Fed up with politics? Here's what you can do to effect change

Politicians and government tend not to keep their promises, and sometimes break the law.

Eusebius McKaiser speaks to Rhodes political science lecturer Richard Pithouse, political analysts Karima Brown and Lukhona Afika Mnguni about what people can do to remain active citizens despite losing faith in leaders.

Mnguni says the majority of people understand that it is no longer enough to defer responsibility to govern the country to politicians, but are constrained when asked about the alternative.

What is important for me is then is to say how do people use their consciousness to then effect change in that sphere.

Lukhona Afika Mnguni, political analyst

Mnguni says there is little done by people to keep political parties accountable after the elections, and parties disengage with the people.

There is power that citizens can organise themselves send signals to political party saying, if you don't fix your internal problems, then we will shift and not vote for you.

Lukhona Afika Mnguni, political analyst

Mnguni and Pithouse pointed out that schools and academies also have critical role to play in ensuring active public participation.

The bulk of the academy was very uncritical after apartheid and did buy into kind of global post cold war idea of what would democracy would look like, which was one that excluded a majority of people from public participation.

Richard Pithouse, Rhodes political science lecturer

This happened in the days of the liberation struggle. Teachers were more than just teaching your maths or science. They were also conscientising students that were coming to the school about the society they wanted to build.

Lukhona Afika Mnguni, political analyst

You can legislate as much as you want around racism, tolerance, national building and social coherence, but at the end of the day the spade work happens in society among citizens.

Lukhona Afika Mnguni, political analyst

Brown says people can be political party members and multiple social movements at the same time.

And for me that's the best recipe.

Karima Brown, political analyst and Talk At Nine host

We saw this phenomena in places like Latin America where formal political power in the state is assumed to be contested array.

Karima Brown, political analyst and Talk At Nine host

Listen to the audio below to hear more about how to get politically involved...


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