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Defining new citizenship for South Africa & the fundamental values that will shape it

Johannesburg, 14 June 2001

Who and what is a citizen? What is citizenship? What are the values that should underpin and characterise a new citizenship for a country such as South Africa that is going through a process of comprehensive transformation? The Leadership Seminar conducted by St Augustine College of South Africa in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and held in Johannesburg on 14 June 2001, explored these fundamental issues and questions. The purpose of the seminar was to focus on the need to create an awareness in society of the social responsibility of its citizens and to encourage people to participate in community affairs.

Politics of Identity and Exclusion in Africa: From Violent Confrontation to Peaceful Cooperation

25–26 July 2001, Senate Hall, University of Pretoria

The theme of the conference and the papers delivered are highly relevant to the establishment of a deep and sustainable democracy, especially in a young democracy such as South Africa. South Africans experience post-colonial and post-apartheid transformation as part of their daily lives. Transformation explicitly linked to democracy should therefore reflect democratic values. What we need in South Africa is not formal democracy, but deep democracy – democracy that would preserve and protect human rights and humane democratic values in a dynamic and responsive way.

Strengthening the Moral Fabric of the South African Workplace: Strategies, Resources and Research

3–4 May 2001, Sanlam Auditorium, Conference Centre, University of Pretoria

The workshop Strengthening the Moral Fabric of the South African Workplace: Strategies, Resources and Research, on which this Seminar Report is based, was aimed at assessing how various sectors of society are coming to terms with moral problems in the workplace through the development of strategies and resources to deal with, among others, mismanagement, corruption in its various forms, work ethic and governance. The workshop was held on 3 and 4 May 2001 at the University of Pretoria.For your convenient download, please find below the report of the proceedings subdivided into pdf-files of the respective chapters.

Constitution and Law IV

Developments in the Contemporary Constitutional State

Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, 2–3 November 2000: “Development in the Contemporary Constitutional State” is a broad theme, though also focused within the ambit of legal scholarship and practice. The focus involves the two most topical issues in contemporary South Africa: the need for development and the development of constitutionalism.

Constitutional Right of Access to Information

The need for a conference dealing with access to information became evident following the promulgation of legislation regulating the constitutional right to access to information. The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 and the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 were enacted to comply with constitutional obligations laid down in section 32(2) (access to information) and section 33(3) (just administrative action) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996. The main purpose of these two statutes, which support and supplement each other, is to ensure the achievement of an open and democratic South Africa by promoting transparency, accountability, good governance and just administration on the part of government. The Promotion of Access to Information Act has gone a step further than the preceding Open Democracy Bill by extending the scope of the right to information held by private bodies – a fact which was debated and discussed at the conference.

Crime and Policing in Transitional Societies

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 30. August – 1. September 2000

While South Africa has faced high levels of crime in the first few years of the establishment of democracy, the country is by no means unique. A number of other societies that have also experienced transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule have undergone similar experiences. In almost all cases, such transitions have been accompanied by equally dramatic changes in economic and social circumstances, some of which have resulted in higher levels of crime.

Provincial Government in South Africa

Umtata, 16–18 August 2000

South Africa is characterised by significant territorially defined communal diversities of, for example, culture, language, ethnicity as well as economic disparities. Historically, pluralist societies such as the United States, Switzerland and India opted for such devolution of power to states, regions or provinces so as to bring about national unity. National unity and political stability were equally influential in persuading the ANC leadership to agree to decentralisation of power to the provinces. The conference aimed at stimulating debate on the role and future of the provincial governments in South Africa and at generating proposals for capacity building and/or alternatives to the present political dispensation. The papers were a blend of theoretical and practical contributions to the ongoing debate around ways of ensuring efficiency, democracy and more responsive governments in the provinces. The conference therefore provided a forum to take a fresh look at the Constitution and to find a new balance in intergovernmental relations.

Social Market Economy and Morality – Contradictory or Complementary?

The economic concept known as “Social Market Economy” has played a central role in the political and social upheavals that the world has witnessed since 1989. These upheavals changed the face of Middle and Eastern Europe with profound implications for many parts of the globe including South Africa.

Constitution and Law IV: Developments in the Contemporary Constitutional State

2–3 November 2000, Faculty of Law, Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education

Report on the proceedings of a conference conducted in conjunction with Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education on Development in the Contemporary Constitutional State - which is a broad theme, though also focused within the ambit of legal scholarship and practice. The focus involved the two most topical issues in contemporary South Africa: the need for development and the development of constitutionalism. The conference addressed the theme in four sessions:The significance of constitutional values Urban and rural land planning and development Environmental law implications of mining The limitation of export risks

Southern Africa and Mercosur/l: Reviewing the Relationship and Seeking Opportunities

24–25 October 2000, São Paulo, Brazil

Two questions arose at the Sao Paulo event which the presentations essentially sought to address: Was there a common regional interest in progressing with a closer inter-regional relationship? If so, how could the relationship be taken forward?Until now, the regional relationship has conceptually been handled at two levels: first, at the political level under the broad rubric of “South–South” cooperation. This has included dealings through the Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the South Atlantic (ZPCSA), the Valdivia environmental groupingBut there is apparently more to the relationship than just freer trade and investment flows.Both Southern Africa and South America are grappling with the challenges of globalisation, of attempting to bridge the growing divide between what was described at the conference as “the digitally empowered and marginalised”. Closer cooperation might help to devise new norms, regimes and global architecture to cope with these difficulties by:developing strategies to reduce poverty, fight crime and narrow income disparitiesestablishing conditions of good public governance and assisting market reformssetting the standards for international best practice.