South Africa: Building Democracy


A three-part documentary series examining the changes taking place since the 1994 elections ushered in a majority government led by Nelson Mandela. Each hour-long episode profiles two South Africans who are helping to build a new nation from the rubble left by nearly fifty years of apartheid. Distributed by the University of California, Center for Media and Independent Learning.

South Africa: Building Democracy Part 1 — 52 min.

Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, a Roman Catholic priest, was tortured and imprisoned during the apartheid era. He was recently elected to Parliament and helps pass a new Constitution.

Claudette Yakobi lives in an infamous squatter camp called Phola Park. Although the living conditions are shocking, Claudette and the other residents of this squatter camp work together to build a better life for themselves.

South Africa: Building Democracy Part 2 — 52 min.

Sarah Khambane is a health worker in the Northern Province of South Africa, a province known for its right-wing Afrikaners. Sarah teaches primary health care to black farm workers on white-owned farms.

Selven Chetty, a violence monitor, struggles to help contain the simmering civil war that has long threatened the stability of the province now called KwaZulu-Natal.

South Africa: Building Democracy Part 3 — 52 min.

Dawie De Villiers, an Afrikaner businessman living in Pretoria, tries to conduct business in a country now run by blacks. He threatens to leave the country if standards begin to slide and crime is not brought under control.

Thandi Orleyn-Sekete, a lawyer, is national director of IMSSA, South Africa’s largest independent mediation and arbitration service. Thandi argues that, with training, blacks can deliver the same standards as whites. She cautions, however, that providing high standards for everyone is a lot harder than providing high standards only for whites.

FilmsSam Kauffmann