Martin van Staden talks to James Kemp of Pretoria FM on the Beleidsradar inset on important recent developments regarding public participation in policy issues.
Van Staden refers to statements made by high-ranking officials in the Department of Health in which, inter alia, civil institutions litigating against the recent temporary Covid-19 rules were referred to as saboteurs and terrorists.
The shocking behaviour of the Minister of Police during a recent public participation process is also touched upon.
These developments give rise to serious concern about the way participation is basically being treated as a tick-off exercise. The public is running the risk of being relegated to mere passive recipients of public policy.
Van Staden emphasises the importance of public participation as part of South Africa’s participatory democracy. He believes participation should now go beyond submissions to government departments and parliament.