Lawrence Hamilton is the SA UK Bilateral Chair in Political Theory, based at the Universities of theWitwatersrand and Cambridge. He contributes to rethink political theory from and for the Global South. His works include Amartya Sen (2019), Freedom is Power (2014) and The Political Philosophy of Needs (2003).
Critical South has now launched a podcast! Keep an eye out for new episodes each month where we talk political theory and tackle all sorts of contemporary political issues.
South Africa’s electoral reform: a missed opportunity
In our inaugural episode this month we’re looking at the very touchy subject of electoral reform in South Africa.
Just this week South African President Cyril Ramaphosa finally signed the Electoral Amendment Act into law. But within days there is already a group of civil society organisations plan to challenge it in the Constitutional Court.
Are you keen to understand why they’re so unhappy with the amended law? Why not get some insights into the new law through this interview between Professor Lawrence Hamilton and Dr Sithembile Mbete, who was on the ministerial advisory committee for the amended law.
Mbete has a hearty one-on-one with Hamilton giving us the backstory to the Electoral Amendment Act, which came about after the Constitutional Court ruled that the Electoral Act was unconstitutional and needed to be amended.
But there is still a lot of unhappiness about the legislated changes. Dr Mbete tells us all about it – and why it’s still problematic.
Delving deeper into electoral reform later in the show she tells us about developing democratic sustenance, on vehicles for political representation, and why the youth are not just not going to the polls anymore. This spells trouble!
Also, in our political agenda feature we jet to Chile where Dr Camila Vergara tells us how an increase in metro fare in Chile led to a long process of deliberation, dispute and debate that ended in a radical constitution that was never adopted.
And to top it all off, Mbete gives us some critical insights into Julius Malema – the sometimes contentious character behind the men and women in red overalls in South Africa’s parliament.