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The Community Development Workers’ Programme in Support of the War-on-Poverty Programme

Mulwayini Mundau, Pius Tangwe Tanga


The South African government initiated the Community Development Workers’ Programme (CDWP) to combat the alarming levels of poverty in the country. This study sought to examine the extent to which the CDWP has supported the initiatives of the War-on-Poverty programme, with the aim to alleviate poverty. A triangulated mixed methods approach was used in the gathering of data. In total, 250 questionnaires were completed by programme beneficiaries, and 37 in-depth interviews were conducted with key informants in the Eden District Municipality. The major findings show that the efforts made by the CDWP to support the initiatives of the War-on-Poverty programme have borne little or no fruit in some instances. The poor implementation of the initiatives and politicisation of CDWP services were also noted as matters of concern, and therefore the study recommends that a clear policy framework be developed to guide the practice of community development and to ensure the alignment of community development services across sectoral levels of government.


community development; local government; service delivery; war on poverty; South Africa

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