Our Projects

Inclusive Growth

  • This project recognises the critical role that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform plays in promoting rural development and equitable access to land in order to address poverty and underdevelopment in rural areas. Rural poverty and underdevelopment is strongly associated with poor access to land, either in the form of landlessness or because of insecure land rights. Economic analysis has long recognised the importance of secure property rights for growth, and therefore for the poverty reduction which growth can bring.

  • High failure rate of small business in South Africa. It is estimated that 50-60% of newly established company fail in their first 18 months of their operations. Though the policy environment is pro-small businesses; and government have put in place programme to support small business, many SMMEs still struggle to be suppliers of the big companies that are dominating the value chain in the country.

Service Delivery and Democratic Governance

  • UNDP is supporting the Limpopo Provincial Government to improve the health care services in the province. The health sector in the province has been affected by a chronic deficit of health professionals, as a result of brain drain, due to the remoteness of the region as well as the lack of more attractive incentives that can be found in other regions of the country, and abroad.

  • The Speaker of the National Assembly and the Speakers Forum (nine provincial speakers) has established a Parliamentary High Level Panel which is going to investigate the impact of key legislations related to socio economic development since 1994. This initiative is directly linked to one of the strategic priorities of the 5th Parliament which commits the institution to undertake an assessment on the impact of legislation and it should serve to strengthen legislative capacity.

  • UNDP in partnership with the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has developed a 5 - year support programme for the UN to support the Electoral Commission in five key areas. The Support to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (SECSA) Programme in South Africa aims at consolidating and building further on the growth made from the democratic transition process in South Africa since its first democratic election in 1994

  • The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Public Service Training Academy (Academy) is an institutional mechanism aimed at ensuring a co-ordinated and structured approach to human resource development in the Province. It is a dedicated unit in the Office of the Premier, whose exclusive function is to facilitate, coordinate and integrate human resource development in the Province and the Provincial Administration. The Academy provides a specialized skills development, human resource development and training service to the officials of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Administration.

  • The project seeks to ensure that there is improved innovation within the South African public sector, and alignment with the National Development Plan. It seeks to ensure the lessons can be shared with other countries in the region as well. It is also aimed at ensuring that there is Increased and widely disseminated knowledge products within the public sector. Since 2015 UNDP has worked with the CPSI in supporting the latter’s efforts to mainstream, showcase, and replicate innovative service delivery models in both South Africa and the region. In 2014, UNDP launched the Innovation Facility.

Climate Change and Greening South Africa's Economy

  • To Strengthen the Enabling Environment for the Adoption of Knowledge-Based SLM Models for Land Management and Land/Eecosystem Rehabilitation in Support of the Green Economy and Resilient Livelihoods Through Capacity Building, Improved Governance and Financial Incentives Demonstrated in the Karoo, Eastern Cape and Olifants Landscapes

  • South Africa has made tremendous strides towards establishing a well-managed national system of Protected Areas (PAs). However, the PA estate covers only 6 % of the national territory, and presently is not representative of the full range of major habitat types that demand protection. The country’s status as a mega diversity area, characterized by a high turnover of biodiversity across ecological landscapes, amplifies the inherent challenges in establishing and strengthening a representative PA estate

  • South Africa’s historically low cost of electricity (which tacitly promoted inefficient use by consumers and underinvestment) coupled with increased electricity demand brought on by rapid economic development and the electrification of previously disadvantaged communities came to a head with widespread rolling electricity blackouts in 2008.

  • South Africa’s draft Second National Communication (SNC, 2010) predicts the following general climate change trends for South Africa: (i) Assuming a moderate to high growth in greenhouse gas concentrations, by 2050 the coast is likely to warm by around 1-2ºC and the interior by around 2-3ºC. After 2050, under emissions scenarios that assume little mitigation effort, the rate of warming is projected to reach around 3-4ºC along the coast and 6-7ºC in the interior; and (ii) Rainfall projections for the summer rainfall region of the country show a tendency towards wetting, and for the winter rainfall region towards drying.

  • The project seeks to expand representation of globally important terrestrial habitats by establishing new PAs covering 197,000 ha. The current Protected Area estate does not effectively represent the full range of globally important species and habitats in the three biodiversity hotspots in South Africa (Succulent Karoo, Cape Floral Kingdom and Maputaland Pondoland Albany Hotspot); and as a result, key critical biodiversity areas within these remain under protected and are at risk of loss or degradation of habitat from several factors.

  • Municipalities play an important role as centers of economic growth and service delivery; they regulate land use at local scale, and are also important users and managers of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The project’s goal is to enhance the sustainable and effective conservation of globally significant biodiversity in South Africa through exploring, piloting and implementing innovative mechanisms and approaches to mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into the regulation and management of land and resource use in the landscape at the municipal scale.

  • To provide support to the Government and industry stakeholders to overcome strategic barriers to the successful attainment of South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan target of 3,320 MW of wind power generation online by 2018/19. This will have the effect of contributing to a further reduction of CO2 emissions and increased socio-economic development.

  • The GEF Small Grant Programme

    The purpose of the GEF SGP is provide grant-funding support to communities and civil society organisations for the implementation of environmental conservation projects in the focal areas of biodiversity, climate change mitigation and community based adaptation, land degradation, sustainable forest management, international waters and chemicals. These projects must meet environmental objective while at the same time supporting poverty reduction and local empowerment objectives. In the 6th Operational Phase of the GEF (OP6) 2015-2018, Vhembe Biosphere Reserve in Limpopo was selected as the landscape to receive 70% of SGP grant-making in OP6.

  • To integrate South Africa’s obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) into its national spatial, development and sectoral planning frameworks through a renewed and participative ‘biodiversity planning’ and strategizing process, in a manner that is in line with the global guidance contained in the CBD’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020

  • Increase in the number of sustainable ‘green jobs’ created in the economy; Stabilization and reduction of carbon emissions and climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies fully operational

  • To Strengthen Value Chains for Products Derived from Genetic Resources that contribute to the equitable sharing of benefits and the Conservation of Biodiversity

  • The South Africa Grasslands biome is a repository of globally significant biodiversity. Much of the grasslands ecosystem presently lies in production landscapes allocated to livestock production, agriculture (mainly cereals), afforestacion with exotic tree species, and coal mining. In addition, South Africa's largest urban and industrial centre is located within the grasslands. Production activities constitute the main threat to grasslands biodiversity. Therefore, there is a need to mainstream biodiversity management objectives into the practices of the production sectors that provide the stimulus for land use changes that threaten biodiversity.

  • The environment objective is to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) from urban transportion in South African cities through the promotion of a long-term modal shift to more efficient and less polluting forms of transport, and the adoption of sustainable low-GHG transport technologies.The development objective is the promotion of a safe, reliable, efficient, co-ordinated and integrated urban passenger system in South African, managed in an accountable way to ensure that people experience improving levels of mobility and accessibility.

  • Project Summary. This Biodiversity Enabling Activity for South Africa assists DEAT in developing a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP). The BSAP will build on and reinforce other existing national policies, particularly the White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable use of South Africa’s Biological Diversity (1997) setting out the National Biodiversity Policy. The project adds to previous support allowing South Africa to participate in the Clearing House Mechanism of CBD, and in assisting the preparation of the first country Report to the Conference of Parties (COP), which totaled 38,800$. Development of the BSAP will cost US$ 297,223 and assessment of capacity building needs and a country driven CHM project will cost $100,000.


  • The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) has placed HIV and TB as areas at the top of its agenda and the United Nations Joint Team on HIV/AIDS (UNJT) has developed a Joint UN Programme of Support (JPS) on AIDS and TB that includes a results matrix on AIDS and TB for 2013-2017, an annual work plan for 2013 and a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) matrix for 2013-2017 resulting in one work plan and one budget.

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