Democracy is always a work-in-progress – it is a dynamic governing system and a method at the same time. Democracy Works Foundation will strive to promote wider civic engagement to nurture this dynamism, and to contribute to the realisation of the core governing principles enshrined in the preamble of the South African constitution.
For example, Democracy Works will facilitate activities that are impartial in relation to political formations. That said, DW is partial in the choice for wanting democracy to work and to deliver more effectively and efficiently.
The negotiation process for South Africa’s democratic constitution, promulgated in 1996, was an inclusive and authentic South African process. While taking lessons from existing democracies across the world, no outside interference was allowed. South Africans chose to do it their own way, and completed the constitution writing process successfully.
Democracy Works seeks to build on this tradition, and recognises that democracy has to develop from within – through inclusive processes – in order to be sustainable.
Beyond the borders of South Africa (because Democracy Works recognises that democracy does not develop in isolation) experiences from elsewhere can inform the ongoing debate about our own choices for improving our democratic performance. At the same time, the debate about democratic development has been dominated by experiences in the Northern hemisphere.
Democracy Works aspires to contribute in raising the voices of the South in international platforms, in which experience and lessons on democracy are shared. These experiences will be drawn upon to invest in building stronger South-to-South platforms to link the deepening of democracy with building more equal and just societies.