Civil society has not only been instrumental in monitoring and observation of elections, but it has created a space for political party engagements. The sector has tried to reaffirm their positions through the organization of parties. Through participation in elections, representation in parliament and participation in governments elected democratically, they sought to implement political and social reforms.
As an organization whose work spans over 2 decades since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, the Democracy Development Program (DDP) has over the years created a space for political parties to be capacitated, and in return account to citizens of SA who voted for them. To this end the DDP has over the last two decades been a very player in the socio-political landscape in KwaZulu Natal in particular and South Africa in general.
It is against this backdrop that the DDP has held political party engagements with more than 12 political party representatives from different political parties contesting the 2019 elections. The organization invited political parties to a roundtable to discuss how they can work together in anticipation of the 2019 general elections. After the roundtable came a Multiparty public forum. The forum had a panel of 12, represented by 12 different political parties that are registered. This engagement was held at the Maharani Hotel in Durban on the 28thMarch 2019.
DDP has recently held a 2-day Election Observer training and Induction Process on the 08th and 09th April 2019. This event was held at Diakonia Center and was facilitated by DDP’s Senior Programs Officer Brian Mhlongo. Well-known political analyst Lukhona Mnguni gave political insight on the role of election observers and provided overall analysis on elections and the observer mission.
The training focused on the following: rules and regulations of the elections process, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and their role in the elections and reporting after the elections. This program saw more than 60 election observers trained and ready for the 8th May 2019.
DDP in partnership with the KZNDEF (KwaZulu Natal Democracy and Elections Forum- a forum of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) working with the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) and religious leaders on peace-building, the promotion of good governance and democracy deepening in the KZN province. In the past elections, the KZNDEF deployed monitors in and around KZN, this deployment was described as the largest in the province since 1994.) has over the years capacitated and accompanied political parties.