Monday 22 April

SECTION27 and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) today launch a conference report titled, Democracy & Constitutionalism: Civic Education Conference Report & Keywords. The conference took place at the historic Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg in February 2022.

This report brings into focus the importance of civic education at a time when South Africa is preparing for the 2024 elections, which are widely viewed as the most significant since 1994. The current state of basic services and the deterioration of governance calls for deeper civil society action to ensure a healthy democracy, active citizenry, and respect for the rule of law.  One of the main takeaways from the 1994 election was the staggering voter turnout of 86.87%, which was preceded by strong pre-election voter engagement and education campaigns by the Independent Electoral Commission, political parties, and civic organizations. These statistics differ drastically from the poor voter turnout in 2019, where only 66.05% of registered voters cast their votes, highlighting the critical need for civic education campaigns and grass roots activism.

The conference brought together civil society groups, and social movements from South Africa and beyond to discuss an array of topics which are crucial to the success and preservation of constitutionalism, the rule of law, and democracy. These topics varied from strengthening institutional democracy, to climate justice, the role of media in a democracy and the advancement of women’s struggles. The purpose of the conference was to reignite a grassroots activism and civic education programme, committed to the values of democracy and constitutionalism on which the post-apartheid state was built, but which are currently under threat.

The report aims to provide useful insights by offering a synopsis, analysis, and signposts for each session of the conference. It also presents the necessary actions for enhancing South Africa’s democracy and ensuring effective democratic governance, while promoting social and economic reconstruction, and lays the groundwork for continued debate and action. In light of the upcoming national and provincial elections in 2024, this report could not be more timely.

You can access the report here.

For media queries, contact:

SECTION27: Pearl Nicodemus | nicodemus@section27.org.za | 082 298 2636

CASAC : Sibonelo Mavuso | sibonelo@casac.org.za | 084 357 7738


1 Comment

Teknik Industri · December 20, 2023 at 11:02 am

Can you provide insights into the significance of hosting the conference at the historic Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg?

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