The word democracy comes from ancient Greek, with ‘demos’ meaning ‘the people’ and ‘kratos’ meaning ‘to rule’. So its literal meaning is rule by the people.

In simple terms, democracy means that the people are entitled to influence important decisions that affect their lives. Instead of having one person making all the decisions in a country, democracy brings together the views and interests of all people so that the future of the country can be decided based on all these views. Democracy is rule by the majority.

South Africa is one of the youngest democracies in the world. Only in 1994, after much struggle and sacrifice, were all citizens granted the right to freely and fairly vote for their representative government, under a democratic Constitution.

We now have a democracy which includes a new Constitution with a vision for “a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights”.