Traeger South Africa

Project Brief

Title: Transparency and Integrity Program (TIP). Client: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Co-financed by: Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Country: South Africa Lead executing agency: Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in the Presidency. Overall term: 2021 to 2025

Initial situation

Corruption is endemic in South Africa: It exists in all sectors of society and manifests itself in both the private sector and the state – nationally, regionally and locally. It undermines democracy and the population’s trust in government. Corruption has a negative impact on government services and thus on social and societal development. It also damages economic development and employment promotion, as well as investor confidence in the country. In November 2020, the South African government therefore adopted a National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS). It promotes a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach that involves public, private and civil society actors.


Governmental and non-governmental actors contribute to the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy of South Africa.


The project supports governmental anti-corruption bodies and the integration management of companies. It promotes multi-actor partnerships between government, business and civil society that prevent corruption. In doing so, it uses a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to support the implementation of NACS in three areas: First, it promotes active citizenship. First, it promotes an active citizenry to engage in initiatives that promote transparency, integrity and accountability in the implementation of NACS. Second, it aims to strengthen institutions so that relevant state actors are empowered to steer and coordinate the implementation of NACS among themselves. Third, multi-actor partnerships between the state, business and civil society should improve transparency, integrity and accountability. In doing so, it is important to consider human rights, including equality. Status: June 2022

Project Brief

Title: Support for the youth employment initiative Client: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) CountrySouth Africa Lead executing agencyOffice of the President Overall term2021 to 2024

Initial situation

South Africa is currently experiencing a crisis of unemployment throughout the country, which affects young people in particular. Particularly in economically disadvantaged environments such as townships or rural regions, many young South Africans are unable to find work after completing their education. The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI) is the government’s most comprehensive response to this issue to date. It brings together diverse partners and relevant stakeholders committed to accelerating initiatives to build necessary skills and foster entrepreneurship among young people. The project also provides young people with opportunities for initial work experience, vocational training and employment. The South African Office of the President coordinates the PYEI through its Project Management Office (PMO).


The capacity of the PMO and the PYEI implementing partners to coordinate and implement the PYEI is strengthened.


The project works with the PMO as part of the Office of the President to support the coordination and implementation of the programs that make up the PYEI. It is active mainly in two fields: First, the project supports the Office of the President in engaging and coordinating national and internatonal PYEI partners. This includes facilitating dialogue with key external partners to improve alignment of action in areas prioritized by the PYEI. The project also assists with communication, documentation, and knowledge-related issues and learning on PYEI-related matters. Second, the project aims to strengthen capacity in organizations implementing the PYEI to make their project implementation more effective. It advises the PMO and its partners* on how to address systemic barriers for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the use of various financing instruments such as the Local Ecosystem Enablement Fund. Removing barriers such as a lack of access to internet or electricity leads to companies being able to go about their business and consequently create more jobs. Therefore, the project supports the PMO and its partners* to create and improve conditions for successful coordination and service delivery of PYEI. Status: March 2022 © Eva Becker Homeless newspapers are also sold in Cape Town. Migration expert from Diakonie, Johannes Brandstäter with a newspaper seller.

Why is a Diakonie migration expert traveling to South Africa?

Diakonie and Bread for the World work closely together on migration. Bread for the World organized a consultation with partner organizations. I took part in it to better understand what migration does to people there and what similarities, but also differences, there are between South Africa and Germany.

What are the similarities between the two countries?

Both countries experience stoked fears and violence against people who come from somewhere else. In Germany, this occurs more in rural areas where only a few immigrants live; in South Africa, it happens in the metropolitan areas of Cape Town and Johannesburg. In the public discourse in both countries, migration is often associated only with crisis and large-scale alarm. Yet it creates a better life for so many people. Migration brings change, but by no means only for the worse. Both countries pursue a policy of isolation: Germany supports the sealing off of the Mediterranean. South Africa tries to keep people from entering irregularly across the border, for example via Limpopo, the border river to Zimbabwe, with many crocodiles, where smugglers ferry people by dangerous routes. The EU guarantees freedom of movement, but is tempted to restrict this achievement again. The African Union (AU) has made freedom of movement its motto, but its member states are strengthening border controls everywhere – with the help of the EU, even though they are not creating acceptable living conditions for their people.

What are the differences between Germany and South Africa?

In South Africa, institutions do not function as well as in Germany. Corruption and nepotism permeate public institutions. Social benefits are cut or not paid at all because the funds are diverted beforehand. This creates a climate of anger. It is not surprising that refugee protection is even more patchy than in our country.

What are the conditions like for refugees in South Africa?

Many people come as refugees, for example from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Somalia or Burundi, but politicians discredit them as economic migrants. What is new is that they are being detained. The government is doing everything it can to move the arrival centers, where the refugees are registered, from the big cities to the state border so that people can be deported more quickly. Those who then go elsewhere to work must return to the place where they first applied for a residence permit. For people, this means that in addition to high transportation costs, they also risk loss of earnings and even the loss of their jobs, as they are unable to appear at work for several days at regular intervals. School-age children cannot attend classes during these periods. Children’s rights fall far short: it starts with the birth certificate – for children of foreign parents, it is very difficult to obtain. This in turn restricts access to the health care system. Without papers, children can hardly go to school. 90 percent of asylum applications are rejected. Under these conditions, many migrants from northern countries seek work illegally.

How does the rainbow nation of South Africa deal with discrimination?

Foreigners are treated very hostilely. In South Africa, this is described as xenophobia. After the end of apartheid, it is surprising that this xenophobia is not directed against white foreigners, but against black foreigners from neighboring South African countries. If a German comes to South Africa, he is seen as an investor; if a Nigerian comes, he is a foreigner. My interlocutors complained about a real Afrophobia. South African blacks who have moved from rural areas to the big cities are also affected by this. The patterns of apartheid, with its violence and segregation, seem to continue in other ways. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter also carry hate messages in South Africa that poison coexistence. And because of the rainbow, persecuted LGBT asylum seekers face invalid questions about why they are lesbian or gay and then are often not recognized as refugees. I have also spoken with attorneys. The proportion of cases in which immigrants’ rights are violated is increasing. South Africa’s constitution does say that everyone living there has equal rights – in health care as in employment – but in practice discrimination is rampant. Legal aid organizations often win when they file lawsuits. But the authorities, especially the immigration authorities, simply do not implement the courts’ rulings, I was told.

What is the situation in the South African province?

A social worker told me about the exploitation and mistreatment of women and men who have come from neighboring states or from other provinces in South Africa to toil. The farms set the different populations against each other by treating them differently. South African farm workers resent the fact that those coming from Zimbabwe or the Congo accept even lower wages than they themselves can demand. As a result, migrant farmworkers and harvesters separate themselves from each other to be safer from robbery and violence. They are afraid to stand up for their rights and fair treatment because they do not want to lose their jobs and may even be deported to their countries of origin. Imagine this: Women from Lesotho or Zimbabwe sometimes earn only 50 rand a day, which is just under three euros. In extreme cases, however, they have to pay 700 rand for the room, which they often have to share with others. So now I know why the Cabernet Sauvignon in my supermarket in Berlin or Stuttgart can be bought for less than two euros.

What does Bread for the World do on the ground?

Bread for the World’s partner organization Women on Farms supports awareness raising, empowerment and income-generating activities. She informs about the rights of farm workers and encourages the women to be able to speak at all, and to be able to exchange ideas across the boundaries of the population groups. I was able to be present at one meeting. It was impressive to see the courage the women develop in such protected spaces. Equally important is assertive legal assistance, such as that provided by the Legal Resource Center (LRC).

What has impressed the partners most about hearing from Germany?

Many are impressed by the temporary opening of borders in the summer of 2015. Less in view is the German government’s close cooperation with the EU in sealing off the Mediterranean. So in Africa, Germany is in a relatively good light, while the EU and its southern member states are more in favor of closure. I was also impressed by my presentation of the Diakonie’s individual and custom-fit case consultation in migration counseling, in which networking often takes place with up to twenty agencies in the social area – from the foreigners authority to the employment office and school. The fact that such an interplay functions, and indeed that the individual public agencies in Germany function at all, is something to be admired.

Diakonie and Bread for the World work together here. Should this cooperation be expanded?

Bread for the World and Diakonie are strong players in migration work both nationally and internationally. They should systematize their cooperation and expand it even further. It is about sharing experiences, because the problems with hate speech, human trafficking, labor exploitation, degrading residence and passport laws, restrictions on residency or intersectional discrimination are quite similar everywhere and only differ in how pronounced they are in the respective countries. Above all, however, it is a matter of networking much better and forming cross-border alliances. The structures that we already have in the individual countries for individual counseling and protection against exploitation and violence must be effectively linked internationally. We can also learn a lot from each other. South African social organizations have a somewhat different perspective on integration and trauma work than the diaconal agencies in German cities and communities. They look at the collective first: how can participation and justice be created for the people on the move (mobile people), how can trauma and injuries be alleviated for the whole community? They are concerned with healing the wounded relationships among themselves. Of course, this is much more political from the ground up than in our country. However, our agencies in Germany are very strong in making targeted changes in the lives of individuals according to their individual needs and necessities. This is very effective for these people. But the effort is greater, and the institutional conditions for organizing integration are much better here. The South African agencies also take care of the individuals, but they look first at the whole and at the political. Traeger South Africa.

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