Students for a Democratic Society South Africa formed in 2019 at Stellenbosch University. A group of students started a political philosophy reading group and decided to band together around their shared frustrations with local, national, and international society and politics. That group of students formed a prefigurative organisation with the goal of spreading political knowledge and literacy, and encouraging critical engagement about those elements of society we take for granted.


As a society, we hold the following values as central to our organisation and vision:


The founding members of SDS came together with the following mutual goals, and formed the society around them:


We are not officially affiliated with the original SDS USA, but we aim to follow in their mission. We, for example, admire their staunch anti-war activism during the Vietnam War era, and their current stances against racism, sexism and homophobia. For more of their history, you can visit sds-1960s.org. A new incarnation of the organisation started in 2006, and you can read more about them at NewSDS.org.