Original Research

Participatory Democracy in Theory and Practice: A Case Study of Local Government in South Africa

Ntsikelelo Breakfast, Itumeleng Mekoa, Nondumiso Maphazi
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 3, No 3 | a88 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v3i3.88 | © 2015 Ntsikelelo Breakfast, Itumeleng Mekoa, Nondumiso Maphazi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 November 2016 | Published: 01 September 2015

About the author(s)

Ntsikelelo Breakfast, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Itumeleng Mekoa, North-West University, South Africa
Nondumiso Maphazi, Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality, South Africa

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The idea of democracy is a curious oneand puzzling. There is reason for this;everyone talks about democracy no matter whether their views are on the left, centreor right of the political spectrum. Various politicians, regimes, whether in Africa, Europe or America claim to be democratic;yet what each says and does is usuallydifferent. Democracy as a practice is supposed to bestow rules, laws and decisions that are justifiable on democraticgrounds. Democracy also has evolved through social struggles. This article examines the practice of democracy withinthe context of local government in South Africa, and is an attempt to explore the concept of democracy without escaping other historical aspects of the idea and practice. From a methodological standpoint, this article is based on a literature assessment. Lastly and most importantly, this paper has made a scholarly contribution to the scholarship of Political Science and Public Administration with regard to the nexus between democracy and public participation at local government level in South Africa.


Democracy; Consolidation of Democracy; Public Participation; Local Government


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