Public Participation and the Quest for Social Justice in South Africa

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:00
Oral Presentation
Dasarath CHETTY, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
The paper examines the form and content of Public Participation initiatives in South Africa post the onset of democracy in 1994. The gap between real and actual participation and that envisaged by Constitutional, legal and other mechanisms is then evaluated in the light of the adoption of neo-liberal economic policies adopted and defended by the ANC government. Public protest, often violent, and an equally violent state response to "unrest" that threatens the stability of processes of capital accummulation is then analysed within the context of inadequate social service delivery, capital flight, croney capitalism and the social concomitants of xenophobia, increasing racial polarisation, crime, violence against women and children, unemployment and social inequality. Durban is used as the case study highlighting youth unemployment in particular as the real challenge which the best public participation policies are not able to undermine.