Social and Community Development: National Context

  • Government’s spend on social development increased from R259 billion in 2018 to R278 billion, constituting 15% of the total national budget. The majority of the social development budget was allocated to old age grants (R77 billion), social security funds (R71 billion) and child support grants (R65 billion).

  • According to Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA’s) General Household Survey, there were about 58 000 children living in a total of 32 000 child-only households across South Africa in 2017.

  • Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Quarter 2, 2019  found that unemployment had risen to 29%, or 6.6 million people, up from 27% in the same period in 2018. This marks the highest level of unemployment that South Africa experienced since the first quarter of 2003. Youth unemployment also continued to rise, from 55% in 2018, to 56% in 2019.

Guidelines for Effective Funding in Social and Community Development

  • The complexity of challenges within the social development sector requires collaboration between experienced development partners, to ensure a combination of sound development principles, skills and innovation.

  • Invest in establishing service hubs for community-based organisations. Bringing complementary services together makes them more accessible to community members and facilitates more comprehensive responses, which can deepen the impact in a particular locality.

  • Where possible, build the capacity of the people within the organisations that you support.

  • Make a concerted effort to understand women’s concerns and include them in decision-making forums when supporting community development. Women’s voices, and the development of leadership capacity among women, are crucial for effective and long-term development.

National Directives in Social and Community Development

Disability policy, 2009

This policy focuses on the provision of integrated social services for people with disabilities. It seeks to guide the mainstreaming of disability in the development and implementation of all government policies and programmes, and to reverse the legacy of apartheid by applying a ‘social model’ approach to disability, based on the premise that, if society cannot cater for people with disabilities, it must change. It adheres to the objectives of the 1997 White Paper on Social Welfare, and builds on the 1997 Integrated National Disability Strategy which aims to create an inclusive society and welfare system that facilitates the development of human capacity and self-reliance within a caring and enabling socio economic environment.

The New Growth Path Framework, 2010

This framework promotes employment and growth in South Africa’s economy. It aims to create five million jobs and to reduce unemployment, from 25% to 15%, over 10 years. Infrastructure, the green economy, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism are identified as priority areas for job creation, through a series of partnerships between the state and private sector. Major improvements in government are proposed, with a call for slashing unnecessary red tape, improving competition in the economy andaccelerating skills development.

Women empowerment and gender equality, 2013

This bill seeks to protect and promote women's reproductive health, eliminate discrimination and harmful practices, including gender-based violence, and improve access to education and skills development. It calls for the progressive realisation of at least 50% representation of women in decision-making structures, giving effect to Section 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, in so far as the empowerment of women and gender equality is concerned. This bill complements other policies that touch on women’s empowerment and/or gender equality, such as the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes.