South Africa continues to suffer from the legacy of the Apartheid era, with widespread poverty and ethnic inequalities rife and HIV/AIDs reaching pandemic levels.
South Africa: the facts
South Africa has the world’s largest population of people living with HIV/AIDS – over 6 million – and the highest infection rate at 18 percent of the adult population. South Africans have a life expectancy of just 59 years, mainly because of HIV/AIDS and rising infant mortality rates.
Tuberculosis is another major health problem, with infections doubling from 305 per 100,000 in 1997 to 740 per 100,000 in 2007. South Africa also has 24 percent of the world’s HIV/AIDS related tuberculosis.
Although South Africa's economy has grown over much of the last decade, inequality has been increasing. In 2009, the wealthiest 10 percent of the population earned 51 percent of the nation’s income (World Factbook).
Nevertheless, across many social indicators, progress is being made. For example, secondary school enrolment has increased substantially since 2000, and a public housing program has provided millions of homes for low income families.
Caritas Australia in South Africa
Through our 2 local partners Caritas Australia implemented 2 programs in South Africa in 2011/2012. The programs covered a variety of issues including Education and Peacebuilding.
Snapshot of our recent work
Caritas Australia and our partner, the Catholic Institute of Education (CIE), has provided care and support to children in 23 Catholic schools in 3 provinces of South Africa: Limpopo, Free State and North West. Students are provided nutritional support, school fees, school uniforms, text books, transport to school, access to education and health services, counselling and referrals following health screening.