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Civics Academy - Cultivating democracy

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Cultivating democracy through civic action 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.

Cultivating democracy through civic action 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.
More Information

Location:

South Africa

Genres:

Government

Description:

Cultivating democracy through civic action 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.

Language:

English

Contact:

+27 (0) 11 325 0589


Episodes

Why should I vote?

2/4/2018
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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...

Duration:00:06:46

What is Government?

2/4/2018
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We often hear that ‘the government makes all the decisions’ or that the ‘government will build schools and hospitals’. But do we know what ‘government’ really means and what it actually is responsible for?Government normally consists of ‘legislators’, ‘administrators’ and ‘arbitrators’: 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...

Duration:00:05:34

What is Democracy?

2/4/2018
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The word democracy comes from ancient Greek, with ‘demos’ meaning ‘the people’ and ‘kratos’ meaning ‘to rule’. 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...

Duration:00:06:00

What is the Executive?

2/4/2018
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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...

Duration:00:07:15

What is money?

2/4/2018
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Money is a commodity used for payment in exchange for goods and services. In South Africa we think of money as rands and cents and prices are expressed in these terms.In South Africa commercial banks issued banknotes until 1922, when the function was taken over by the SA Reserve Bank, the country’s central bank established in 1921 for this purpose.The value of items and the prices of goods and services are expressed in terms of money. For instance, the price of a bread is stated as R12,95...

Duration:00:04:48

What is Justice?

2/4/2018
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Justice is what we as a society regard as “right” based on our moral concepts of ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness. Justice needs to be in the light of the democratic principle of the ‘rule of law’. The rule of law is a concept that denotes that all decisions need to be made in accordance with the law. Nobody is exempt from the law.Respect for the rule of law is an important requirement to safeguard justice in a democracy. It ensures that all decisions and actions of...

Duration:00:09:50

What are MPs?

2/4/2018
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In a democracy voters elect members of parliament to represent their interests. Members of parliament are usually called ‘MPs’. 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...

Duration:00:07:58

What are free and fair elections?

2/4/2018
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Elections are a central feature of democracy. For elections to express the will of the electorate, they must be ‘free and fair’.‘Free’ means that all those entitled to vote have the right to be registered and to vote and must be free to make their choice. In South Africa every citizen over the age of 18 is entitled to vote. An election is considered ‘free’ when you can decide whether or not to vote and vote freely for the candidate or party of your choice without fear or intimidation. A...

Duration:00:06:31

Why do we have the Separation of Powers?

2/4/2018
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Democratic government is characterised by the separation of powers.There are ‘checks and balances’ 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 – the legislative, executive and judicial branch – and gives each the power to fulfill different tasks. These branches are also known as the ‘organs of government’. Tasks are assigned to the different branches and their institutions in such...

Duration:00:05:21

What are the key features of a democracy?

2/4/2018
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Democracy is the most successful political idea in the world. Democracy allows ordinary people a decisive say in who governs a country and how they govern it. It is based on a system of government by all the citizens of a country, typically exercised through elected representatives.The concept of democracy is broad and diverse. Every country has a unique democratic system, and countries will therefore be ‘differently democratic’. Democracy has many features: What then are the key features...

Duration:00:07:56

What is the Judiciary?

2/4/2018
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Democracies are characterised by the separation of functions and powers between the three branches of government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The three branches check each others’ powers.The judiciary is the third branch of the democratic government system. The judiciary interprets the law, decides disputes and applies the Constitution in the name of the state. The judicial authority of the RSA is vested in the system of courts, as well as judges and magistrates who...

Duration:00:06:03

Why is Civic Education important?

2/4/2018
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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...

Duration:00:05:45

What are political parties?

2/4/2018
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A political party can be thought of as an organisation of people who share similar ideas and values about how a country should be governed.They provide vehicles for citizens to come together to campaign for public office, and to express their interests, needs and aspirations for their society.Political parties are found in all representative democracies. Although some countries that are not democracies do have political parties, there are no democracies without political parties.The...

Duration:00:06:50

Why do we have a Constitution?

2/4/2018
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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...

Duration:00:08:03

What is a central bank?

2/4/2018
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A central bank has unique powers that differentiate it from other commercial banks. Some of these powers, which influence the public in an immediate and direct way, include the setting of interest rates, the issuance of currency and the management of the national payment system. No other bank in the country has such powers, which shows the special place of the central bank in the economy.The South African Reserve Bank’s role has become entrenched in the domestic economy since its...

Duration:00:05:44

What is a bank?

2/4/2018
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A bank is a financial company with special functions and powers, including the taking of deposits and the issuing of loans. Banks are not simply registered as companies, but as institutions that can perform these powers and functions, and they have a direct impact on the finances of most individuals.South African banks are registered, licenced and regulated by the South African Reserve Bank. Without a licence from the central bank, no company may call itself a bank. As the central bank of...

Duration:00:08:22