South Africa

Belgium has supported South Africa’s democratic transition process and socio-economic development since 1998. Even though South Africa finds itself in a good economic situation compared to the majority of other African countries, it still faces major socio-economic challenges. Governmental development cooperation with South Africa will end in 2019 and give way to other forms of cooperation.

What we do

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Land reform and rural development

South Africa’s present 'land question' is rooted in a history of dispossession of land during Apartheid and the decline of peasant agriculture. Although significant progress has been made in land redistribution since 1994, it has become clear that the Land Reform is not delivering on some of its multiple ambitious objectives.

Since 2011, Belgium supports the South African government in ensuring that livelihoods of land reform beneficiaries and rural citizens are enhanced through better coordinated and integrated policies and services. The emphasis lies on improving policy implementation and feed-back, especially between national, provincial and municipal authorities, and promoting participatory processes to develop the municipal space. There is also a strong focus on rural economic transformation through integrated land reform and rural development interventions 


Belgium and the South African National Treasury founded the Tirelo Bosha Grants Facility that currently funds more than 40 pilot projects in a variety of public service delivery fields: education, health, housing, transport, … Emphasis is put on building the capacity of government staff and promoting initiatives that introduce innovative ways of doing things. The overall goal is to further support those initiatives that demonstrate improved, sound and feasible support mechanisms and processes and replicate those best practises.

Building academic partnerships for economic development

“Building Academic Partnerships for Economic Development” is a scholarship program that builds longstanding partnerships between South African and Belgian academic institutions. It aims to improve business-oriented skills development, training and research in a limited number of priority areas that are key for the economic development of South Africa - such as ICT, health (biostatistics) and the maritime sector.

Young South Africans can apply for scholarships for professional Bachelors, national and international exchanges, short term trainings and knowledge sharing activities such as seminars, study tours, exchange visits, etc. to enable them to achieve Master and PhD degrees faster and enter the economic career market.
Enabel's projects in South Africa focus on rural development and governance.


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