Combination Social Protection Programme as an HIV Prevention Mechanism: Experiences of Youths in Resource-Constrained Settings of Gauteng Province, South Africa




combination social protection, youths, HIV prevention, agency, empowerment


Regardless of the tremendous growth of combination social protection as a human immunodeficiency virus prevention mechanism in South Africa, little is known about the ways in which combination social protection improves prevention outcomes for youths. In this article, we report on the experiences of youths participating in the combination social protection. In the study, which was conducted among Black African youths in the City of Johannesburg township settings of Soweto, Alexandra, and Orange Farm, we adopted a qualitative approach. The aim of the study was to explore the experiences of youths participating in the combination social protection and their views on how the programme changed their risk behaviour and sexual practices. We used a purposively selected sample to identify participants for semi-structured qualitative interviews. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with thirty youths and focus group discussions with six non-governmental organisations practitioners and five Department of Social Development officials. The data were analysed by implementing Creswell and Creswell’s strategy of qualitative thematic analysis. The findings show that when youths are equipped with prevention informational resources, economic capabilities, and social assets, they are empowered with agency and purposefulness that may alter their intentions to engage in risky sexual behaviour. It is also revealed that, by providing space for youths to engage on issues of gender and differential access to health and economic opportunities, the programme advanced the empowerment of female youths. Thus, combination social protection could be part of the country’s comprehensive social work package for empowering youths in poor localities.


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Author Biography

Pius Tangwe Tanga, University of Fort Hare

Pius T. Tanga currently works at the Department of Social Work and Social Development, Fort Hare University. He is the Deputy Dean: Research & Internationalization, Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities. Pius does research in Qualitative Social Research and Quantitative Social Research. 


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How to Cite

Zibengwa, Enock, and Pius Tangwe Tanga. 2024. “Combination Social Protection Programme As an HIV Prevention Mechanism: Experiences of Youths in Resource-Constrained Settings of Gauteng Province, South Africa”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 36 (1):18 pages.



Received 2023-03-23
Accepted 2023-11-13
Published 2024-02-20