Where We Work
Where We Work
AASA has a footprint in both urban and rural locations in six provinces across the country. Historically AASA’s focus has been on rural development with seven existing rural local rights programmes (LRPs) in which we have been working for many years. Rural poverty remains a key focus of our work, with a commitment to deepen the impact of our programmes and show real change in the lives of communities. At the same time however, we recognise that South Africa has an increasingly urbanised population, with some 60% of the population now living in cities and towns. Over the past years, AASA has increased its work in urban areas, and will continue to focus on urban spaces between 2017 and 2021, with a commitment to setting up new urban LRPs over this strategic period.
Who we work with
We work with local and national allies to support people living in poverty, particularly womxn, the youth and children to claim their human rights.
People living in poverty are not only those below a certain income level, we also recognise the poverty of rights, dignity, access and power. We prioritise working with marginalised people facing discrimination and dispossessed by disaster, violence and inequality
We partner with grass-roots organisations and social movements located in the communities we work in. We also strategically partner with research institutions and civil society alliances and coalitions.
AASA recognises the limitations of NGOs to affect long term change, and believe that the only vehicle for transformative, sustainable and structural change is through the actions of people who are directly affected.
Mokopane (previously known as Potgietersrus) is a town located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, located within the Mogalakwena Local Municipality and the Waterberg District Municipality. It is a small town but serves as a key service hub for nearby farming and mining operations and as a stopover for travelers on route to Botswana, Zimbabwe and the Kruger National Park. Traditionally life in the villages around Mokopane was dominated by agriculture, both large scale commercial and small-scale production on mostly communal land. This has been fundamentally changed by the growth in mining activities around Mokopane over the last three decades. Much of this mining activity has centered on the existence of rich platinum deposits in the area although other mining and quarrying activities also take place. There remains a great deal of both large scale and small scale farming activities throughout the Waterberg District Municipality as a whole but within the areas covered by LRP 8 the mining activity has had a profound and destructive impact on the agricultural activities that many households have and still do rely on for survival.
The key areas of campaign interest in Mokopane (LRP 8) are the interconnected areas of mining and land rights. There is a lot of anger among the communities about the ways in which mining companies are operating in the area and the massive impacts that mining has on the local communities.
Greytown is in Umvoti Municipality, one of the four local municipalities within Umzinyathi District. It is located along the eastern border of Umzinyathi district about 65 km from Dundee and approximately 70km from Pietermaritzburg. It comprises five traditional authority areas. Greytown is the main commercial town within the Municipality. The central part of the area is generally covered with high potential commercial farmland and is characterised by low population density. In 2013, 43% of the population earned no income while another 43% earned less than R 2400 per month whilst, higher incomes tend to occur in the towns. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) documents inform of a trend in which the number of people without incomes is increasing. These low incomes imply that people are not able to afford basic services, coupled with a youthful and dependent population, there is a need for increasing expansion of social services for the people.(require more information regarding the decision to work within this LRP.
Thulamela is the first rural location in South Africa that ActionAid International South Africa (AAISA) worked in, dating back to 2007. At present there are two LRPs in this area which are LRP 1&3. The two are known as Thulamela Urban and Thulamela Rural. The Thulamela LRP covers six villages, namely Khubvi, Tshiombo, Shihosana, Lunungwi, Tshifudi and Vhurivhuri within the Thulamela local municipality in the Vhembe district. Thulamela is one of the four Local Municipalities in Limpopo Province. The nearest town centre is Thohoyandou, which also serves as the main trading centre with the population mainly made up of Venda and Tsonga speaking people. The Thulamela LRP population is 91.2% rural which is similar to that of the Limpopo province as a whole. This percentage contrasts sharply with the national population distribution between urban and rural of 52.9% urban and 47% rural (Thulamela Municipality Integrated Development Plan, 2009/2010 – 2011/12). The Thulamela municipality has high levels of unemployment with very few job creation opportunities available. It is estimated that some 27% of the population of Thulamela has no education at all, this is high by South African standards. Of those who do have some level of education only 27% have any secondary education. Only 3% of the total population of the Thulamela, approximately, 15 051 people has tertiary education. These figures suggest that there is a crisis of education within this LRP.
Background and Process for LRP strategy Development
Ga-Segonyane LRP is one of the two LRPs established in the Northern Cape Province. The LRP is in its first year of operation. It is made up of 12 villages within the Ga-Segonyane Municipality in John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality. ActionAid has already started work, mainly focusing on improving household food security for the poor communities in the villages. This is the first Strategy for the LRP, envisaged to guide AAISA work for the next 5 years.
The development of the strategy was based on community level analysis of the situation, consultations with key stakeholders including community leaders. It also involved desk research looking at Integrated Development Plans and other important documents related to the municipality. In the community level analysis, womxn made the majority of participants and their inputs were particularly important.
Joe Morolong LRP, formerly known as Moshaweng is located in the Northern Cape Province. It is made up of 4 villages, namely Ellendale, Camden, Tsineng and Gases within the Joe Morolong Local Municipality in John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality. The Joe Morolong municipal area is approximately 5 813 km2 in size, which makes it the biggest in the district but it is also the poorest municipality. This area is characterized by rural establishments made up of 154 villages of different sizes and numerous scattered villages connected by gravel and dirt roads. Various Tribal Authorities exist with nine Paramount Chiefs within this municipal boundary though the municipality is entirely on municipal land. It has a population of 106 103, with 187 villages, 20 647 households, 168 schools, 3 police stations, 23 clinics and 2 community health centres. More than 65% of the population is aged below 29 years old, meaning that the population is quite youthful.
The composition of the population of the Joe Morolong municipal area has implications for the work we undertaken albeit within the fairly limited area of the LRP. One of these is the fact that the population is very young and there is a need to focus work on this young population.
It is uniquely geared to set-up and embed community-friendly support services within the host communities, Bonteheuwel and Beacon Valley, Mitchell’s Plain, and under-served poor areas facilitating them as whole organisations to use their existing resources maximally. Collectively facing their challenges of how better to use the resources at hand to deal with their situation more effectively, is the critical first step of the developmental journey