Monday marked 25 years since former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk stood side by side to accept their joint Nobel Peace Prize.
Today De Klerk believes South Africa has had a mixed bag of successes and failures - but is a better place than it was before then.
Mandela and De Klerk were announced joint Nobel Peace Prize winners in October 1993 for their role in the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa. The award ceremony was held in Oslo two months later.
"We have come a long way since 1994‚ but we still have a very long way to go to achieve our constitutional vision‚" De Klerk said on Monday‚ reflecting on the 25 years since he received the prestigious award and on 24 years of SA's democracy.
"We remain a vibrant and genuine multiparty democracy‚ but struggle sometimes to ensure openness‚ responsiveness and accountability.
"At the very moment that Mr Mandela and I were receiving the Nobel Peace Prize‚ negotiators from all our political parties were putting the finishing touches to an interim constitution that would provide the basis for our nonracial constitutional democracy‚" said De Klerk in a statement issued by his foundation.
He noted that the interim constitution included immutable principles that in 1996 were distilled into the foundational values in section 1 of our final constitution‚ including human dignity; the achievement of equality; the advancement of human rights and freedoms; non-racialism; non-sexism; the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law; and a system of multiparty democratic government that is accountable‚ responsive and open.
"All South Africans now enjoy human dignity that our constitution enshrines - but what does human dignity mean in circumstances in which 40% our people live in poverty and unemployment?" he asked on Monday.