The City met with various stakeholders to launch the Civic Education programme with over 100 members filling up the East London City Hall on Tuesday 23 February.
The programme is set as a provision of information and learning experiences to equip and empower citizens to participate in democratic processes as well as maintain and strengthen democracy with people.
Giving an overview of the purpose of the launch Speaker of Council Luleka Simon-Ndzele said, “The launch is a platform to empower communities with knowledge so that they can effectively participate in governance.”
The programme kicked off at 10am at the East London City Hall under the theme A Vehicle to strengthen people’s democracy.
Among the stakeholders present at the launch include the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), traditional leaders, civic societies, the youth and media.
Speaking about IEC readiness of the commission Theo Zola representative from IEC said, “The IEC is ready for the 2016 local government elections and wants the City to help with electoral education to young and older people of our community.”
Adding to that Simon-Ndzele said, “Another objective of this programme is to instil dignity and morals of the community and renew partnerships with communities and work together to strengthen democracy and also inform the youth on the importance of elections and voting during elections.”
Presenting the historical role of the civic society and its importance Deputy executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “It is an enabler for communities to take decisions on their own on how to make decisions and help them spread the word on how to build a better society.”
He added that the programme is set to enable communities to appreciate the values of dialogue, negotiation, compromise, tolerance, diversity, democracy, good governance, accountability, participation, rule of law and in the end it promotes a culture if constitutionalism.”
Youth Council speaks about the elections programme for the youth. We would be visiting the Wards to conduct the Electoral programme. There are other areas including Kwelera and suburban areas. The programme starts this week in 26 Feb at Gompo Hall.
Aretha Linden Journalist from the Daily Dispatch said, “The City needs to work hand in hand with the media to feed them positive news and also know that some of the decisions made in our newsrooms are based on how the community expects from us.”
Giving his keynote address Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “It is a great honour and privilege to be here this morning to launch Civic Education, whose objective is to educate community members about their rights, roles and responsibilities that are required for the maintenance and improvement of any constitutional democracy.”
The day culminated with a dialogue by youth representatives discussing the way forward on community participation, media involvement, role of councillors and traditional leaders in the community, the role of community development workers and issues of gender equality.
12:52 03 Mar 2016
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