Political Consciousness Contribution to Public Participation on Socio-Economic Issues in South Africa

04 Jun 2019

Socio-economic issues are affecting a high number of individuals and households across the globe, more especially in South Africa. The post-apartheid era in South Africa introduced democracy which led to the formulation of mechanisms of public participation that allowed people to voice out their views regarding socio-economic issues such as unemployment, illiteracy, corruption, poverty and inequality. The participation strategy has been active for quite a period after the apartheid era and they have collapsed recently due to people’s loss of confidence in the ruling government because of inadequate consideration of the publics needs and ideas. Therefore, this has led to the opening of opportunities for multiple political parties to exist in South Africa to which they have come to positively contribute in the increase of people’s political consciousness regarding socio-economic issues. This paper posits that politics in South Africa have been an eye opener for many people in terms of social and economic aspects, which has led to their eagerness to participate in social and economic issues. The state has a mandate to serve its citizens and be accountable for any decisions that will affect the public and the economy. The lack of transparency, accountability, responsiveness and corruption in South Africa has caused political instability and the public began to realise how politics affect them both at national, provincial and local level. Problems such as poverty, unemployment and illiteracy that have been existing for many years, will continue increasing in the presence of a government that is negligent, abuses power, incompetent, ineffective and unethical towards public prioritisation. When people become conscious about socio-economic issues, the government should provide them with a platform to participate in socio-economic development and their views should be taken into consideration.