intentions. Who governs is not a matter of who among us is best suited to effect practical and progressive change in communities, but who makes the most noise or best manages their delegates at conferences to win elections...

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