The City as a Democratic Common
Saturday 27 October 2018
10am to 4pm
Observatory Community Centre Rawson St, Observatory, Cape Town
The event is free RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org by the 24 October
In 2017, the Civic Action for Public Participation (CAPP) was formed out of a collective dissatisfaction with participatory processes which they felt were ‘problematic, unproductive, and tokenist engagements’ leading to a loss of trust in public participation. The loss of trust described by CAPP can be attributed to the idea that participation is more of a tick-box exercise, lacks important information, is technocratic and exclusive. As a means to frame a new form of participation, the civic-led initiative hosted a series of workshops in 2016 to co-create a manifesto for public participation which will govern engagements between local government and the community.
The manifesto lays out “principles of participation’”that include transparency, information, inclusivity and accountability, and that aim to address the issue of “problematic, unproductive and tokenist engagements”. In addition, the manifesto also includes a set of mechanisms which would ensure that public participation is successful.
We believe it is important to recognize the City as a Common. The principal function of the City is to be the common house of the people who live there, the place where social life is built, where the varying needs and interests of different people and groups are discussed and compared and where conflicts are managed – a process that is integral to the social life of a city.
In 2018, CAPP used the manifesto principles as a tool to develop a draft citizen-led bylaw as a tool to lobby local government to focus on participation reform. Building on the success of the drafting of the bylaw, CAPP organize a Seminar with two objectives:
- Building the capacity of Civic Organisations in public participation processes.
- Working towards a Civics Organization’s plan of action on public participation.
The seminar is organized in partnership with:
- Development Action Group
- Heinrich Böll Foundation
Civic Organisations and Public Participation
Leslie London, Patrick Melly, CAPP
Constitutional Court: difference between representative democracy and participatory democracy
Albie Sachs, former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa
A new Civic Participation Bylaw in Cape Town
Andrea Couvert, CAPP
The challenges of civic participation through experiences:
Clifton: Maidens Cove for all
Albie Sachs, Maidens Cove for all
Philippi: PHA Food & Farming Campaign
Nazeer Ahmed Sonday & Susanna Coleman, PHA Food & Farming Campaign
Princess Vlei: Managing a natural area as a common
Gary Stevard, Princess Vlei Forum
Observatory: Two Rivers Urban Park
Marc Turok, Two Rivers Urban Park Association
Woodstock: Social Housing
Bevel Lucas, Woodstock Resident Association
Observatory: The fight against the privatisation of public space
Tauriq Jenkins, Observatory Civic Association
Salt River: Heritage as a tool to build social relations
Shabodien Roomanay, Salt River Heritage Society
Bokaap: A new model for affordable housing
Jacky Poking, Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association
Website platform for Civic Organizations
Ryan Fester, Development Action Group
Activist guide to local government accountability
Keren Ben-Zeev, Heinrich Böll Foundation
Feedback and reflection from the morning: Which elements can help us to define the way forward for Civic Associations?
Co-design groups: drafting a plan of action for the next phase