The South African Constitution guarantees justiciable socio-economic rights such as the rights to access to housing; to sufficient food and water; to social security and health care services. This ‘transformative constitution’ is meant to help rid the country of legacies of apartheid such as huge economic inequalities and entrenched poverty. The government's embrace of neoliberalism has, however, meant that these legacies have not only remained largely untreated but have also become entrenched. Poor communities have started organizing themselves in order to challenge the government's neoliberal policies as well as marginalization from structures of governance. This paper evaluates the nature of these 'social movements’ as well as their impact on democracy and development.