DAC global relations

South Africa's Development Co-operation


South Africa’s total concessional finance for development reached USD 100 million in 2015, compared to USD 148 million in 2014 (OECD estimates based on Government of South Africa, 2016; and websites of multilateral organisations). In 2015, South Africa channelled USD 80.4 million through multilateral organisations. Beyond development co-operation, South Africa uses several other development finance instruments, including loan and equity investments provided by the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation, as well as payments to the Southern African Customs Union and expenditure in the area of peace and security.

The Strategic Plan 2015-20 (Government of South Africa, 2015) of South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co‑operation (DIRCO) emphasises co-operation with “the African continent” and “strengthening South-South relations”. DIRCO is responsible for strategy and foreign policy formulation, and other line ministries are involved in the implementation of development co-operation projects.The National Treasury has a co-ordinating function in terms of managing incoming ODA and funds for outgoing development co-operation. DIRCO and the National Treasury are on the advisory committee of the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund (ARF). All South African departments are eligible to apply for ARF funding for development co-operation projects. South Africa’s development co-operation structures may change when the South African Development Partnership Agency becomes operational under the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

South Africa prioritises co-operation with the African continent, with a strong focus on member countries of the Southern African Development Community. The priority sectors of its bilateral development co-operation are peace, security, post-conflict reconstruction, regional integration, governance and humanitarian assistance. South Africa provides its bilateral development co-operation mostly in the form of technical co-operation.

South Africa is also engaged in triangular co-operation, partnering with several Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members (e.g. Canada, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United States) to support other African countries in areas such as governance, public security and post-conflict reconstruction.

In 2015, South Africa’s development co-operation through multilateral organisations was primarily channelled through regional organisations such as the African Development Bank (33%) and the United Nations (23%).

South Africa is a Key Partner of the OECD.