The South African elections of 1994 marked a fundamental turning point in the country’s democratic transformation. As the ANC-led government of national unity took control, beleaguered apartheid institutions were dismantled and a new constitutional, legal, and policy environment emerged. The transformative agenda extended well beyond a new vision of basic human and political rights for all South Africans. There was also a pressing need to address the economic legacy of apartheid: staggering inequalities, widespread poverty, unequal access to social services and infrastructure, and an economy that had been in crisis for nearly two decades. Has economic policy in the democratic era been successful in reducing the social deficit left by the apartheid regime? This Policy Brief grapples with this question by analyzing some key socioeconomic trends in South Africa since the ’94 elections.