South Africa: Representation and inclusivity in political parties

Activities ainmed at inclusivity of women, youth and people with disabilities form part of EISA's work to increace the capacity of political parties in South Africa has been undertaken by EISA's Governance Institutions and Political Processes (GIPPS) department, under its political parties programme. The aim is to contribute to an open, inclusive and democratic political system, by strengthening this crucial set of stakeholders in the processes of democratic governance.

2016

Gender Sensitive Budgeting workshop conducted

30-31 Mar 2016

In preparation for a training workshops on "Understanding Gender and Gender budgeting" materials that promote an undersatanding of gender, understanding the different definitions and understanding of gender in different spheres of public life, as well as identifying the nature of the changing priorities amongst women as they progress through diferent stages of life were developed and published. In addition understanding budgets as an instrument of governance, budget analysis and budget prioritisation in favour of expenditure areas that have a high impact on women are explored.

Fifteen participants from six different political parties participated in a workshop conducted on the 30 and 31 March 2016. These were the African National Congress (ANC), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (COPE), African Independent Congress (AIC) and PanAfrican Congress (PAC). Nine the participants were women and five were below the age of 35. This workshop attracted the participation of Councillors, Provincial Leadership and Youth Leaders of the different political parties.

2015

EISA strengthened established working relationships and developing new working relationships to deliver effectively on the different projects in the Programme. Events were primarily linked to research and publishing, development of training and capacity building materials, conducting training and capacity building workshop and the public profiling of EISA's core projects through hosting a public seminar

Women and youth participation in parties

A series of workshops were held in 2015 based on the 2014 EISA partnership with the NGO Youth Lab. During these meetings, a comprehensive set of training materials titled "Understanding the Youth and Youth Sensitive Budgeting" was developed. The following report was observed at these workshops:

  • The workshop attracted the participation of one elected Member of Parliament, two elected Members of the KZN Provincial Parliament and two elected Local Councilor's, as well as significant representation from elected youth leaders and high level leaders from the Provincial leadership of the different political parties.
  • Five opposition political parties in the Kwa-Zulu Natal provincial legislature attended a workshop held from the 4 to the 6 August 2015 in Durban, but the ruling ANC did not attend, nor did the EFF.
  • Ten participants were women and 19 participants were below the age of 35.
Youth Budgeting workshops conducted

4-6 Aug 2015

Five political parties represented in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region of South Africa attended a workshop held from the 4 to the 6 August 2015 in Durban , drawn from amongst opposition parties, namely the Democratic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party, Minority Front and the United Democratic Movement. In spite of repeated outreach to the ANC they did not attend, did the EFF who have been enthusiastic participants in other activities. Ten women and 19 participants below the age of 35, were amongst the participants. This workshop attracted the participation of one elected Member of Parliament, two from amongst elected Members of the KZN Provincial Parliament and two elected Local Councillors, as well as significant representation from elected youth leaders and high level leaders from the Provincial leadership of the different political parties.

The workshop was received extremely positive and there was great interest in the topic, with participants particularly mentioning that this was the first time they had interrogated issues of budgeting from a youth perspective.

Gender and Gender budgeting training materials developed

Apr - Jun 2015

In preparation for a training workshops on "Understanding Gender and Gender budgeting" EISA partnered with the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII), who have a team of specialist researchers on budgets and pro poor budgeting strategies to develop training material. This partnership allowed for knowledge-sharing and exposure, and enabled EISA to develop materials that promote an understanding of gender, understanding the different definitions and understanding of gender in different spheres of public life, as well as identifying the nature of the changing priorities amongst women as they progress through different stages of life. In addition understanding budgets as an instrument of governance, budget analysis and budget prioritisation in favour of expenditure areas that have a high impact on women are explored.

Youth participation in South Africa

Training materials developed

In South Africa, EISA partnered with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to produce materials and provide training to South African political parties with a focus on younger women.

EISA partnered with the NGO Youth Lab, specialists on youth focused issues and policy and developed a comprehensive set of training materials titled "Understanding the Youth and Youth Sensitive Budgeting" , was produced and published. The materials looked at understanding youth through exploring legal definitions, understanding the youth as different phases and stages of life rather than as a constituency, as well as identifying the nature of the changing priorities amongst the youth as they progress through different stages of the youth cohort. Additionally, understanding budget analysis and prioritization was done to focus on areas that impact the youth and their development.

Course presented

8-9 Dec 2014

The course took place from 8-9 December 2014 in the form of a two-day training workshop in Johannesburg and was attended by delegates from a cross-section of eight different political parties in South Africa. Participants across the eight parties in attendance were almost exclusively from amongst the youth with a bias towards women. The group featured two members of parliament, three councilors, high-ranking members of the political parties' and respective Youth League Executives. Participants included the ruling African National Congress, which previously was not an active participant in EISA's political party work.

Upon the completion of this training, participants from all parties encouraged an expanded roll-out of this programme, as this was regarded as a sound innovation.

2009


Capacity building workshops

Through the political parties programme, women and youth leagues have gained a better understanding of their own political parties and affairs. From the sessions held, women comprised more than two thirds of participants in the workshops due to EISA's insistence that parties ensure representation of women and youth as participants in all the workshops. The working relationship between EISA and the electoral commission (IEC) was heightened judging from the IEC's participation in EISA workshops and further advancing their voter education programme at these platforms. In South Africa the programme not only expanded its geographical reach but also opened up to various stakeholders including the media.