South Africa

51 million people
6,690 USD GNI (PPP)
Partly Free

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Freedom House’s latest Freedom in the World report paints a bleak picture of democracy and human rights in Africa overall, with 88 percent of the population living in countries designated either Not Free or Partly Free. Nevertheless, there were a number of small victories on the continent during 2013, even in countries where the prevailing trend remains negative.

In this video blog, Freedom House consultant Professor Susan Booysen discusses how South Africans view Nelson Mandela’s lasting impact on democracy, how they compare his rule with that of the current ANC government, and what effects they expect his passing to have on South African politics.

Though they express deep disappointment with the government and its leaders, South Africans retain faith in the country’s 20-year old democracy and strong support for the ANC, a new Freedom House report concludes.

For those aiming to promote democracy around the globe, Mandela’s life holds invaluable lessons for current and future struggles for freedom. He is renowned for his principled opposition to a racist and undemocratic regime in South Africa, but his cause was also the cause of all people who seek to uphold the universal principles of liberty and equality, anywhere in the world.




Senior Director for Program Strategy, Development and Learning and Director for Central, East and West Africa Programs

Project Director, Southern Africa

Signature Reports

Special Reports

Strengthening participation of young people in South Africa's electoral and democratic processes

The political parties vary in impressions as to the specificity (or not) of issues that concern the youth. The issues are both substantive (concerning aspects of public policy and government action) and procedural (relevant to participation in elections and politics). Parties strive to expand their use of social media. However, the diverse demographic backgrounds of their supporters dictate that they will use a mix of traditional media (pamphlets, newsletters, speeches, door-to-door grassroots visits), intermediary electronic media (SMS and email), and social or new media (Twitter, Facebook, Mxit, WhatsApp, Google broadcasts, podcasts).


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