South Africa's development cooperation


South Africa both receives aid and gives development cooperation. It received US$1.3 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2012, equivalent to 0.2% of national income. It is also an increasingly important provider of development cooperation; while the full extent of this engagement is not known, national budget documents provide some helpful information. This briefing explains what we can see from them.

 Key information provided by South Africa’s national budget

  • South Africa’s development cooperation spending increased over the past five years, reaching US$217 million (R2 billion) in fiscal year 2012/13
  • Almost two-thirds (64%, US$139 million, R1.3 billion) of this spending comes from the Department of International Relations & Cooperation, with a further 15 departments also contributing in 2012/13
  • African organisations were the largest recipients of transfers to international organisations (36% of transfers, US$26 million, R236 million)
  • Forward spending is set to fall slightly over the medium term in cash terms (by 1.5%).

Greater transparency would help assess cooperation programmes and their impact.