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George Washington University

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy


This study seeks to explore perceptions and understandings of democracy in South Africa twenty years post-apartheid. Information from interviews with fifty South African citizens in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal was supplemented with interviews with five experts from institutions relevant to democratic development. Participants agreed that South Africa was a democracy, but disagreed on the meanings of democracy, South Africa’s democratic performance to date, and future prospects for democracy. The learner concludes that, in order to improve the quality of democratic governance in the country, South Africans must engage in a national dialogue about what democracy is and where it is meant to take them. Building a common understanding will enable South Africans to exploit significant opportunities to strengthen their democracy in the next five to ten years.


African Studies | Political Science



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