A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Rhodes University. Abstract: This thesis examines the transition to democracy in South Africa through the case study methodology. The nature of political participation and the form of democracy to emerge at the end of the transition process are the central subjects of inquiry. They are examined through an in-depth study of the African community of Kwazakele, a township in the Nelson Mandela metropolitan area in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The study covers the period 1993 to 2000, and uses as a primary data source five surveys conducted among residents of Kwazakele during the period. The emphasis of the study lies on the experience of political participation of "ordinary people" - in particular, the African urban working-class in South Africa who make up the core support base for the governing African National Congress.