The Department of Social Development derives its core mandate from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa:
- Section 27 (1) (c) of the Constitution provides for the right of access to appropriate social assistance to those unable support themselves and their dependants.
- In addition, Section 28 (1) of the Constitution sets out the rights of children with regard to appropriate care (basic nutrition, shelter, health care services and social services) and detention.
- Schedule 4 of the Constitution further identifies welfare services, population development and disaster management as functional areas of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence.
The following existing laws or parts thereof, can be regarded as constituting the legislative mandate of the Department of Social Development in South Africa:
|Legislation and/or Policies||Contact Person|
|Aged Persons Act, 1967 (Act 81 of 1967)||Ms N Kela
Ms T Mahlangu
|Fund-raising Act, 1978 (Act 107 of 1978)||Mr S Jehoma|
|Social Service Professions Act, 1978 (Act 110 of 1978)||Ms N Kela|
|Child Care Act, 1983 (Act 74 of 1983)||Dr M Mabetoa
Ms M Ngcobo-Mbere
|National Development Agency Act, 1998 (Act 108 of 1998)||Mr C Pakade|
|Probation Services Act, 1991 (Act 116 of 1991)||Dr M Mabetoa|
|Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act, 1992 (Act 20 of 1992)||Ms N Kela|
|Social Assistance Act, 1992 (Act 59 of 1992)||Mr T Rakoloti|
|Non-profit Organisations Act, 1997 (Act 71 of 1997)||Ms S Luka|
|Welfare Law Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 106 of 1997)||Ms N Kela|
|White Paper for Social Welfare Service (1997)||Ms N Kela|
|Older Persons Amendment Act, 1998 (Act of 1998)||Ms N Kela|
|White Paper on Population for South Africa (1998)||Mr J van Zuydam|
|Advisory Board on Social Development Act, 2001 (Act 3 of 2001)||Mr V Madonsela|
|Social Assistance Act, 2004 (Act 13 of 2004)||Mr S Jehoma|
|South African Social Security Agency Act, 2004 (Act 9 of 2004)||Mr S Jehoma|
|Policy on Financial Awards to Service Providers||Ms S Luka|
All the abovementioned laws, excluding the Welfare Laws Amendment Act, 1997 and the Advisory Board on Social Development Act, 2001 have been amended a number of times since April 1994.
Aged Persons Act, 1967
This Act provides for the protection and welfare of certain aged and debilitated persons, for the care of their interests, for the establishment and registration of certain institutions and for the accommodation and care of such persons in such institutions. The Act was amended a number of times before April 1994. Further amendments were made in November 1994 in order to, amongst others, repeal certain discriminatory provisions and in November 1998 in order to provide for the establishment of management committees for homes for the aged, to require reporting on the abuse of aged persons and to regulate the prevention of the abuse of aged persons. The Department is currently drafting a Bill on the status of older persons.
Fund-raising Act, 1978
The Fund-raising Act, 1978 that provided for control of the collection of contributions from the public and for the establishment of various relief funds was, except for the relief fund chapter thereof, repealed in 1997 by the Non-profit Organisations Act, 1997. The Department is in the process of amending the remaining part of the Act.
Social Service Professions Act, 1978
This Act, formerly known as the Social Work Act, provides for the establishment of the South Africa Council for Social Work and defines its powers and functions. The Act was amended on a number of occasions – in 1995 it provided for the establishment of the South African Interim Council for Social Work and for the rationalisation of certain laws relating to social workers that remained in force in the various areas of the national territory of the Republic. The Act was also amended in 1996 in order to make the South African Interim Council for Social Work more representative of the people of the country. The 1998 amendment established the South African Council for Social Service Professions and professional boards for social service professions.
Child Care Act, 1983
The Child Care Act, 1983 which provides for the establishment of children’s courts and the appointment of commissioners of child welfare, for the protection and welfare of certain children, for the adoption of children and for the establishment of certain institutions for the reception of children and for the treatment of children after such reception, was amended in 1996 to provide for legal representation for children and for the registration of shelters. The 1998 amendment provided for the rights of certain natural fathers where the adoption of their children born out of wedlock has been proposed and for certain notice to be given. The 1999 amendment provided for the establishment of secure care facilities and for the prohibition against the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The Department and the South African Law Commission is currently preparing new comprehensive children’s legislation.
Probation Service Act, 1991
This Act provides for the establishment and implementation of programmes aimed at the combating of crime and for the rendering of assistance to and treatment of certain persons involved in crime. A new amendment Bill has been prepared, which will be introduced in Parliament during April 2002.
Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act, 1992
This Act provides for the establishment of a Central Drug Authority, the establishment of programmes for the prevention and treatment of drug dependency, the establishment of treatment centres and hostels, the registration of institutions as treatment centres and hostels and the committal of certain persons to and their detention, treatment and training in such treatment centres or registered treatment centres. The Act was amended in 1996 to extend the application of the Act to the whole of the national territory of the Republic and in 1999 to establish the Central Drug Authority.
Social Assistance Act, 1992 and Welfare Laws Amendment Act, 1997
The Social Assistance Act, 1992 provides for the rendering of social assistance to persons, national councils and welfare organisations. The Act was amended in 1994 to further regulate the making of grants and financial awards to certain persons and bodies. In 1997 the Welfare Laws Amendment Act, 1997 amended the Social Assistance Act, 1992 in order to provide for uniformity of, equality of access to, and effective regulation, of social assistance throughout the Republic, to introduce the child-support grant, to do away with capitation grants, to abolish maintenance grants subject to the phasing out of existing maintenance grants over a period not exceeding three years, to provide for the delegation of certain powers, and to extend the application of the provisions of the Act to all areas in the Republic.
Non-profit Organisations Act, 1997
This Act repealed the Fund-raising Act, 1997, excluding the chapter, which deals with the relief funds, and provided for an environment in which nonprofit organisations can flourish. The Act also established an administrative and regulatory framework within which nonprofit organisations can conduct their affairs. The Act was amended in 2000 to effect certain textual alterations.
Advisory Board on Social Development Act, 2001
The Act provides for a national advisory structure in the social development sector with the aim of building and consolidating partnership between government and civil society and for that purpose, to establish a body to be known as the Advisory Board on Social Development.
White Paper for Social Welfare (1997)
The White Paper sets out the principles, guidelines, proposed policies and programmes for developmental social welfare in South Africa. As the primary policy document, the White Paper serves as the foundation for social welfare in the post 1994 era.
White Paper Population Policy for South Africa (1998)
The White Paper aims to promote the integration of population issues in development planning with the view to achieving sustainable human development. The Department of Social Development is responsible for monitoring population trends and for supporting national, provincial and local spheres of government through capacity building, research and information dissemination on population issues. Issued by Department of Social Development.
For More Information Contact:
Mr. Kgati Sathekge
Tel: +27 12 312 7775
Cell: 082 808 9486