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Political Parties in South Africa

Do they Undermine or Underpin Democracy?

by Heather A. Thuynsma

Political parties and the party system that underpins South Africa’s democracy have the potential to build a cohesive and prosperous nation. But in the past few years the ANC’s dominance has strained the system and tested it and its institutions’ fortitude. There are deeper issues of accountability that often spurn the Constitution and there is also a clear need to foster meaningful public participation and transparency.

This volume offers a different and detailed assessment of the health of South Africa’s political system. This study intends to unravel the condition of the party system in South Africa and culminates in the question: Do South African parties promote or hinder democracy in the country? The areas of the party system that are known to require continued work are the weakness of democratic structures within parties, the perceived lack of responsibility of elected parliamentarians towards voters, non-transparent private partner financing structures and a lack of attractiveness of party-political commitment, especially for women. Experts in the respective fields address all of these areas in this book.

ISBN 9780798305143 | 236 pages | 244 x 170 mm | 2017 | Africa Institute of South Africa, South Africa | Paperback

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