History

General elections in South Africa. Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as president.

Hunger for delivery is one of the spin-offs of the elections. Rural areas continue to be marginalised. The Government introduces the Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP) – an economic policy that focuses on addressing the legacy of apartheid through redistribution and social justice.

Many community leaders are absorbed into government, but suddenly legitimate structures come into existence within communities.

Scat celebrates 10 years.

An evaluation shows that Scat-supported rural advice offices play a pivotal role in community development. Because of this Scat decides to increase funding to rural advice centres to maximise their potential as local development agencies.

Scat’s Fund Raising Incentive Scheme (FRIS) is initiated. This scheme offers a financial reward to Scat partner local development agencies that successfully raise money in their own communities. This is different from apartheid-era solidarity and support, and places new demands on rural community organisations.

Scat funds the Kleinmond, Lesedi, Cradock advice offices and the Health Care Trust.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is set up under Archbishop Desmond Tutu to investigate human rights abuses under apartheid.

23% of African women aged 25 or older have no formal education compared to 16% of African men.

Teenage pregnancies account for one-third of all live births in South Africa and 31% of girls report that they had dropped out of school because of unplanned pregnancies.

24% of all parliamentarians in South Africa’s first post-apartheid Parliament are women.

Scat’s theme is ‘A Salute to Scat’s Women’. Scat formulates a gender policy to foster development and that aims to have 50% women committee members in LDAs.

LDAs play a critical role in the development and stability of South Africa. Scat’s development fund established to attract support services, technical advice and training programmes to rural community initiatives. Partners can apply for funds for consultancies or training.

The first FRIS fieldworker is appointed, a special fund is established and an award-winning initiative is underway. Local development agencies receive five rand for every one rand raised locally. The idea behind the scheme is to foster community control and ownership of development agencies.

Scat begins to support the Patensie, Lady Grey, Humansdorp, Jeffery’s Bay, Robertson, Steinkopf, Phillipstown and the Ceres advice offices.

The Department of Health introduces the red ribbon HIV and AIDS logo, signifying a new struggle in the fight against the disease.

Political killings are down to 837 people in 1995 compared to 1600 in 1994 and 2009 in 1993.

The TRC holds its opening session in East London. Former President FW de Klerk reiterates to the TRC his apologies for suffering caused during the conflict that ended the apartheid system. However, he says that when in power (1948–1994) his National Party had not, to his knowledge, authorised the security forces to commit murder, torture, rape, assassination or assault. The ANC presents to the TRC a detailed 300-page self-analysis of the ANC’s human rights record and strategy during its campaign to end apartheid. The document names 34 ANC members who were executed by an ANC military tribunal at an external base in Angola.

The new South African Constitution is adopted.

The RDP Ministry is closed. The Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) policy is adopted.

A survey conducted in KwaZulu-Natal finds that 60% of men and 33% of women aged 19 – 49 are migrants. The census finds 34% of the economically active population (aged 15–60) is unemployed. In the poorest provinces the figure is close to 50%.

Scat’s theme is ‘Partnership’. Scat is unique in combining funding and capacity building services for rural communities. Cluster workshops, similar to but more intimate than regional seminars, bring together four or five projects for discussions and training. Scat pays out a record R600 000 in FRIS claims – this means R120 000 raised locally by communities.

Scat wins three-year tender for the Northern Cape Partnerships Programme funded by USAID, with a special focus on building civil society.

Protests by thousands of farmers around the country, supported by South African Agricultural Union, against land reform legislation and loss of tax rebates, and against the government’s failure to solve the high number of farm murders.

Advice offices focus increasingly on legal, and particularly labour-related work, as social security becomes a GEAR casualty. Their impact on women’s economic power is in danger of being further reduced.

An evaluation affirms Scat’s decision to focus on the rural areas. By the end of 1997 both the government and international donors realise that the government does not have the capacity to deliver desperately needed services. The importance of NGOs is recognised and the government establishes the National Development Agency (NDA), the launch of which is delayed.

Scat fieldworkers support financial and organisation skills in LDAs, whose committees have always comprised of volunteers. Scat remains convinced that their expectation of community control is an essential component of civil society and accountable governance – and that accountability includes women and other marginalised groups actively involved at all levels of decision-making and activity. Scat addresses how to approach their work with a flexible gender policy. New ways of providing support are necessary and so the committee and fundraising training modules are developed. Scat pilots training programme for voluntary committee members – 153 voluntary members from 35 community-based organisations.

Scat provides bursaries for rural educare trainees, instead of contributing to the core budgets of educare training organisations. Trainees still pay a small course fee – which is regarded as the rural communities’ own contribution to the development of educare services in rural areas.

Scat moves into its newly acquired building, Scat House, in Loop Street in Cape Town.

The government establishes an Interdepartmental Committee to strengthen the response to HIV AND AIDSby government departments at all levels.

The Medical Research Council estimates that 180 507 people in South Africa have TB Of these, 33% were probably also infected with HIV.

Condom distribution increases from 6 million in 1994 to 172 million in 1997 but condom use remains low and inconsistent. In the national antenatal sero-prevalence survey 12.7% of women under the age of 20 test HIV-positive.

Poverty hearings held in each of the nine provinces. Over 10 000 people participated in Speak Out on Poverty by attending the hearings, mobilising communities or making submissions. Nearly 600 people present oral evidence over the 35 days of the hearings. Poverty hearings leave no doubt that the Scat-funded LDAs make a vital contribution to poverty alleviations. The work of paralegals is in the forefront of rights education and the implementation of initiatives like the Human Rights National Action Plan.

First corporate and first South African donor to Scat – the Anglo De Beers Chairman’s Fund.

Scat provides core funding to 60 rural LDAs and consults with its partners about their priorities in their relationship with Scat.

12 communities participate in Scat’s Northern Cape Partnerships for Development Programme.

The number of women under the age of 20 who test positive for HIV almost doubles from 12.7% in 1997 to 21% in 1998. This is the largest increase in any age group.

Members of Executive Councils of Health from various provinces decide not to introduce the antiretroviral drug AZT to HIV and AIDSpatients. The Minister of Health announces that AZT would not be made available for the prevention of vertical transmission from mother to child due to high costs.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is formed to campaign for the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS to access to treatment and care.

South Africa’s second democratic election is held with the ANC winning for the second time. Thabo Mbeki inaugurated as president.

Scat plays a key role in the formation of the NGO investment company, Ditikeni.

Scat emphasises the development of skills and training because after 1994 many skilled NGO workers were absorbed into national, provincial and local government structures and need to be replaced. Trustees agree to the addition of a training team within Scat so that Scat will be able to provide training for grantees.

First government grant received from the Western Cape Provincial Department of Welfare’s Poverty Alleviation Programme. Scat builds partnerships with government structures and networks with NGOs in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Voter education for the second democratic elections absorbs much of the time of Scat-funded LDAs.

Increasing numbers of staff members and volunteers do not come from an activist background, of working ‘for the cause’ and demand a living wage and benefits. However, FRIS has increasing numbers of joint fund-raising ventures: a profit-sharing agreement is required by Scat.

The Western Cape Provincial Health Department begins dispensing the drug Nevirapine to prevent vertical transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies.

21st Century declared ‘African Century’ by many African leaders.

South African government fails to contain and then reverse escalating poverty and to effectively deliver services. National Development Agency (NDA) established to assist in the eradication of poverty.

Infant mortality figures are 55 per 1000 live births.

Life expectancy is 52.1 years and is expected to fall as the number of young people who die of AIDS increases.

Scat emphasises training to increase skills levels in its partner communities in response to very high levels of poverty and unemployment. Scat also becomes increasingly involved in development programmes and economic initiatives. Scat worked with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to assist with pre-grant screening and follow-up monitoring of worthy organisations.

Scat responds to the HIV and AIDS pandemic by finalising their own policy and sharing this with their rural partners. The magnitude of the epidemic and its devastating effects, particularly in the rural areas, compel Scat to be more active in this area.

Scat wins the Mail and Guardian ‘Investing in the Future’ award for the Fund Raising Incentive Scheme. Scat also wins the Katlego Award at the South African NGO coalition’s NGO week. The winner of the Katlego Award in the category for Financial Sustainability was the Border Rural Committee, one of the first organisations that Scat supported in the 1980s.

The National Skills Development Strategy unveiled – this focuses on building the skills of rural people. Scat establishes its own in-house training team.

President Mbeki sets up the ‘Presidential International Panel of Scientists on HIV AND AIDSin Africa’, which includes several AIDS dissidents.

The Eastern Cape’s western region, made up of Port Elizabeth, Humansdorp, Uitenhage, Graaff Reinet and Grahamstown, has the province’s highest HIV infection rate. In 1989 there were only 30 diagnosed cases of HIV and AIDSand six reported deaths. By June 2000 29 201people had been diagnosed HIV positive and 2804 people were reported to have died of AIDS. 628,000 or 24% of all admissions to public hospitals were for AIDS-related illnesses.           

Police crime statistics for the period January to December indicate that 13 540 children under 17 years were raped, 7899 of them were younger than 11 years old. These figures are lower than the actual number of rapes that occurred due to the fact that sexual abuse is often not reported.

Programme of action for a multi-pronged strategy to eradicate poverty and place African countries on a path of sustainable growth and development is adopted by the OAU and endorsed by a number of developed countries and organisations.

Two-thirds of the 16.3 million children in South Africa live below the poverty line.

Scat’s theme is ‘Turning rural poverty around through partnerships’. The fieldwork programme, with a new HIV and AIDSprogramme, is extended. HRH Prince Haakon of Norway visits Scat and three of its rural partners.

Ever-increasing levels of poverty challenge rural community-based organisations. More than five million children in South Africa regularly go hungry and only 12% of poor children receive child support grants (R110 a month per child under the age of six and care dependency grants of R570 a month for those with severe disabilities). Only about 30% of the poor are eligible for grants. So, even if there were to be a full take up of grants (which does not happen), more than 15 million people fall outside of the social security support system. Many of these people have no income.

One in three girls in South Africa will be pregnant before the age of 20. Worsening levels of violence against women and children indicate deteriorating gender relations.

Partnership Consultation Meeting held to reflect on issues of importance. Nearly all LDAs identify poverty as the main issue that they are facing and that they wished to address in regional seminars. A special consultative meeting around HIV and AIDS is held.

200,000 people die as a result of AIDS in 2001. HIV and AIDS is the single largest cause of death in adults. There are an estimated 660 000 AIDS orphans in South Africa. COSATU calls on the government to declare the HIV and AIDS epidemic a national emergency.

44% of the population (18 million people) are under the age of 20.

Scat’s theme for the year is 'Working towards Sustainable Rural Livelihoods'. Scat initiates an HIV & AIDS programme that includes making funding available for dedicated work by LDAs. Six pilot activator sites are selected – Dordrecht and Masiphakameni (Eastern Cape); Ceres and Prince Albert (Western Cape); Port Nolloth (Northern Cape) and Lesedi (North West Province) to receive intense training and to begin this work in communities.

In order to formulate a clear position and coherent response for Scat in relation to the complex issues of poverty LDAs are dealing with, Scat develops a Local Economic Development (LED) Strategy.

The Advice Office Partnership Programme begins. This is a pilot study involving Scat, the Legal Aid Board, Mott Foundation and Community Law and Rural Development Centre working with LDAs to provide access to justice for people. The programme aims to link LDAs with justice centres where candidate attorneys will assist paralegals with cases requiring litigation.

Through FRIS rewards the Molteno Advice Office in the rural Eastern Cape purchases the building they had been renting for ten years.

The Dordrecht Advice Office receives the best FRIS award and claims R100 000 from the scheme. The advice office initiates several sister projects and uses FRIS funds to support them. The Buyambo Beaders, Pakamani AIDS group, a brick-making project and a day-care centre for the disabled are among the projects the advice office is able to support.

An antenatal survey is conducted by the Department of Health, the first since 1990. The survey reveals that 5.3 million South Africans are living with HIV or AIDS. 26.5% of women attending antenatal clinics tested HIV positive. President Mbeki is publicly opposed to the provision of antiretroviral drugs in South Africa, arguing that they are dangerously toxic and questioning whether HIV or poverty is the true cause of AIDS.

A study in the rural Eastern Cape finds that 22% of young people have had sexual intercourse at or below the age of 11. A quarter of South Africa’s extremely poor children live in the Eastern Cape. Young people, particularly young women, are vulnerable to infection with HIV, as transactional sex becomes a way to obtain food or resources such as school fees.

14% of young people in South Africa between the ages of 15 and 24 are HIV-positive. The prevalence rate for young men is 5.8% while for young women it is almost four times that at 21.6%. Since 1996, 20 000 child rapes a year have been reported in South Africa. Government health policy states that ‘ARVs should not be issued to the victims of rape or sexual assault’.

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government defies the National Department of Health and begins to supply Nevirapine to all pregnant women who wish to take it. The Constitutional Court rules that the state has to begin distributing Nevirapine.

The official unemployment rate is 31.2%.  There are only 11.56 million jobs, but 16.81 million economically active South Africans. That means that 5.25 million people are unemployed. 21.9 million (48.5% of the entire population) live below the national poverty line.

Three provincial seminars are held. In the Eastern Cape 32 LDAs attended the ‘Health, Peace and Development’ seminar. In the Northern Cape 12 LDAs attended the ‘Socio-Economic Development in Rural Communities’ seminar. The Western Cape the seminar theme is ‘Local Economic Development.’

An evaluation of FRIS finds that the scheme has achieved its primary and secondary aims and has had a major developmental impact.

About half of all paediatric deaths in the Eastern Cape are AIDS related. The infection rate in the Northern Cape went up by 5% in one year to 16%.

The government announces the Operational Plan for Comprehensive Treatment and Care for HIV and AIDS. The government promised that, ‘within a year there would be at least one [antiretroviral] service point in every health district across the country, and within five years, one service point in every local municipality.’

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