Original Research

The notion of participatory democracy in relation to local ward committees: The distribution of power

Leepo J. Modise
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 51, No 1 | a2248 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v51i1.2248 | © 2017 Leepo J. Modise | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 March 2017 | Published: 30 October 2017

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Leepo J. Modise, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa

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This article comprises four important parts: first, the two important components of democracy, namely participatory and non-participatory or representative democracy will be discussed with special reference to the distribution of powers. Second, it will address the roles and responsibilities of ward committees within the democratic society. Third, the ethical question of the basis of the committee members’ capacity to serve on the ward committees in relation to coercive leadership (tyranny of the majority) will be investigated. Fourth, the theological standpoint on the distribution of powers or participatory democracy and the role of the church to improve participatory democracy will be discussed. The research question is the following: What can be done by the country to improve participatory democracy in South Africa, through engagement with ward committees?


Participatory; Democracy; Ward Committee; Distribution of power


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