Transition to Democracy | Facing History & Ourselves
The signing of the Republic of South Africa's Constitution in May 1996.

Transition to Democracy

Examine the continuing struggle for South Africa as it creates a representative democracy, attempts to heal from the legacy of apartheid, and searches for a new, inclusive identity.


  • History
  • Social Studies




English — US



About this Chapter

With the end of apartheid, South Africa worked to confront its past, reshape its national identity, and establish a government that represented all South Africans. This final chapter delves into the lasting legacy of apartheid and the issues the country continues to face today.

  • Why is it important to address the past in the wake of mass violence and division?
  • What are some effective ways to come to terms with past conflicts and atrocities, and how can the needs of victims of past oppression best be met?
  • What steps has South Africa taken to build a strong democracy, and what challenges remain?

This chapter is from the Transition to Democracy section of Confronting Apartheid and includes:

  • 8 readings 
  • Connection Questions

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