South Africa’s development assistance strategy rests on three pillars: strengthening Africa’s institutions (regionally and across the continent); supporting the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); and improving bilateral political and socio-economic relations through dialogue and cooperation. South Africa’s other stated goals include promoting democracy, good governance, conflict prevention and resolution, humanitarian assistance and human capital development.
South Africa’s development assistance work is spread across a variety of government agencies. These include the African Renaissance Fund (ARF), which manages around 3% of the total,19 government departments and parastatals. South Africa lacks separate financial reporting lines for its development projects; while the ARF has some reporting guidelines, it lacks a general development assistance strategy and a mechanism to track it. The OECD reports that the fund grew from just under $7 million in 2003 to almost $40 million in 2008/09.
Estimates of South Africa’s total development assistance vary widely, with one recent figure putting 2006 totals between $363 and $475 million (or 0.18% of GDP). Of this assistance, 55% was distributed to the country's Department of Defence, 36% was used by the Department of Education and the remainder was divided between the Departments of Agriculture, Justice and Constitutional Development, Arts and Culture, Public Service and Administration, Public Works, South Africa Police, National Treasury, Minerals and Energy, and Trade and Industry. Casting such a wide net makes it difficult to track South Africa’s ODA and, while in 2007 it announced its intention to create an international development agency, the South African International Development Agency (SAIDA), this appears to be still in the early planning stages.