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Volunteer HIV and AIDS peer educators with Oxfam’s partner TVAAP wave condoms and sign safer sex messages to raise awareness about the virus. (Photo and caption: downloaded from OGB South Africa webpage)

  • Population: 53.7 million (2015 est.)
  • Human Development Index: 116 (among 188 countries)
  • GDP per capita: US$13,100 (PPP, 2014 est.)
  • Population below poverty line: 9.4% (2012 est.)

Sources: CIA – The World Factbook (as of 30 December, 2015); World Development Indicator 2015; Human Development Report 2015


Oxfam in South Africa

Oxfam’s work in South Africa began in 1956 with a grant of £250 (around US$363) to feed poor children in the country. These feeding programmes continued throughout the 1960s, with more than £90,000 (around US$130,721) allocated to various agencies involved in a number of feeding projects. The programme gradually expanded as we established a network of contacts, and included a range of development activities in townships and rural areas. Today, Oxfam works with partners and allies to campaign and advocate for poor and marginalised people’s rights to be recognised and enforced.

In November 2013, Oxfam South Africa established a Board. It has obtained observer status to Oxfam until 2016. It will then become the first-ever Oxfam affiliate in Africa and assume full operational responsibility for Oxfam’s work in the country as an independent South African NGO, and formally part of Oxfam’s international confederation. Oxfam Hong Kong will support one of Oxfam South Africa's rural transformation programmes in 2016-17.


Our work's focus

Essential services – Improve people’s access to clean water and sanitation, healthcare, and education; assist vulnerable people in communities to ensure social protection; and advocate tax justice and pro-poor tax regime to ensure resources are collected and distributed in a fair and transparent way to meet the growing need for essential services in South Africa.
Gender – Ensure survivors of gender-based violence have access to quality, responsive and appropriate services; and strengthen civil society, especially women’s organisation and networks, to advocate for women’s economic rights.
Support for small scale farmers and sustainable livelihoods – Ensure better access to income generation and food security programmes; and advocate for development and land policies that supports small scale farmers to adapt to climate change and benefit from pro-poor low carbon development.
Resilience and protection from disasters – Reduce the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable people by assisting communities to identify possible risks and hazards and plan appropriate actions; ensure that the South African government and civil society protect the rights of vulnerable people suffering humanitarian crises.


Impact of our work

'I like to help the people here [residents living with HIV and AIDS]. I take the Chinese spinach we grow here to the patients to eat. It is very healthy for them and really good for sick people.'

George Mandlwazi, volunteer at the Pimville Garden Project near Soweto, supported by Oxfam