- Role players
- Programmes and projects Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)
- Children and youth
- People with disabilities
- Older people
The Department of Social Development continues to develop and implement an array of programmes that not only protect South Africans against poverty, but also build and strengthen community capacity for self-reliance.
The department initiated a campaign called Taking the Department of Social Development to Communities to foster partnerships between government and community organisations.
Through this campaign, the department will train 580 community development practitioners and 300 community based organisations on community development and stimulate developmental initiatives in 100 communities. It also partnered Soul City, the Seriti Institute and the South African Broadcasting Corporation to launch a 10-part series called Kwanda Talk in June 2012.
Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
The Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities is responsible for the effective coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the programmes that are aimed at empowering and upholding the rights of women, children and people with disabilities.
National Development Agency (NDA)The NDA is tasked with supporting the work of civil society in key areas of concern according to the mandate of the Department of Social Development. It is an important partner in the department's efforts to promote early childhood development (ECD) by using its grants to strengthen the capacities of ECD community service organisations.
The organisations will similarly support the department's efforts to reduce violence against women and children by providing key support to the gender-based violence sector.
National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)The NYDA creates and promotes coordination in youth development matters.
February 2012 saw the launch of the Ithubalentsha Micro Enterprise Programme, which provides young aspirant and established entrepreneurs with training, mentorship, microenterprise finance, market linkages and access to business opportunities.
In July 2012, 10 youths each from South Africa and France participated by working as volunteers in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) in the two countries through a partnership between NYDA, Service Civique (a French institution responsible for voluntary civic service) and loveLife.
South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)Sassa's core business is to administer, finance and pay social security transfers. Sassa ensures the provision of comprehensive social security services against vulnerability and poverty within the constitutional and legislative framework.
Central Drug Authority
The Central Drug Authority's key functions are:
- giving effect to the National Drug Master Plan
- advising the Minister of Social Development on any matters affecting the substance and drug abuse environment
- promoting measures relating to the prevention and combatting of the abuse of drugs.
Advisory Board on Social Development
The Advisory Board on Social Development's key functions include:
- advising the Minister of Social Development on all matters related to social development
- identifying, promoting, monitoring and evaluating policy, legislation and programmes regarding social development
- facilitating dialogue with and the participation of civil society.
South African Council of Social Service Professionals
The South African Council of Social Service Professionals promotes and ensures ethical behaviour and attitudes on the part of all social service professionals.
These include social workers, social workers in private practice, social auxiliary workers, community development workers and practitioners, probation officers, assistant probation officers, child and youth care workers, youth workers, ECD practitioners and care workers, including community based personal care workers.
National Action Committee for Children Affected by HIV and AIDS
The National Committee for Children Affected by HIV and AIDS is a multisectoral structure made up of government departments, community service organisations, development agencies and donor organisations.
It is a formal structure used for collaborative planning and decision-making concerning issues pertaining to orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS.
Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)
The EPWP is a nationwide programme under the auspices of government and state-owned enterprises. It is aimed at drawing significant numbers of unemployed people into productive work, accompanied by training, to increase their capacity to earn an income.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme
The department held a successful ECD conference in the Eastern Cape in March 2012. The aim was to consolidate a shared understanding of the importance of ECD among various role players within government, as well as its partners in civil society, academia, United Nations (UN) agencies and the ECD caregivers and practitioners.
By June 2012, 870 834 children had access to ECD programmes, which was an increase of 22 834 children from birth to five years old having access to ECD programmes since February 2012. The department also ensured that 412 ECD programmes comply with the norms and standards. A further 407 partial care facilities were also registered.
Social security and assistanceSouth Africa's social assistance programme expanded from covering just 2,7 million people in 1994 to over 16 million in 2012. About 2,9 million were older people, while 11,5 million were beneficiaries of the child support grant.
By March 2012, South Africa had about 15,6 million social grant beneficiaries and the number was expected to grow to 16,8 million in the following three years. More than 10 million of these were children.
In 2012, the department completed a study into the option of changing social grants into family benefits instead of individual benefits.
In March 2012, the first stage of re-registering all social grant beneficiaries was started. More than 15 million social grant beneficiaries in the country were re-registered. Sassa conducted home visits between March and June 2012 to accommodate beneficiaries over 75 years old and bedridden beneficiaries at institutions such as hospitals.
As from April 2012, pensioners received R1 200, while foster care grants increased by R30 to R770 and the child support grant to R280.
Job creation and alleviating poverty
In responding to the economic downturn, government resolved to undertake and implement several measures to curb and minimise its impact.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) provided relief to 705 856 unemployed people between April 2011 and March 2012. R5,6 billion was spent for this purpose. Training takes place in cooperation with the sector education and training authorities. In implementing the scheme, the Minister of Labour approved two training initiatives in 2011/12 for the 2012/13 period.
Collaboration between the UIF and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) saw more than 16 000 jobs created and more than 18 000 work opportunities saved. The Compensation Fund also increased pension benefits from R277 860 to R292 032. The 5,1% increase translates into R900 per month. Maximum compensation funeral benefits increased from R13 050 to R13 716.
The Food Banks Programme, which is part of the Zero Hunger Strategy, is an important channel through which vulnerable people access food. Between January and March 2012, the Food Banks Programme distributed about 3,8 million meals. They reached approximately 320 000 beneficiaries a month working through 1 600 agencies composed of NGOs and CBOs.
HIV and AIDS supportThe National Strategic Plan on HIV, AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis (TB) 2012 – 2016, which addresses the social drivers and social impact of HIV and AIDS, is a key component of the department's fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The expansion of loveLife's Groundbreaker Partnership Programme aims to strengthen the loveLife Mphintshi Initiative by linking it to the EPWP and the prevention programme in relation to home-/community-based care and support.
The HIV and AIDS Youth Programme's services now reach marginalised and vulnerable youth in rural areas. It focuses on preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS among young people.
Achieving a meaningful and clear understanding of the scientific facts about HIV and AIDS will lead to individual self-management regarding the risk of HIV infection.
The Department of Social Development continues to strengthen its partnerships with national and international organisations involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The department chairs the National Action Committee for Children made Vulnerable by HIV and AIDS, which is a multi-sectoral team comprising government, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations, civil society, the business sector, the UN Children's Fund (Unicef) and Save the Children. Its focus is on the care and support of orphans and vulnerable children.
National Family Policy
The Department of Social Development is tasked with implementing the National Family Policy and provides training in family preservation services, marriage preparation and enrichment, parenting/primary care-giving and families in crisis to service providers in the area of family services.
In May 2012, the Department of Social Development released the Green Paper on Families [PDF], which emphasises the need for all to build strong families that protect the most vulnerable members of society.
Prevention and treatment of substance and drug abuse
In 2012, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Anti-Substance Abuse consolidated its legislative review initiatives focusing on banning alcohol advertising, raising the age limit for alcohol consumption from 18 to 21 years, closing down all illegal shebeens and those located near schools and places of worship.
Social work scholarshipsAs part of its efforts to develop skills and empower the youth, the Department of Social Development invited Grade 12 learners to apply for social-work scholarships. In 2011, the department had 4 735 students in its programme at various institutions of higher learning.
South Africa has acceded to and signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and other related conventions and protocols. The aim is to provide care and protection to all children, guided by international and national legal frameworks.
In 2011/12, more than 23 000 children were placed in foster care, bringing the total to more than 536 000. A major outcome of government's adoption awareness campaign was an increase in the number of adoption cases, with about 1 620 registered in the course of the year. Some 194 of these were international adoptions.
South Africa acknowledges the importance of international cooperation in support of national efforts towards the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and its optional protocol to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities in every state, particularly in developing countries.
The IDC, in partnership with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, through its Transformation and Entrepreneur Scheme, committed over R200 million towards the women empowerment fund and R50 million for people with disabilities.
Blind SA is an organisation for the blind, and is governed by the blind. Situated in Johannesburg, it is aligned with other member organisations throughout South Africa.
Blind SA's main focus is to improve the quality of life of all South Africa's visually impaired people by empowering them through education.
The South African Braille Authority
The South African Braille Authority was established in May 2012 as an non-governmental organisation. Its purpose is to set and maintain standards for Braille in all 11 official languages of South Africa.
These standards relate to development and maintenance of Braille codes; production of quality Braille; the teaching of, access to and promotion of Braille; Braille examinations; and many other Braille-related matters.
The South African National Council for the Blind The South African National Council for the Blind is the coordinating body for over 100 member organisations throughout South Africa. These organisations span the full spectrum of services offered for and to blind and partially sighted persons.
Support for the deaf
South Africa's national organisation for the deaf is the Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA), formerly the South African National Council for the Deaf, which was established in 1929. DeafSA has nine provincial chapters throughout South Africa.
An estimated 500 000 to 600 000 South Africans use South African Sign Language.
To celebrate the 2012 International Day of Older Persons, which is observed on 1 October every year, President Jacob Zuma hosted a number of the country's senior citizens, as well as dignitaries such as the Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini and her deputy, Ms Maria Ntuli, at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.
President Zuma made use of the opportunity to encourage society to reflect on the contribution of older people to society in general, and to encourage communities to provide care and support to elderly people in need of care.