Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) is proud to announce its partnership with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) on a new provincial programme funded by the European Union. The Civil Society Participation in Provincial Legislatures (CSPPL) Programme is aimed at creating and strengthening platforms of engagement between selected Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Portfolio Committees of Health and Community Safety in three provinces in South Africa, namely-Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West Province.
The programme is one of the initiatives launched by the European Union in partnership with the South African Legislative Sector Forum on 5 April 2018. CSPPL seeks to increase and amplify state responsiveness and accountability, and assist in facilitating and enhancing civil society participation in Provincial Legislatures oversight and engagement processes.
In striving to strengthen democratic processes, as well as supporting access to government and democracy structures and institutions, the programme is rooted in providing support and tools to civil society organisations. Through this, it is helping to ensure the effective functioning of provincial CSOs, many of which deliver basic services and support to local communities, as well as providing a platform for deeper community engagement.
The programme seeks to facilitate partnerships between civil society organisations and Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs and Support Staff) to strengthen participatory processes in policymaking. In addition, it will also allow for the sharing of innovative learning experiences in public engagement, within and across participating provinces, to demonstrate the tools and approaches needed to enhance an inclusive democratic culture in South Africa.
CSPPL Programme Manager Benjamin Mautjane noted that “in our engagement with officials from provincial legislatures, they viewed the programme as a useful platform that will connect the provincial government with civil society organisations in the delivery of services to communities”.
The CSPPL programme is an exciting new initiative towards further strengthening effective partnerships between civil society organisations and Provincial Legislatures. Through the formulation of policy and promoting dialogue in a collaborative and constructive manner, it seeks to represent the needs of communities whilst facilitating impactful and meaningful citizen engagement which uplifts the lives of ordinary South Africans.