Question NW1010 to the Minister of Social Development

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20 July 2020 - NW1010

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

With regard to the 1200 volunteers recruited by the National Development Agency during the Covid-19 lockdown to assist her department with food distribution, educating families on Covid-19 presentations, verification of applicants for the special Covid-19 social relief grants to fast track the process of this grant over the next six months, what (a)(i) recruitment and (ii) screening processes were followed to select the volunteers, (b) qualifications were required for the selection criteria, (c) number of volunteers were recruited in each province, (d) are the details of the impact made by the volunteers and (e) are the details of the contracts that the volunteers signed?NW1299


a) (i). The role of the National Development Agency is the building of the capacity of civil society to provide projects and programmes that alleviate poverty in communities. To this end the NDA has a database comprised of 15 858 CSOs that have been assessed and they provide different kinds of services in communities. In the fight against COVID-19, the NDA selected CSOs from its database as well as from youth-led organisations that are involved in the fight against gender-based violence. The selected Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) provide poverty eradication interventions within their local communities. Through a grant funding intervention, each of the CSOs has enlisted volunteers to reach almost all districts within the country, to facilitate various programmes during the lockdown period.

(ii) The NDA does not directly recruit and enter into an employment relationship with the volunteers. The Volunteers are selected and screened by the CSOs themselves and drawn from their own lists of community workers and filed workers.

b) The volunteers were not required to provide qualifications. However, they have the relevant skills for the work to be done and The CSOs and volunteers were provided training by already established provincial teams which include the Departments of Social Development, Health, SASSA and Municipalities.

c) number of volunteers were recruited in each province


Number of Volunteers

Eastern Cape


Free State




KwaZulu Natal






North West


Northern Cape


Western Cape


d) The volunteers have reached a total number of 76679 households and have done the following:

  • assisting communities with distribution of food parcels, support of elderly and disabled persons;
  • dissemination of Covid-19 information at hot spots as well as door-to-door within communities. The volunteers also provide translations of the advocacy material
  • data collection in the households on useful information which can be shared with relevant departments and entities.
  • at an advanced level, and based on their competence, others are assisting with community screening interventions, counselling for Gender Based Violence cases and assisting people who need access to chronic medication to visit the health care facilities.
  • assisting communities with the various registrations to access government relief funds such at the SASSA special relief of distress funds and the Department of Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund for small scale farmers.

e) The NDA has an agreement with the CSOs and not with the volunteers. The appointment letter for the CSOs includes the roles and responsibilities of the CSO in terms of the management of the volunteers, monitoring of the volunteers and Reporting to the NDA.

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