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Civil society and SA govt must call a truce to work together - experts

2 December 2016 12:29 PM
The conflict between civil organisations and the state needs to come to an end in order to mobilise social change in South Africa.

Two social justice advocates argue that the adversarial relationship between civil society and government needs to change into a complimentary one.

Strategist Dr Miriam Altman has encouraged active citizenship in order to help take the country forward from political uncertainty and economic strain.

She says South Africans need to take their focus away from all that is going wrong and think about ways to gain momentum.

We need more growth. We've got the ingredients and capabilities to move ahead, but we don't seem to be leveraging them.

Dr. Miriam Altman, NDP National Planning Commissioner

According to Altman, the government has the potential to improve the quality of public services, state-owned enterprises and strength of trade relations.

She says social justice organisations play an important role in disciplining political thinking and quality of public services.

If we really want to get delivery on the ground, we have to have an actively engaged citizenry.

Dr. Miriam Altman, NDP National Planning Commissioner

Altman advises that active citizens, NGOs and civil society must work along side government to bring about change.

Meanwhile, activist Sean Lewis says that there has been a revived political consciousness and activism in the country.

Lewis says that there has been a growing disillusionment with politics since the democratic change.

I realised that I had surrendered my power to an election process.

Sean Lewis, co-founder of the SA 1st Forum

He warns that there needs to be common vision among civil society and government for social justice to be achieved.

They're doing important and necessary work often in conflict with government.

Sean Lewis, co-founder of the SA 1st Forum

They're often fighting with government instead of working with and complimenting government.

Sean Lewis, co-founder of the SA 1st Forum

Lewis maintains that failing political leadership cannot be replaced by civil society.

Listen to the pair talk about a common goal for SA on the Friday Stand-In:


2 December 2016 12:29 PM

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