The real task of the 21st century is to expand the circle of opportunity, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told delegates at a gala dinner in Pretoria on Tuesday.
"Freedom, democracy are great accomplishments of the 19th and 20th centuries. But now comes the hard part, how does democracy deliver?
"How does it make it possible for more and more people to enter that circle of opportunity to make lives better for themselves and their families?"
Clinton commended the work done by her South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in the past three years.
"We work together in order to produce results. Minister Mashabane is effective. She is effective, so grounded in the needs and aspirations of the people of South Africa," she said.
"Having these jobs is not an end in itself... they are prestigious, they carry status, people drive you around, they protect you. But having a job is not the point, it's using the job to make life better."
After a record snow fall in the nine provinces, Clinton was named by the hosts as Nimkita - the one who brought the snow.
"Nimkita will be a name that I will proudly bear," Clinton laughed.
Her business delegation has held talks over the last two days on strengthening trade and investment relations between the two countries.
She announced a number of partnerships with South Africa in areas including education, small business development and the fight against HIV/Aids.