Welcome to FES South Africa

On this website you will find  information about the work of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in South Africa. Our office is part of the extensive network of the FES, with more than 100 offices worldwide. The guiding principles of our international work are to promote democracy and development worldwide, contribute to peace and security, help shape globalisation into an inclusive process and support the widening and deepening of the European Union.

In South Africa we contribute to policy dialogues on democracy, on a sustainable social market economy, and on North-South and South-South Cooperation in a globalised world.

We keep you up to date about our publications, events and activities in South Africa and the region. If you have any suggestions or comments or if you want to contact us, please don’t hesitate to send us an email.


National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI): The Right to Strike!

On Wednesday 10 September, the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI) in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) held a seminar under the theme “The Right to Strike”. The purpose of the half-day seminar was to discuss, explore and interrogate the nature of strikes in South Africa in order to understand and prevent elements of violence.


BRICS in Africa: Challenges & Opportunities

On 10 September, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in partnership with the South African Embassy in Berlin, held an international symposium and public panel discussion on “BRICS in Africa: German/European and African Prespectives” in Berlin, Germany. One of the key issues for the BRICS-North Partnership is the question of potential complementarities (or competition) of future development mechanisms like the development bank of the BRICS with Northern institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. This is also related to the question whether and what role Germany can play in the relations between the BRICS and Europe.

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Women in Marikana – ‘The Invisible Hands’

You are warmly invited to the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa breakfast seminar, featuring Presenter Asanda Benya (SWOP PhD Fellow) who will be delivering a presentation entitled “Women in Marikana: the invisible hands”.

Fort Hare Autumn School, 5-7 September 2014

Fort Hare Autumn School, 5-7 September 2014

On 5-7 September 2014, FES South Africa in collaboration with the University of Fort Hare held the third of four annual sessions of the Fort Hare Autumn School in Chintsa, Eastern Cape. In the course of the weekend seminar we talked about land reform, South Africa’s education system and the role and performance of Student Representative Councils (SRC’s), as well as labour relations and bargaining councils in South Africa. Continue reading


29 SEPT | SACSIS: Land Reform and Traditional Leadership in South Africa

SACSIS and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung invite you to a panel discussion on rural land reform with a special focus on traditional authorities and their impact on access to land and economic opportunities for South Africa’s rural poor, notably rural women. What does King Goodwill Zwelithini’s new claim on the land of KwaZulu-Natal portend for land reform in South Africa?


Fort Hare Autumn School, September Session 2014

The next Fort Hare Autumn School session for 2014 will take place 5-7 September in Chintsa, Eastern Cape. The purpose of this weekend seminar is to deepen understanding of South Africa’s Education Challenges, Land Issues and Labour Relations, and we would like the students to think critically about the many challenges involved in restoring ‘justice’ due to the complexities involved.


Unions and Social Movements: The Brazilian Experience

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa office will be present and serve as moderators of a NUMSA seminar addressing the question of whether trade union federations like Cosatu and Nactu should open their membership to social movements, rural organizations, students and community organizations, and the consequences of such membership in strengthening struggles on the shop floor and communities.


What Is the Role of the Social Justice Commentator In Public Interest Journalism?

In late July 2014, Steven Friedman provided a lecture on ‘What is the role of the social justice commentator in public interest journalism?’ to the team of writers at the South African Civil Society Information Service (SACSIS) at their reflection workshop. Watch the video here.

From left to right: Romi Reinecke (Programme Manager, FES South Africa),   Dr Dic Lo (SOAS), Prof Alfredo Saad-Filho (SOAS), Prof CP Chandrasekhar (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Prof Susan Spronk (University of Ottawa), Prof Ricardo Torres (University of Havana), Prof Galip Yalman (Middle East Technical University), Dr Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand), Prof Oscar Fernandez (University of Havana), Dr Aurelia Segatti (University of the Witwatersrand), Dr Tim Pringle (SOAS)

‘Structural Change in Emerging Countries’ Authors Workshop

From 21-22 July 2014, FES South Africa held a roundtable discussion with experts on “Structural Change in Emerging Countries”. The outcome was a policy briefing paper which aims to influence European policy towards a more progressive understanding of the structural transformation in emerging countries.