We often hear that ‘the government makes all the decisions’ or that the ‘government will build schools and hospitals’. But do we know what ‘government’ really means and what it actually is responsible for?

Government normally consists of ‘legislators’, ‘administrators’ and ‘arbitrators’: Legislators create and pass state law, administrators implement state law and arbitrators enforce state law. There are many different forms of government.

In South Africa, we have a democratic form of government. The South African government is made up of a group of representatives that we elect through periodically held elections. We refer to it as a representative government. Periodically held elections allow us ordinary citizens to determine who should manage and govern the country, and therefore represent our interests.