Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Institute for Security Studies hosted an open democracy colloquium at the institute’s Cape Town offices on 4 November 2014.

The Foundation spoke to some of the people in the audience at the open democracy colloquium to find their views are on the Protection of State Information Bill, and how important it is to have open discussions about state issues. These are their views:

Mr  Narend  Singh  Inkatha  Freedom  Party   Chief  Whip
Mr Narend Singh, Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip: It was a very interesting discussion about openness, democracy and transparency. There is a need for politicians and NGOs to come together and have open discussions, to see how we can pool our resources in ensuring that this government is a transparent one and that the people on the ground get full benefits from the taxpayers’ money.
Waleed  Heyn   Blikkiesdorp Resident
Waleed Heyn, Blikkiesdorp resident: When it comes to the issue of information, our people do not even know how to use a simple computer. The government needs to offer skills development. I learnt so much from being here and I must applaud the organisers for this initiative.
Khaya Xintolo Right2Know, Khayelitsha: I thought it was only at community level that people had no access to information, but now I know it is like that everywhere. People need to be informed about how to get information, and maybe it can help them to have the courage to bring their issues to the government.
Hazel  Bowen  Former  National  President At  South  African  Association Of  Women  Graduates
Hazel Bowen, Former national president of the South African Association of Women Graduates: This discussion has reminded me of the current state in the country, and what activists are experiencing. To me, what came out very strongly is the whole issue of people being timid about taking up issues.
Marie  Lou  Roux  Member Of The  Habitat  Council
Marie-Lou Roux, Member of the Habitat Council: I am very concerned that so few members of the public participated in discussions like this. If we can’t get educated people of Cape Town to take part, how will we be able to get the rest of the people in the country, who have no access to newspapers and television, involved?