Department of Social Development Province Of KwaZulu-Natal

Legislative and other mandates


Constitutional Mandates The Constitution of South Africa, Act No 108 of 1996

The basic tenets of the Constitution as embodied in Chapter 2 – the Bill of Rights emphasises equality, human dignity, freedom and security of the person, health care, food, water and social security and the rights of the child. Schedule 4 of the Constitution identifies Social Welfare Services, population development, and disaster management as function areas of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence.

Schedule 4 of the Constitution identifies Social Welfare Services, population development, and disaster management as function areas of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence.

Legislative Mandates The Constitution

The Department of Social Development derives its core mandate from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996). Section 27 (1) (c) of the Constitution provides for the right of access to appropriate social assistance to those unable to support themselves and their dependents. In addition, Section 28 (1) of the Constitution sets out the rights of the children with regard to appropriate care, basic nutrition, shelter, health care and social services, and detention. Schedule 4 of the Constitution further identifies w functional areas of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence. The following existing laws constitute the legal framework for the Department of Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal.

Based on its mandate, the Department of Social Development develops and implements programmes for the eradication of poverty, social protection and social development among the poorest of the poor, and the most vulnerable and marginalised. The department effectively implements this through its partnerships with its primary customers/clients and all those sharing its vision.

Older Persons Act, 2006

This Act, which was operationalized by a Presidential Proclamation on 1 April 2010, establishes a framework for empowering and protecting older persons, and promoting and maintaining their status, rights, well-being, safety and security. It provides for older persons to enjoy good quality services while staying with their families in their communities for as long as possible. Chapter 3 of the Act deals specifically with the development of community based care and support programmes. These fall into the broad categories, namely prevention and promotion programmes, aimed at ensuring that older persons live independent lives within their communities; and home based care, and aimed at ensuring that frail older persons receive maximum care within their communities through a comprehensive range of integrated services. The Act recognises the wisdom and experience of older people and the need to protect their knowledge and skills. It also promotes the active participation of older people in community affairs.

Fund-Raising Act, 1978

The Fund-Raising Act of 1978, which provided for the establishment of various relief funds. Except for its relief fund chapter it was repealed in 1997 by the Non-Profit Organisations Act, 1997. The Social Development Sector is in the process of repealing the remaining parts of the Act.

Social Service Professions Act, 1978

This Act, formerly known as the Social Work Act, provides for the establishment of the South Africa Council for Social Work and defines its powers and functions. The Act was amended in 1995 to provide for the establishment of the South African Interim Council for Social Work and for the rationalisation of certain laws relating to social workers that remained in force in the various areas of the national territory of the Republic. The Act was also amended in 1996 in order to make the South African Interim Council for Social Work more representative of the people of the country. The 1998 amendment established the South African Council for Social Service Professions, and professional boards for social service professions.

Children’s Act, 2005

This Act, which was operationalized by a Presidential Proclamation on 1 April 2010, gives effect to the rights of children contained in the Constitution. Its sets out principles relating to the care and protection of children, and defines parental responsibilities and rights. It deals with early childhood development, prevention and early intervention, children in alternative care, foster care, child and youth centres and drop-in centres, the adoption of children, and inter-country adoption. It also gives effect to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, provides for surrogate motherhood, and creates new offences relating to children.

Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, 2008

This Act provides for a comprehensive national response for the combating of substance abuse, to provide for mechanisms aimed at demand and harm reduction in relation to substance abuse through prevention, early intervention, treatment and re-integration programmes; to provide for the registration and establishment of treatment centres and halfway houses; to provide for the committal of persons to and from treatment centres and for their treatment, rehabilitation and skills development in such treatment centres; to provide for the establishment of the Central Drug Authority; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Non-Profit Organisations Act, 1997

This Act repealed the Fund-Raising Act, 1997, excluding the chapter that deals with relief funds, and provided for an environment in which non-profit organisations can flourish. The Act also established an administrative and regulatory framework within which non-profit organisations can conduct their affairs. The Act was amended in 2000 to effect certain textual alterations.

National Development Agency Act, 1998

This act established the National Youth Development Agency (NDA), which is responsible for promoting appropriate and sustainable partnerships between government and civil society organizations (CSOs) aimed at eradicating poverty and its causes. The NDA is mandated to grant funds to civil society organizations (CSOs) in order to enhance their capacity to meet the developmental needs of poor communities, and promote development dialogue.

Advisory Board on Social Development Act, 2001

The Act established the national Advisory Board on Social Development, aimed at building and consolidating partnerships between government and civil society. The Act is yet to be brought into operation.


White Paper for Social Welfare (1997)

The White Paper sets out the principles, guidelines, proposed policies and programmes for developmental social welfare in South Africa. As the primary policy document, the White Paper serves as the foundation for social welfare in the post-1994 era.


White Paper Population Policy for South Africa (1998)

The White Paper aims to promote sustainable human development and quality of life for all South Africans through the integration of population issues into development planning in all spheres of government and in all sectors of society. The policy mandates the Department of Social Development to monitor the implementation of the policy and its impact on population trends and dynamics in the context of sustainable human development. Government departments and their counterparts in civil society should be capacitated and supported to understand the critical linkages between population and development, and to integrate population issues in development planning, through research and the dissemination of data and information.

Domestic Violence Act, 1998

The Act seeks to provide victims of domestic violence with the maximum protection the law can provide, and introduces measures aimed at ensuring that the relevant organs of state give full effect to its provisions, thereby conveying the state’s commitment to eliminating domestic violence. The department is currently helping to develop an integrated manual on the Act which will be used to train Social workers, police, and court personnel. Other legislation affecting the Department’s operations include:

Child Justice Act, 2008

The Child Justice Act of 2008 provides for the following:

  • To establish a criminal justice system for children, who are in conflict with the law and are accused of committing offences, in accordance with the values underpinning the Constitution and the international obligations of the Republic;
  • to provide for the minimum age of criminal capacity of children; to provide a mechanism for dealing with children who lack criminal capacity outside the criminal justice system;
  • to make special provision for securing attendance at court and the release or detention and placement of children;
  • to make provision for the assessment of children; to provide for the holding of a preliminary inquiry and to incorporate, as a central feature, the possibility of diverting matters away from the formal criminal justice system, in appropriate circumstances;
  • to make provision for child justice courts to hear all trials of children whose matters are not diverted;
  • to extend the sentencing options available in respect of children who have been convicted;
  • to entrench the notion of restorative justice in the criminal justice system in respect of children who are in conflict with the law; and
  • to provide for matters incidental thereto.
National Youth Development Agency Act, 2008

The National Youth Development Agency Act, 2008 provides for the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency aimed at creating and promoting coordination in youth development matters; the objects and functions of the Agency; the manner in which it is to be managed and governed; the regulation of its staff matters and financial affairs; the administration of the fund referred to in the Demutualization Levy Act, 1998 by the Agency under a new name; the repeal of the National Youth Commission Act, 1996; and matters connected therewith.

Special Department Days School & Public Holidays How to Contact Us

08 March : International Womans Day
04 May : Child Protection week
15 May : International Day for Family
01 June : International Childrens Day
15 June : Internal Day Against Substance Abuse and Drug Trafficking
11 July : World Population Day
21 September : World Alzehemiers Day
01 October: Older Persons Day
15 October : International Rural Womens Day
17 October : World Food Day
01 November : National Childrens Day
25 November : 16 Days of Activism of Violence against Women and Children
01 December : World AIDS Day
03 December : International Day for Persons With Disabilities

1 January: New Year's Day
21 March: Human Rights Day
10 April: Good Friday
13 April: Family Day
27 April: Freedom Day
1 May: Workers' Day
16 June: Youth Day
9 August: National Women's Day
10 August: Public holiday
24 September: Heritage Day
16 December: Day of Reconciliation
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Day of Goodwill

Call Center: 033 264 3001/2/4
Private Bag x 1724
Tel:033 395 9701
Fax:033 345 0385
Private Bag X 13
Tel: 035 874 8502
Fax: 035 847 8602
Private Bag X9917
Tel:036 634 6600
FAx: 036 634 1696
P.O Box 1503
Tel: 031 336 8704
Fax: 031 337 0674

© Department of Social Development Province of KwaZulu-Natal