Development Cooperation

Development cooperation between the European Union and South Africa is enshrined in the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement . While development cooperation is part of the EU-SA Strategic Dialogue in its own right, it also contributes to the other dialogues and support actions under 'Cooperation in other areas.

Development Cooperation is covered and regulated by geographical and thematic programmes that are mainly funded under the Development Cooperation Instrument.

The on-going €980 million geographical programme for the period 2007-2013 is defined by a Joint Country Strategy , agreed between the SA government, EU Member States and the European Commission, and a South Africa-European Commission Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP) . The Country Strategy Paper defines the goal of development cooperation to be the reduction of poverty and inequality, in line with the government’s policies and targets. It focuses on three main areas:

  1. Promotion of pro-poor, sustainable economic growth;
  2. Improvement of the provision and quality of basic services to the poor; and
  3. Promotion of good governance.

The MIP has two focal sectors: employment creation and capacity development for service delivery and social cohesion, as well as three non-focal areas (governance, regional and pan-African support, and TDCA facilitation).

The implementation of the CSP/MIP is regularly reviewed in the Annual Consultations between the European Commission's Directorate for Development Cooperation and the International Development Cooperation Directorate in South Africa's National Treasury.

EU development cooperation to South Africa is closely aligned to government policies. Despite the fact that it is a modest contribution in relation to South Africa's GDP and National Budget, it is nonetheless highly appreciated as it aims to add value through innovation, piloting and risk-taking activities that Government can eventually replicate and multiply.

EU development cooperation with South Africa includes various multi-sectoral and sectoral budget support programmes. In addition to, and in consultation with, the SA authorities, EU support also encourages and supports a multi-actor approach by providing support to civil society organisations in various programmes.

The aid and development effectiveness agendas are significantly supported by the European Union/Commission through a range of specific programmes and dialogues, as well as through for example delegated cooperation agreements with EU agencies when applicable.

Other thematic programmes are defined by strategy papers and multi-annual programmes. They mainly complement the geographical programme.