Is South Africa’s hard-won democracy losing confidence at the grass roots? Is democracy working for poor people living in and around Pietermaritzburg? The communities generally respect the work of the Independent Electoral Commission. They all see the electoral process as being free and fair. They have largely put the political violence of the eighties and nineties in KwaZulu-Natal behind them and there is greater tolerance among political parties. Women leaders are stepping forward with confidence and earning their communities’ respect in decision-making roles.