South Africa

Date of establishment: 1940s (first local association established in 1865) Member of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs: Member of the World Alliance of YMCAs: Staff: In the national office there are 3 full-time and 3 part-time/contracted employees, and each local association has its own manager and staff complement Local associations: 21 in 3 provinces Beneficiaries: 10 000


Mission Statement
Mission: Informed by Christian values, we seek to prepare young people for life, leadership and service through focused, development and sustainable programmes. Slogan: Empowering youth for Life, Leadership and Service
South Africa and its peoples have a history that is well known by the international community. Subjection of the Black population in particular and apartheid as an official policy was formally overturned in 1990 and the first democratic elections held in 1994. The first South African YMCA was established in Cape Town in 1865. Various other local associations were formed, before the establishment of the South African National Council of YMCA’s in the 1940s. Each local association is autonomous and is governed by a local board. The YMCA in South Africa has had a turbulent history, with changes of leadership reflective of political and social pressures. In 2007, the SAYMCA went through an in-depth consultative process of revisioning and emerged with a clear direction on social relevance and sustainability. The SAYMCA also began the GOP process in 2008 and is now in its second year, working with Canada YMCA, YMCA of USAs, Y-Care International and Swedish YMCA/YWCA.
Youth Justice This programme reaches youth at who are or who have been in conflict with the law, as well as youth whose social circumstances place them at a high level of risk, of either becoming perpetrators or victims of criminal activities. It includes: Community awareness, intervention and prevention programmes Work in prisons in which youth are incarcerated, involving counselling, literacy, lifeskills and personal development, family liaison Reintegration programmes, involving family and community work; parolees, support groups and a halfway house Y-Zone after-care programme This programme provides after-care for school-going children aged 6-18 at YMCA premises. During this crucial development stage, the young person is provided with the tools they need to deal positively with risks that confront them – immediate and future. Leadership development is achieved through: Homework supervision Lifeskills and leadership training Arts and drama Sports Advocacy Through joint initiatives and YMCA programmes, the YMCA educates young people on their rights and responsibilities and encourages them to advocate for and participate in the social transformation of their communities. These activities most often focus on advocating on global or national issues at a local level eg unemployment, gender violence etc.
Country Profile
Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid – the separate development of the races – which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa’s prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime’s eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting, which has grown in recent years, came to a head in September 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party’s General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in April 2009. Population: 49,052,489 Age Structure: 0-14 years: 28.9% (male 7,093,328/female 7,061,579) 15-64 years: 65.8% (male 16,275,424/female 15,984,181) 65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,075,117/female 1,562,860) (2009 est.) Birth Rate: 19.93 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) Death Rate: 16.99 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) Infant mortality Rate: total: 44.42 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 61 male: 48.66 deaths/1,000 live births female: 40.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.) Life Expectancy: total population: 48.98 years country comparison to the world: 212 male: 49.81 years female: 48.13 years (2009 est.) HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 18.1% (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 5.7 million (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – deaths: 350,000 (2007 est.) Ethnic Groups: black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census) Religions: Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census) Languages: IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census) Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 86.4% male: 87% female: 85.7% (2003 est.) Government Type: republic Capital: Pretoria (administrative capital) Geographic coordinates: 25 42 S, 28 13 E Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) note: Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital) Independence: 31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 31 May 1961 (republic declared) 27 April 1994 (majority rule) Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Currency: Rand (ZAR) Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.) Transnational Issues: Disputes – international: South Africa has placed military along the border to apprehend the thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing economic dysfunction and political persecution; as of January 2007, South Africa also supports large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (33,000), Somalia (20,000), Burundi (6,500), and other states in Africa (26,000); managed dispute with Namibia over the location of the boundary in the Orange River; in 2006, Swazi king advocates resort to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa. Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 10,772 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 7,818 (Somalia); 5,759 (Angola) (2007). Illicit drugs: transshipment center for heroin, hashish, and cocaine, as well as a major cultivator of marijuana in its own right; cocaine and heroin consumption on the rise; world’s largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries, but increasingly producing its own synthetic drugs for domestic consumption; attractive venue for money launderers given the increasing level of organized criminal and narcotics activity in the region and the size of the South African economy. **Information retreived from CIA – The World Factbook:
National General Secretary: Sipho Sokhela, South African National Council of YMCAs 2nd Floor, Gala House P O Box 31045 Braamfontein Johannesburg 2017 SOUTH AFRICA Tel: 27 11 339 1385 Fax: 27 11 339 7184 Email: Website: