Question NW1072 to the Minister of Social Development

Share this page:

20 July 2020 - NW1072

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What are the relevant details of the (a) recruitment and screening process and (b) criteria and qualifications needed by the 1 200 volunteers recruited by the National Development Agency during the Covid-19 lockdown to assist her department in food distribution, educating families on Covid-19 presentations and verification of applicants for the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant to fast-track the process of the specified grant over the next six months; (2) what (a) is the (i) allocation of volunteers for each province and (ii) impact of the specified volunteers to date and (b) are the contact details of the volunteers?


1 (a) -   When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early March 2020, the NDA crafted a quick response to the pandemic at a time when there was lack of information about the virus, particularly in townships and rural areas. A Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) Volunteer programme was initiatedto build the capacity of civil society organisations to provide community-based responses to challenges facing them.

  • The NDA identified CSOs who were already implementing community-based programmes through volunteers and field workers. As a result, CSOs enlisted volunteers from their own organisations including beneficiaries of their normal programme activities.

Honourable members to note that the programme was implemented in two phases. Phase 1 is comprised of 580 volunteers and Phase 2 comprised of 2000 volunteers.

1 (b) -   The volunteers were not required to provide qualifications. However, they have the following relevant skills for the work to be done:

- Communication skills, including reading and writing in order to assist communities in interpreting and explaining the information on Covid-19;

- Ability to assist community members to apply for Social Relief of Distress Grants and other social protection services provided to communities;

- Knowledge of the communities in which they work, including identification of most vulnerable households.

Additionally, the CSOs and volunteers were provided training by already established provincial teams which include the Departments of Social Development, Health, SASSA and Municipalities.

(2) (a) (i) – the allocation of volunteers per Province is as follows:


Number of Volunteers

Eastern Cape


Free State


KwaZulu Natal


North West


Northern Cape


Western Cape




(2)(a) (ii) impact of the specified volunteers to date:

The volunteers have reached a total number of 145 947households 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 e.g. household sources of energy data for donation of safe energy products.
  • 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 social relief of distress funds and the Department of Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund for small scale farmers.


(2)(b) what are the contract details of the volunteers?

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.

Source file