Local Councillors: scapegoats for a dysfunctional participatory democratic system? Lessons from practices of local democracy in Johannesburg.

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dc.contributor.author Benit Gbaffou, Claire
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-29T07:52:23Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-29T07:52:23Z
dc.date.issued 208
dc.identifier.citation Benit Gbaffou,Claire. 2008. Local Councillors: scapegoats for a dysfunctional participatory democratic system? Lessons from practices of local democracy in Johannesburg. Critical Dialogue: Public Participation in Review. vol 4:1 pp26-33 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/12155
dc.description.abstract This paper starts with the study of participation patterns in different neighbourhoods in Johannesburg, and demonstrates that institutional channels (be it representative democracy, or various participatory institutions and instruments) are currently not working in Johannesburg. Be it in low income or high-income areas, suburbs or townships, residents have to resort to other means, sidelining in particular their ward councillor, to be heard. We question the reasons for this lack of bottomup dialogue, focusing on the figure of the ward councillor as a supposedly key link between residents and local government, but however not able to play his/her role. We contest the dominant vision that the failure of participatory democracy in South Africa is the consequence of a lack of training, education or democratic culture, and we argue that both the limited power of ward councillors in Council, and the lack of incentive for fostering their accountability in front of voters, make local democracy institutions dysfunctional. More broadly, we question the lack of importance of participatory democracy in the ANC and in the government agenda, despite the political discourses claiming the contrary. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Critical Dialogue: Public Participation in Review. en_ZA
dc.subject Dysfunctional participatory democratic system. Local democracy. Johannesburg. en_ZA
dc.title Local Councillors: scapegoats for a dysfunctional participatory democratic system? Lessons from practices of local democracy in Johannesburg. en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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