Examining the extent of participation by non-governmental organizations in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature since 1994.
This study entails an examination of the extent of participation by the non-governmental organisations in the legislative process of the KwaZulu Natal legislature. It aims to explore how far these NGOs have taken advantage of the new South African polity based on transparency, openness and accountability. It is hypothesised that organised groups such as these have been very much involved in government decision- making process, since the start of the new democratic South Africa in 1994. This study, however, proves, that there is very minimal public participation and especially NGO participation in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and in government in general. It further uncovers are various problems experienced by these NGOs in trying to participate in the legislative process. The legislature's inaccessibility was seen as one of the major inhibiting factors. Apathy and lack of interest in the legislative process was also identified as a problem among these NGOs. This study has raised many issues that both the NGO sector and the KZN legislature itself have to address in order that our newly founded democracy can be truly nurtured. This study is divided into two parts in which Part One explores literature on democracy, the policy making process and civil society to help give a clear indication on what various authors think should be the input of civil society in the policy making process of any democratic country. The second part looks at the South African situation and the findings of this study.
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