Mbali Ntuli’s organisation will enhance civic education

Mbali Ntuli, a community activist and former DA councillor in eThekwini metro, has launched a non-profit organisation called Ground Work Collective (GWC).

Speaking at a media briefing at the Rand Club in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Ntuli said the GWC will address three main issues affecting South Africans: civic participation and democracy, skills development and entrepreneurship, and food production to combat food insecurity.

As the 2024 national elections approach, Ntuli stated that the GWC will aim to equip and empower citizens to participate in democratic processes.

She said the organisation will enhance civic education and enable accessible engagement platforms at community levels with the goal of increasing voter turnout in future elections.

Ntuli expressed her belief that active organisation and education can create political effectiveness, and that simply knowing how to vote is not enough.

“It has been shown in research that if people know how to use democracy and get some kind of outcome, they are far more willing to be involved in the democratic process of the country,” she said.

“We aim to increase the number of people registered to vote, enhance awareness and understanding of civic rights, processes, and responsibilities through civic education training sessions and enable increased availability of accessible engagement platforms at community levels.”

Ntuli stressed that the GWC will also seek to empower citizens to take control of their lives.

She questioned whether people know how to get answers from their councillors or political parties outside of election time, and if they are aware that they can create urban improvement precincts for their neighborhoods.

According to Ntuli, South Africans do not have to wait for political parties to effect change, saying they can do so themselves and force political parties to take notice of their collective power.

She added that the political status quo will only change once citizens understand how the system works, as one cannot change something they do not understand.

Ntuli also announced her departure from politics and relinquished all her public office duties at once, noting that she will not be joining any political party.

Ntuli, who described the GWC as a personal mission to rekindle hope, said it is different and that she is proud to share how it will serve the country.

“As a public representative, I took seriously the job South Africans entrusted me to do. When I left active politics a year ago, I said I would go back to communities and work on the ground.

“This is not merely a reaction to the current state of our politics. This is a personal mission. Among the many things I was tired of when I left politics, the main one was the political point-scoring across the board, which seemed to erode our country of hope for real change,” she said.

She affirmed that she has no intention of turning the GWC into a political party, but encouraged the emergence of newer, smaller parties that want to participate in national politics.

South Africans need to choose between the existing state of affairs and giving an opportunity to people with the right ideas to change the country, she said.

“I personally have no problem with parties coming up and saying what it is that they stand for. I encourage it and wish that we see more of it.

“Because the more we see of it, the more we get people to be excited that political competition is a normal part of our society.”

The GWC has partnered with philanthropists, influencers, media personalities and the country’s biggest event companies to achieve this end and will be unveiling its first big project next week.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa.

Latest News