Democracy and Political Culture

The persistence of inequality, exploitation, oppression, violence, corruption and commodification of public services has caused a big credibility crisis for South Africa’s democracy. In the same vein, politics – once thought of as a tool for ordinary people to exercise agency – is increasingly seen as a tool of the elites. At FES we believe that politics and the work of democracy cannot be left to the powerful. Our work supports the building of alliances between progressive activists who work for renewal inside political parties and those who practice politics outside party machineries. We aim to contribute to an inclusive political culture that leans on feminist insights and centers the marginalized voices of the working class, women, youth, and members of the LGBTQI community. We also believe that an inclusive political culture broadens the meaning of participation beyond elections and foregrounds creativity, imagination, agency, renewal and hope. 


| Democracy and Political Culture | Event

The quests for outright majorities by relatively big parties, and efforts to establish ‘kingmaker status’ by smaller ones, reflect their experiences…


08.02.2024 | Democracy and Political Culture | Event, News

Building on the discussions from the National Dialogue on Coalition Governments and enriched by the critical insights from MISTRA’s Coalitions…


Recent Publications

Südafrika Gewerkschaftsmonitor

Südafrika Gewerkschaftsmonitor

Berlin, 2023

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The German due diligence act and the automotive supply chain in Africa

The German due diligence act and the automotive supply chain in Africa

An opportunity for trade union solidarity?
Johannesburg, 2023

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Youth Leadership programme
Youth Project

Youth Leadership programme

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa believes in the power of young people. It invites 20 aspiring and talented students from Eastern Cape Universities (Fort Hare, Rhodes, NMMU) to the 2016 “Fort Hare Autumn School on Social Democracy and Political Economy” – a leadership programme supplementing the formal academic curriculum of university students. More