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Danida Partnership

Denmark has been providing development assistance to South Africa since 1995, and for many years before that financial support was given to non-state actors affected by apartheid.

Danish support to South Africa

Denmark has a long history of supporting South Africa. During the struggle against apartheid from 1963 to 1994, the Danish Government supported the victims of apartheid with 975 million DKK. Among many were areas supporting education of the underprivileged black population, environmental management, good governance and democracy building as well as general human rights empowerment. 

There is a lot to be said about Danida and B2B co-operation in South Africa. In the sections below we have compiled some background information and an overview of ongoing projects.

To read the full report on a "decade of development", please follow the link to a PDF version of the report in the bottom of this page.  

Danida in South Africa

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Danida In South Africa

Danida In South Africa

Denmark has been providing development assistance to South Africa since 1995, and for many years before that financial support was given to non-state actors affected by apartheid.

Denmark has a long history of supporting South Africa. During the struggle against apartheid from 1963 to 1994, the Danish Government supported the victims of apartheid with 975 million DKK. Among many were areas supporting education of the underprivileged black population, environmental management, good governance and democracy building as well as general human rights empowerment.

A Decade of Development

A Decade of Development

The Danish development aid to South Africa has been gradually phased out and there will be no new projects initiated. The total value of of assistance provided from 1995-2010 was approximately DKK 2,5 Billion (Equal to around R3,25 Billion). Assistance has focused on supporting the ongoing democratic and economic development in South Africa.

The Danish 7 cluster approach

Over the last decade, Denmark, in collaboration with different South Africa Government Ministries and Civil Society Organisations, has implemented more than 1,000 projects in cooperation with NGOs, municipalities and ministries. During this period, assistance has been divided into 7 clusters.

7 clustersTo read the full report "A decade of development", which provides a full overview of Danish Danida-assistance, please follow the link to the PDF version at the bottom of this page.

Among the key Danish programmes were for example;



Urban Environmental Management

The DKK 220 mill Urban Environmental Management (UEM) programme is one of the programmes that have demonstrated numerous success stories through a close partnership with the Department of Environment, the Provinces and the four large municipalities of Ethekwini, Ekurhuleni, Cape Town and Johannesburg, and provide an excellent example of good development cooperation.
The issue of energy is closely related to climate change. Unless we reduce our energy consumption through energy efficiency and renewable energy we will not be able to mitigate the severe damages climate change will cause to both the planet and our economies.


Gender equality is one of the most important driving forces behind economic growth and the fight against poverty. In this respect the Thuthuzela initiative, undertaken in cooperation with the National Prosecution Agency, is an outstanding model that the Royal Danish Embassy in Pretoria is proud to be involved in. Denmark continues to support the struggle against sexual and domestic violence through the Thuthuzela Care Centres. The centres are one stop rape-clinics that will provide services to victims from medical personnel, counsellors, police and prosecutors in one place where the focus is on the care and comfort of the victim. Having services together under one roof and dedicated staff looking after the victims of rape reduces the secondary victimization that they otherwise often experience when reporting a rape. The project was implemented together with UNICEF and the National Prosecuting Authority and 12 new Thuthuzela Care Centres was established by 2012.

Democracy, Good Governance and Anti Corruption

Democracy, Good Governance and Anti Corruption is also an area where Denmark speak with a clear voice.
Denmark cannot and will not accept corruption – all people have a right to live in freedom from corruption.
In order to achieve the objective of seeing an end to corruption, Denmark and South Africa have developed a joint Anti-Corruption programme. The programme was based on a challenging, but rewarding partnership, where the Danish Embassy worked together with National government departments namely, Department of Public Service and Administration and Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), and with civil society organisation, the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC).The programme amounted to 22 million Danish Kroner and ran until the end of 2011.

Donor Alignment

Denmark is a signatory to the Paris Declaration on Donor Alignment and has been working on streamlining Danida activities. The phasing out process is being done gradually to ensure the sustainability of the results produced by almost two decades of development cooperation and almost half a century of Danish support to South Africa. To access the Declaration of intent between the Government of South Africa and the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden on ownership, alignment and mutual accountability follow the link below.

Danida Business Partnership

Danida Business Partnership - B2B

The B2B programme has been replaced by the Danida Business Partnerships. The B2B programme in South Africa is being closed down in line with the general phasing out of Danish bilateral development aid to South Africa. This implies that no future projects will receive financial support.

The B2B Programme was initiated in 1995 as part of Denmark’s Transitional Assistance to South Africa and has since facilitated a vast number of business partnerships between South African and Danish companies.

In South Africa the B2B Programme has contributed to reducing poverty by promoting economic growth and social development. The objective of the B2B is to promote the establishment of long-term, sustainable partnerships between local South African companies and Danish companies with a view to promoting local business development. In many cases, the B2B programme has been very successful and project partners have developed the partnership beyond the B2B programme.

On-going projects will be managed according to the guidelines for the B2B programme and monitored until they are completed. The allocated budget is committed to existing legally binding projects and no new project applications will be accepted.

Ongoing Danida Projects

Ongoing Danida Projects

The Danish development aid to South Africa is being phased out. There are, still a number of ongoing projects waiting to be finalized according to the project plans, where Denmark provides support to strategic areas.

Regional involvement

The increasing globalisation is creating regional structures all around the world. Some regions are very far in this process of regional integration, others still have some way to go. Regional cooperation and integration is also in the future for Africa, and taking part in nurturing these emerging structures is extremely important, but also challenging.
In the Danish Development Strategy it is a goal to strengthen the international capacity for conflict prevention and peacekeeping as well as to contribute to the protection of those affected by crisis, conflict and disaster. Support to local and regional conflict management mechanisms will help prevent violent conflicts and prevent nations from becoming fragile states or becoming radicalised. The focus will be on strengthening the countries own capacity for prevention and on integration of the countries’ conflict prevention strategies.
In the Development strategy as well as in the Danish Africa Strategy the need for economic development in Africa is emphasised. The focus is on creating stability and growth through regional integration.
In relation to this, Danida launched a regional programme in order to advance and strengthen the regional integration in Southern Africa in 2010. The first phase of the programme ran from 2010-2012, and the second phase is currently running in the period 2013-14. The second phase of the programme has a budget of 20 million Danish Kroner and the projects are within democratization, peace and security and regional economic integration in Africa. The organisations supported in the second phase are prominent South African organisations which have extensive experience on regional cooperation:

1. South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
2. Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)
3. Institute for Security Studies (ISS)
4. Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (TRALAC)
5. Centre for conflict resolution (CCR)

Wind Resource Atlas

In line with the Danish development priority on environment and climate an interesting partnership between the Danish Laboratory for Sustainable Energy (Risø DTU) and South Africa's National Energy Research Institute (SANERI) has been established on the development of a wind resource atlas in South Africa.
To download the 2009 Declaration of intent between the Governments of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Government and the Republic of South Africa on cooperation in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency follow the link below.
The project aims to develop higher technical skills in South Africa to find and exploit the country's wind resources, through technical cooperation between Danish (Risø DTU) and South African institutions regarding national renewable energy resource planning.
The project has five complementary and closely related components, targeting general issues within capacity building and specific needs within skills development in the renewable energy sector.
Wind measuring posts have been set up in 10 different locations in South Africa and have been collecting data since August 2010. The Wind Atlas was launched in September 2010 by the South African minister for Energy. Data is available to companies, researchers and the public to be downloaded at
The programme is set to run until the end of 2012.

Among the Danida programmes still under implementation are the N2 Gateway and the Skills Development Program:

N2 Gateway low cost energy efficient housing

In the Danish Development Strategy Environment and climate is mentioned as one of the five priorities for the Danish effort. Access to sustainable, renewable energy is crucial if we are to achieve lasting, sustainable development. Denmark will therefore seek to improve the developing countries’ access to dependable and sustainable energy while promoting more efficient use of energy resources. The private sector should be encouraged to become
involved in innovative solutions. Denmark will work to ensure the active involvement of the private sector in the development of sustainable forms of energy and in the transfer of new energy technologies to developing countries.
In accordance with this priority a programme of low-cost housing is being redesigned in cooperation with the Department of Housing in South Africa, CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and DTI (Danish Technological Institute).
The programme aims to develop and pilot test affordable and energy efficient low-cost houses, which can contribute to poverty alleviation in two main areas: (i) it will reduce heating costs in winter, and (ii) it will improve the indoor air quality through reduced indoor consumption of coal, and thus improve the health and living standards of poor families.
A show village with 50 housing units has already been constructed and is now functioning and the construction of the remaining houses is underway.
The N2-Gateway project in Cape Town will form the basis of this programme, and it is expected that 3000 environmental and energy friendly RDP-houses (Reconstruction and Development Programme) will be built in the N2-Gateway.

Skills Development

There is a great need for skilled workers in South Africa and on the whole African continent in order to address massive youth unemployment. Denmark has funded a project with the South African Department of Higher Education and Training to improve the opportunity of employment for the poorest and most marginalised people in South Africa. This is done by enhancing the ability of the Further Education and Training (FET) colleges to provide technical education and skills development responsive to the needs of industries, small and medium-sized enterprises, the communities and the students.
Phases 1 and 2 have been completed and the embassy has now initiated a third phase of the programme that will run until the end of 2013 with the budget of DKK 20 million.

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Embassy of Denmark

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Phone +27 (0) 12 430 9340