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Civics Academy - South Africa

Civics Academy

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Civics Academy - South Africa
Civics Academy - South Africa

Civics Academy - South Africa

Civics Academy

1
Followers
0
Plays
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About Us

Aiming to inform and to strengthen democratic values and responsible citizenship. Civics Academy covers educational content related to democracy, governance, elections, political parties, the justice system, the Constitution, economics, civil society, human rights and the environment.

Latest Episodes

What are MPs?

In a democracy voters elect members of parliament to represent their interests. Members of parliament are usually called âMPsâ. MPs provide a crucial link between government and the people. As MPs are elected representatives, they must be accountable to citizens and they must act in the public interest. This means that they have temporary mandates and are accountable in to voters. Voters do not have to re-elect them if they are not good public representatives or if they do not deliver on their promises. Most MPs belong to a political party and also represent their political party in parliament. However, some MPs do not belong to a political party and are elected as individuals in their own right, and are called âindependentsâ.As members of parliament, MPs are primarily responsible for ensuring that the work of parliament is done. Generally, MPs ensure that Parliament provides a forum for debating important national issues, passing laws, and holding the executive branch of govern...

7 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What are MPs?

Why is Civic Education important?

Civic education empowers us to be well-informed, active citizens and gives us the opportunity to change the world around us. It is a vital part of any democracy, and equips ordinary people with knowledge about our democracy and our Constitution.Civic education teaches us what we as individuals can do to protect and support our democracy. We come to understand our role and responsibility as active citizens. Especially since we have only had democracy for about 20 years, we need civic education to know how we can use this empowering political system to better our and all other South Africans lives.Civic education empowers you to change the world around you for the better!

5 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why is Civic Education important?

Why do we have a Constitution?

After the end of Apartheid in South Africa, there was the need to establish a democratic system of government that upholds human rights, dignity, freedom and equality of all people. Such a democratic system is best implemented and guaranteed by means of a Constitution.The Constitution of a country contains a set of rules and values to guide the actions of those who govern and those who are governed. It explains how the government must be organised and how it must operate and allocate the roles and responsibilities of state institutions.Today, South Africa is what we call a constitutional democracy.Our Constitution of 1996 is the supreme legal document of the Republic of South Africa. It protects our rights as citizens and offers special provisions to hold political leaders accountable, in line with democratic values and principles. We are no longer subjects to the whims of an authoritarian regime, but can be active citizens in a constitutional democracy.South Africa chose to follow ...

8 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why do we have a Constitution?

What is Government?

We often hear that âthe government makes all the decisionsâ or that the âgovernment will build schools and hospitalsâ. But do we know what âgovernmentâ really means and what it actually is responsible for?Government normally consists of âlegislatorsâ, âadministratorsâ and âarbitratorsâ: Legislators create and pass state law, administrators implement state law and arbitrators enforce state law. There are many different forms of government.In South Africa, we have a democratic form of government. The South African government is made up of a group of representatives that we elect through periodically held elections. We refer to it as a representative government. Periodically held elections allow us ordinary citizens to determine who should manage and govern the country, and therefore represent our interests.

5 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is Government?

What are Human Rights?

Respect for human rights is a central feature of democracy. They promote the democratic values of human dignity, freedom and equality before the law. The South African Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of our democracy, and outlines our rights.Human rights protect us against the actions of those who exercise power over us and help to create a world in which we can all reach our full potential as human beings. We are entitled to have our human rights protected and promoted simply because we are human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This means, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or any other status â we are all entitled to fundamental human rights.

6 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What are Human Rights?

What is the Legislature?

The legislature (Parliament) is the representative of the people of South Africa. It consists of two Houses: the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. Parliament creates, amends or repeals laws, and monitors the executive.The 400 plus 90 representatives are given their mandates through elections, and vote on issues of national importance in Parliament. The proportional representation of different political parties in Parliament ensures that a diversity of opinions and interests can be represented.Parliament is responsible for passing laws and for holding the executive branch of government accountable. The power of Parliament is limited by the Constitution, and a two-thirds majority of votes in the National Assembly is needed for a constitutional amendment.Through its work, the Parliament is tasked to make sure that the interests of the people of South Africa are represented in all its diversity.

9 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is the Legislature?

What is the Executive?

The executive is the branch of democratic government that is constituted by the Cabinet, which is the President, Deputy President and the Ministers, and also the Deputy Ministers.The branch is responsible for the day-to-day administration and carrying out of national legislation and policies through the work of its Departments. The executive operates at three levels of government: the national, provincial and local levels. All of these levels of government have executive authority in their own spheres. Within the balance of powers, the executive is accountable to and is being monitored by the legislative and the judiciary.

7 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is the Executive?

Why do we have the Separation of Powers?

Democratic government is characterised by the separation of powers.There are âchecks and balancesâ within our political system that limit the power of each branch in order to prevent the abuse of power. This system divides the state into three branches â the legislative, executive and judicial branch â and gives each the power to fulfill different tasks. These branches are also known as the âorgans of governmentâ. Tasks are assigned to the different branches and their institutions in such a way that each of them can check the exercise of powers by the others. As a result, no one branch or institution can become so powerful as to control the system completely.The separation of powers is important because it provides a vital system of âchecks and balancesâ: Firstly, it ensures that the different branches control each other. This is intended to make them accountable to each other â these are the âchecksâ; Secondly, the separation of powers divides power between the different...

5 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why do we have the Separation of Powers?

What is Democracy?

The word democracy comes from ancient Greek, with âdemosâ meaning âthe peopleâ and âkratosâ meaning âto ruleâ. So its literal meaning is rule by the people.In simple terms, democracy means that the people are entitled to influence important decisions that affect their lives. Instead of having one person making all the decisions in a country, democracy brings together the views and interests of all people so that the future of the country can be decided based on all these views. Democracy is rule by the majority.South Africa is one of the youngest democracies in the world. Only in 1994, after much struggle and sacrifice, were all citizens granted the right to freely and fairly vote for their representative government, under a democratic Constitution.We now have a democracy which includes a new Constitution with a vision for âa society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rightsâ.

6 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is Democracy?

Why should I vote?

What separates democracies from all other types of political systems is that government is based on the consent of the citizens. That means that the people and parties who run government are elected by us, the citizens. In turn, this means that we take the time to vote and select those candidates or parties who they think will do the best job in running the country, and in representing their opinions. People should vote for the following reasons:You should vote, because you care about the future of your country. You should vote to support the current government or alternatively to support the opposition if you believe that either a strong opposition or even a change of government is necessary. And you should vote, simply because, in a democracy, you can.

6 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why should I vote?

Latest Episodes

What are MPs?

In a democracy voters elect members of parliament to represent their interests. Members of parliament are usually called âMPsâ. MPs provide a crucial link between government and the people. As MPs are elected representatives, they must be accountable to citizens and they must act in the public interest. This means that they have temporary mandates and are accountable in to voters. Voters do not have to re-elect them if they are not good public representatives or if they do not deliver on their promises. Most MPs belong to a political party and also represent their political party in parliament. However, some MPs do not belong to a political party and are elected as individuals in their own right, and are called âindependentsâ.As members of parliament, MPs are primarily responsible for ensuring that the work of parliament is done. Generally, MPs ensure that Parliament provides a forum for debating important national issues, passing laws, and holding the executive branch of govern...

7 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What are MPs?

Why is Civic Education important?

Civic education empowers us to be well-informed, active citizens and gives us the opportunity to change the world around us. It is a vital part of any democracy, and equips ordinary people with knowledge about our democracy and our Constitution.Civic education teaches us what we as individuals can do to protect and support our democracy. We come to understand our role and responsibility as active citizens. Especially since we have only had democracy for about 20 years, we need civic education to know how we can use this empowering political system to better our and all other South Africans lives.Civic education empowers you to change the world around you for the better!

5 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why is Civic Education important?

Why do we have a Constitution?

After the end of Apartheid in South Africa, there was the need to establish a democratic system of government that upholds human rights, dignity, freedom and equality of all people. Such a democratic system is best implemented and guaranteed by means of a Constitution.The Constitution of a country contains a set of rules and values to guide the actions of those who govern and those who are governed. It explains how the government must be organised and how it must operate and allocate the roles and responsibilities of state institutions.Today, South Africa is what we call a constitutional democracy.Our Constitution of 1996 is the supreme legal document of the Republic of South Africa. It protects our rights as citizens and offers special provisions to hold political leaders accountable, in line with democratic values and principles. We are no longer subjects to the whims of an authoritarian regime, but can be active citizens in a constitutional democracy.South Africa chose to follow ...

8 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why do we have a Constitution?

What is Government?

We often hear that âthe government makes all the decisionsâ or that the âgovernment will build schools and hospitalsâ. But do we know what âgovernmentâ really means and what it actually is responsible for?Government normally consists of âlegislatorsâ, âadministratorsâ and âarbitratorsâ: Legislators create and pass state law, administrators implement state law and arbitrators enforce state law. There are many different forms of government.In South Africa, we have a democratic form of government. The South African government is made up of a group of representatives that we elect through periodically held elections. We refer to it as a representative government. Periodically held elections allow us ordinary citizens to determine who should manage and govern the country, and therefore represent our interests.

5 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is Government?

What are Human Rights?

Respect for human rights is a central feature of democracy. They promote the democratic values of human dignity, freedom and equality before the law. The South African Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of our democracy, and outlines our rights.Human rights protect us against the actions of those who exercise power over us and help to create a world in which we can all reach our full potential as human beings. We are entitled to have our human rights protected and promoted simply because we are human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This means, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or any other status â we are all entitled to fundamental human rights.

6 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What are Human Rights?

What is the Legislature?

The legislature (Parliament) is the representative of the people of South Africa. It consists of two Houses: the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. Parliament creates, amends or repeals laws, and monitors the executive.The 400 plus 90 representatives are given their mandates through elections, and vote on issues of national importance in Parliament. The proportional representation of different political parties in Parliament ensures that a diversity of opinions and interests can be represented.Parliament is responsible for passing laws and for holding the executive branch of government accountable. The power of Parliament is limited by the Constitution, and a two-thirds majority of votes in the National Assembly is needed for a constitutional amendment.Through its work, the Parliament is tasked to make sure that the interests of the people of South Africa are represented in all its diversity.

9 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is the Legislature?

What is the Executive?

The executive is the branch of democratic government that is constituted by the Cabinet, which is the President, Deputy President and the Ministers, and also the Deputy Ministers.The branch is responsible for the day-to-day administration and carrying out of national legislation and policies through the work of its Departments. The executive operates at three levels of government: the national, provincial and local levels. All of these levels of government have executive authority in their own spheres. Within the balance of powers, the executive is accountable to and is being monitored by the legislative and the judiciary.

7 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is the Executive?

Why do we have the Separation of Powers?

Democratic government is characterised by the separation of powers.There are âchecks and balancesâ within our political system that limit the power of each branch in order to prevent the abuse of power. This system divides the state into three branches â the legislative, executive and judicial branch â and gives each the power to fulfill different tasks. These branches are also known as the âorgans of governmentâ. Tasks are assigned to the different branches and their institutions in such a way that each of them can check the exercise of powers by the others. As a result, no one branch or institution can become so powerful as to control the system completely.The separation of powers is important because it provides a vital system of âchecks and balancesâ: Firstly, it ensures that the different branches control each other. This is intended to make them accountable to each other â these are the âchecksâ; Secondly, the separation of powers divides power between the different...

5 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why do we have the Separation of Powers?

What is Democracy?

The word democracy comes from ancient Greek, with âdemosâ meaning âthe peopleâ and âkratosâ meaning âto ruleâ. So its literal meaning is rule by the people.In simple terms, democracy means that the people are entitled to influence important decisions that affect their lives. Instead of having one person making all the decisions in a country, democracy brings together the views and interests of all people so that the future of the country can be decided based on all these views. Democracy is rule by the majority.South Africa is one of the youngest democracies in the world. Only in 1994, after much struggle and sacrifice, were all citizens granted the right to freely and fairly vote for their representative government, under a democratic Constitution.We now have a democracy which includes a new Constitution with a vision for âa society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rightsâ.

6 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
What is Democracy?

Why should I vote?

What separates democracies from all other types of political systems is that government is based on the consent of the citizens. That means that the people and parties who run government are elected by us, the citizens. In turn, this means that we take the time to vote and select those candidates or parties who they think will do the best job in running the country, and in representing their opinions. People should vote for the following reasons:You should vote, because you care about the future of your country. You should vote to support the current government or alternatively to support the opposition if you believe that either a strong opposition or even a change of government is necessary. And you should vote, simply because, in a democracy, you can.

6 MIN2018 FEB 5
Comments
Why should I vote?
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