Dear Friends,

Since we launched the Rivonia Circle in January, we have held most of our conversations online, specifically on Twitter Spaces every Sunday at 7pm. We have discussed a range of topics that range from political change, constitutional rights, and activism, among others. These have attracted a cumulative audience of over 30 000 people.

We have also initiated and facilitated various initiatives, including our first Democracy Builder workshop, which took place in Thohoyandou, Limpopo during February. We also held our first Political Theatre training session in Diepkloof.  And this is just a start. We will be ramping up the volume and reach of our work in the coming weeks, extending our network and reach to other provinces and communities, often doing up to three events in one week.

This outreach is important because initiatives like ours are often confined to metropolitan areas and in a middle or upper-class setting. We are determined to be as accessible as possible and to as many people as possible. We want to get a first-hand understanding of what millions of South Africans are grappling with in their communities and what they think the appropriate solutions would be. In this way, our public policy development work will be better informed and more responsive, helping the experts we will be working with to propose alternatives that will resonate with ordinary people.

Discourse for its own sake does not deliver results, however.

It is time for people with both capability and a strong sense of patriotism to come together to talk about the future of South Africa, and what organized thinking, organizing and action should look like to make that future a reality. It is not possible to make systematic changes in any country without systematic approaches where people who share the same values, principles and priorities devise actionable plans and commit to implementing them.

South Africans have different concerns, from local service delivery, an effective education or health system to a transformed, inclusive economy that creates millions of employment opportunities. These issues cannot be successfully dealt with in isolation. Only a systematic approach will deliver sustainable national prosperity.

From Saturday, 12 March and every month thereafter, we will be hosting a series of conversations in Johannesburg and other major centres around the country, where we will set out a frame for this critical national discourse. We will solicit and capture the views of participants so we can finalize and implement a comprehensive program of action in which many more people can participate.

Please click HERE if you want to be part of Saturday’s discussion, which will be physical and online.

We look forward to your participation.

The Rivonia Circle Team