About the New South Institute

The Challenge

In 1994 South Africa became a democracy for the first time. The euphoria was both local and global as South Africans and the rest of the world looked forward to a new era of equality, shared prosperity, and non-racialism. Thirty years later this idea of South Africa is in tatters. We are convinced that the reason lies in the current system of government, and the weak and unaccountable institutions that make it up.

In South Africa, like in many other parts of the world, weak public institutions are unable to deliver democracy’s promises. Working out how to build effective and accountable institutions in such complex  environments is the number one challenge for the world and the new south, in particular. Solving this problem in South Africa provides key lessons for solving it everywhere.

Our Impact

NSI’s purpose is to provide evidence-based policy and applied research on complex problems of government in delicate democracies. We will judge our success on whether our insights and recommendations lead to actions by government to improve performance of state institutions and the other cornerstone institutions of democracy.

Our People

Our Aim

The New South Institute (NSI) is not simply a research institute and policy advisory - though we are excellent at that. The NSI believes that people with passion can change the world by building democracies and capable governments - especially in fragile democracies that live with challenges of state capture, social fragmentation and civil war. This is what we call the New South.


General Inquiries

If you have any questions or queries, please contact:

+27 10 157 2037
NSI Office. The Link. 173 Oxford Road, Rosebank 1F 2196 Johannesburg/Gauteng
Media contact

To contact our communications and public relations officer, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone.


The NSI also recruits temporary staff to carry out its research and projects. If you are interested in working with us, please send an email with your CV, the project you would like to work on, and a brief description of your research interests. NSI also offers scholarship opportunities. Please visit our scholarships page for details. Temporary researcher vacancies are advertised on our LinkedIn page.