What is a Responsive Citizen?

In this video we explain the concept of Responsive Citizenship.

Responsive citizens are community members who actively participate in the realization of their rights and in the fulfilment of their duties. The right to public participation requires any public administration, including municipalities, to foster participatory democracy on the basis of informed and empowered citizenship.

Citizens have the right to ongoing interactions with the people they elected. Municipalities must, therefore, foster a culture of community participation by creating mechanisms, processes and procedures for community participation; providing information; giving notice of meetings and other events; allowing the public to these meetings and providing documentation to the public and creating a website.

According to the Municipal Systems Act, when we make recommendations, representations and other presentations to the municipality we have the right to receive prompt responses; be informed of the decisions; be informed of municipal affairs; demand that meetings are open, free and fair; use public facilities and access public services.

Citizens also have certain duties: we must observe the processes, pay our municipal bills, respect the rights of community members, allow staff on our property, and obey municipal bylaws. The ward committees are an important way for the public to communicate. If we have tried to communicate but have failed we can also run petitions and engage in peaceful demonstrations.

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