Welcome to DDP
The DDP was initiated in 1993 as a partner project of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Germany. For the last 20 years it has been a non-partisan non-profit organisation, supporting capacity building on governance and civil society levels to ensure that both are empowered for meaningful participation in South Africa’s social transformation.
Public forum: SA military deployment to the CAR
The Democracy Development Programme, in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung, held a panel discussion on 30 April 2013, focussing on the deployment of South Africa troops to the Central African Republic (CAR), which resulted in the deaths of 13 soldiers. The forum attempted to provoke conversation about South Africa’s role in peacekeeping in the African continent, as well as about the role of parliamentary and citizen oversight.
The first speaker, Dr Dale McKinley, concentrated on the politics of the matter – especially on the role of parliament and the executive. The South African Constitution is specific in relation to deployment of troops – the president has the prerogative to deploy troops, but parliament MUST be informed. This is a fundamental check and balance system providing oversight, accountability and control.
This MoU was allowed to lapse during 2012 with South African soldiers still in the CAR. When it became apparent in December 2012 that Bozize was under direct threat, he hastily called on South African leadership, and a diplomatic note was signed by the current Minister of Defence, Lindiwe Sisulu. A new mandate appeared in this note – the protection of property and the saving of human lives. During the holiday period, President Zuma authorised the deployment of 400 para-bats to CAR. Dr McKinley emphasised that the Constitution requires that if troops are deployed into a war, this must be passed by parliament this decision cannot be taken unilaterally by the president. Parliament queried the deployment, and was informed by the Minster of Defence that the existing mandate (2007 MoU) had been extended – they were not informed of the new clauses in the diplomatic note.
This happened in the troubling context of the increasing securitization of the South African state. The Matthews Commission report, buried for 5 years but now available has revealed that the security and intelligence sectors are out of control, and are using services for political, business and personal matters. There’s also another element to this: it is almost unfathomable that one department of state does not inform another department of state – the Department of International affairs and Cooperation (DIRCO) was not informed about the extra 200 troops sent in January.
We as South Africa citizens must demand access to information, as is our constitutional right. All of our other rights mean little if we don’t know what is being done in our name. Without adherence to the constitution and law, our democracy in in serious trouble.
The second speaker, Jeff Dubuzana from the South African National Defence Union (SANDU) agreed with Dr McKinley that the deployment of 200 troops in January 2013 was illegal and unconstitutional. Section 231 of the Constitution demands that legally binding agreements must be ratified by the national assembly or relevant standing committee.
The final panellist, Dr Buntu Siwisa of the African Centre for Constructive resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), noted that South African soldiers are frequently deployed across the African continent, and that this is the first time that citizens are really questioning the practice.
Dr Siwisa elaborated on 5 elements which have motivated the public to take stock: the deaths of 13 soldiers in one single incident; the by-passing of checks and balance; the threatened standing of South African policy and stature in peace0building; the alleged interplay between political patronage and business interests and finally questions around the funding of such deployments.
He raised the importance of understanding the context of the CAR – since independence only one regime has come to power through a democratic elections process. The country has rich mineral resources but its potential for development and stability are curtailed by ethnic coalitions and political patronage. Dr Siwisa further asserted that South Africa will continue to honour foreign policy obligations by deploying troops into Africa.
The discussion after the presentations centred primarily on two opposing perspectives: the South Africa has a reputation and responsibility to deploy troops into Africa rather than waiting for European/ Western nations to do so; alternatively that South Africa could carefully research and assess the situation before deployment, and should consider alternatives such as negotiation where at all possible.
There is clearly a need for South Africans to pay greater attention to the affairs of our neighbours across the continent, and to demand the parliament plays the appropriate oversight role as envisioned in the Constitution.
The Role of Networks in Service Delivery
by Dr Sagie Narsiah
Water is life and sanitation is dignity – this pronouncement has been made by the South African government. Yet, its realisation has proved somewhat elusive. The struggle for life and dignity continues (Narsiah, 2011). Struggles over access to water and sanitation have received much coverage in the media over the past few years. The example of the Phiri struggle over prepaid water meters in Soweto or the well-known, and on-going ‘toilet wars’ in Cape Town and elsewhere are recent examples. Having said this, one has to emphasize that the provision of water and sanitation is geographically uneven – some municipalities have been more successful than others. There are those municipalities which have taken the lead in the provision of water and sanitation, such as the Durban or the Ethekwini municipality as it is now known. It has received many awards for the provision of water and sanitation.
What is also important to note is that the initiatives which the municipality has embarked on are informed by broader forces at local, national and international scales. And, these broader forces are related to changes in the nature of government and governance over the past thirty years or so. The nature of governance has changed from one that was ‘statecentric’ to one that is based on the networked society – a trend popularized by among others the sociologist Manuel Castells in the 1990s. The network society has had huge ramifications for the way in which basic services, for example, are now delivered. There are a melange of constituencies which are now implicated, among them government; the private sector; NGOs; broader civil society and so on. This new formation in contrast to hierarchical configurations which were more clearly defined is characteristic of the neoliberal state – the rule by elites using the instruments of the free market. What has happened is that new institutional formations have come to the fore and these have contributed to what has been referred to as a ‘democratic deficit’ – rule by a few outside of the public gaze.
This framework has been applied to the Ethekwini water and sanitation sector. What has been revealing is that this sector has adopted governance techniques outlined above. The details are provided in the study. By some measures they have achieved success. However, these measures tend to ignore issues of history; gender; representivity and so on. To test the claims of the municipality, a small number of focus groups from low income communities were held. They revealed high levels of dissatisfaction when it came to issues of participation and consultation. Also it was clear that communities are not as au fait with water and sanitation policies as the municipality may perceive them to be. A lot of work needs to be done in this regard and NGOs who work in this sector need to be enlisted to assist.
This is anexecutive summary of a full research report investigating the role of networks in policy formulation, focusing on a case study of water and sanitation services in Durban. For the full report, please click here...