An Exploration of Social Assistance Programmes in Eswatini, South Africa and Zambia


  • Beatrice Sakala University of Johannesburg
  • Ndangwa Noyoo University of Cape Town
  • Lungile Mabundza-Dlamini University of Eswatini



social assistance, social cash transfers, poverty reduction, Eswatini, South Africa, Zambia


Presently, many countries in the Global South are increasingly recognising the critical role that social assistance programmes play in poverty reduction and the strengthening of the livelihoods of vulnerable groups. This trend has been gaining momentum in Africa, especially in the last decade, with many countries implementing social assistance programmes or social cash transfers to improve people’s living standards. Despite this, there is still a lack of information and evidence on the way in which these programmes are being rolled out in Africa and particularly in southern Africa. In this article, we discuss social assistance programmes in three southern African countries, namely, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), South Africa and Zambia. We attempt to fill the said gap by providing an account of social assistance programmes in the three countries. We examine the way in which national institutions and systems are evolving in response to the provision of social assistance to the citizens of Eswatini, South Africa and Zambia. Through an exploratory study and review of secondary data, we attempt to tease out the key drivers of social assistance programmes in the three countries. Some suggestions are made for improving the social assistance in the three countries.


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Author Biography

Beatrice Sakala, University of Johannesburg



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How to Cite

Sakala, Beatrice, Ndangwa Noyoo, and Lungile Mabundza-Dlamini. 2022. “An Exploration of Social Assistance Programmes in Eswatini, South Africa and Zambia”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 34 (1):17 pages.
Received 2020-11-04
Accepted 2021-11-21
Published 2022-03-15