Life Orientation Essay

1241 words - 5 pages

From 1994 South Africa has been a democracy, it has been led by a government which is decided upon by the people of South Africa in quadrennial national elections. This essay specifically expands upon the 2014 elections and will elaborate on every factor of these elections.
South Africa is a multiparty, constitutional three tier democracy. South Africa’s three arms of state are the Executive (the Presidency and its cabinet), the Legislature (Parliament) and the Judicial. The Legislature has between 350 and 400 seats which are made up of representatives from various parties that are determined through proportional representation from the country’s quadrennial national elections. i.e. if 15% of the country votes for ‘Party A’, Party A will hold 15% of the seats in Parliament. Parliament discusses and decides upon Bills introduced to it by municipalities as well as deciding upon the President of the country, the majority party with the most seats therefore generally has its head as President. The President chooses the rest of their cabinet ministers and is the apex of South Africa’s government.
The multiparty system in South Africa allows a wide variety of choice to the voting citizens in South Africa. The elections which are held every four years not only determine the Legislature for the country but also how their respective municipalities are governed, these local governments are also based on proportional representation. Municipal leaders choose local leaders and both govern for five years until the next set of elections, unless they are unable to continue the position for any reason in which case elections are held again for that specific municipality. The dividing of government into sectors allows South Africans to make a difference as they are involved in deciding upon how their area is governed.
Democracy allows South Africans to choose between multiple different national parties. The majority party, the ANC-African National Congress- has seen an uninterrupted term of Presidency since South Africa’s first national elections of 1994 and has held 264 seats in the National Assembly as of the 2009 elections. Other political parties include the ANC’s main opposition the DA-Democratic Alliance- holding 67 seats; COPE-Congress of the People- holding 30 seats , the IFP-Inkhata Freedom Party- holding 18 seats; and various other smaller parties. The 2014 elections will see new parties on the voting ballots. The EFF-Economic Freedom Fighters- is a new party whose policy, if elected, will be to bring power back to the people in South Africa and therefore go against capitalism. Agang- meaning ‘to build’-is a party whose statement it is to improve South Africa in all sectors and provide freedom to all. Each party has its own values and goals which means for the people of South Africa that they truly have freedom in choice.
With so many parties, however, choice can be difficult, this is one of the reasons why the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission)...

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