In the past, non formal education in South Africa was committed to supporting the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM) in opposition to apartheid. Such non-formal political education was concerned with education for democracy, that is, preparing people for democracy. Post 1994, adult education policy has focused on vocational training, which has shifted the focus away from education for social purpose. My concern was that democracy is a process and a system that constantly needs to be nurtured. This requires citizens that know their constitutional rights and responsibilities, and how to put them into action. In view of this, I decided to enquire what kind of education exists that aims to build civil society by promoting social justice and social reconstruction in the new democracy. My research critically investigated and analysed the political education programmes in three organisations in Cape Town, South Africa. They focused on supporting the efforts of people who are unemployed (Alternative Information and Development Centre), shop stewards (Congress of South African Trade Unions) and HIV positive people (Treatment Action Campaign).