The South-African Component
Cooperation with South Africa is marked by the end of the SDC's Special Programme (end 2004) and the ”phasing over” towards the Regional Programme Southern Africa (RPSA), which will be including an important South African component. The sectoral programmes in Education and Land Affairs will be phased out, whereas partnerships in the domains of governance and HIV/AIDS will be extended in line with the strategic orientations of the regional programme. The Joint Programme Review completed with the South African Government in November 2003 serves as a basis for shaping the future orientations.
The Swiss programme
The objective of Swiss cooperation in South Africa is to contribute to the consolidation of South Africa’s democracy and the reduction of economic inequality. This can be attained through:
- Governance: Support to the reform of the justice system, with a special focus on access to justice for vulnerable groups and local governance/decentralised service delivery partnerships.
- Youth Unemployment/Skills Development: The Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative (SSACI), a Public Private Partnership (PPP) supported by SDC and Swiss private companies present in South Africa, is providing unemployed youths with opportunities to acquire skills and knowledge that enable them to get a job.
- HIV/AIDS: Activities like Psycho-Social Support (PSS) for children affected by HIV/AIDS is also part of the RPSA.
- On a case-by-case basis, South African proposals for trilateral cooperation may be considered as likely with regard to peace promotion/conflict prevention.
The Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative (SSACI)
The project is a joint initiative, the first of its kind, between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Swiss and South African private companies with interests in both countries. It promotes social and economic development in South Africa by providing financial and technical support to projects that open up educational and vocational opportunities for disadvantaged young South Africans.
SSACI’s primary objective is to open up new pathways to employment for young South Africans. To this end, it follows a three-pronged strategy of:supporting vocational training and job creation projects for out-of-school youths from disadvantaged backgrounds in:
- Developing young entrepreneurs and their businesses
- Adding value to publicly-funded skills-training programmes through the piloting of new curricula, recruitment and selection of trainees, provision of supplementary life-skills training, job-placement of training-course graduates, etc.
SSACI concentrates its training and business-development activities within growth industries that are generating jobs and business opportunities accessible to youths with entry-level or intermediate-level skills. All SSACI-funded skills-training falls within the National Qualifications Framework and in most cases leads to accredited qualifications.
SSACI implements its funding programme through a range of partners from the public, private and non-profit sectors. Important collaborative relationships have been developed with Further Education and Training colleges, tertiary training institutions and the Sector Education and Training Authorities which are largely responsible for implementing the National Skills Development Strategy in the workplace.
SSACI is currently funded by SDC and ten Swiss corporates operating in South Africa. These are: Ciba, Credit Suisse, Givaudan, Holcim, Novartis, Schindler, Sika, Swiss Re, UBS and Xstrata.