Zibambele Program

South Africa
Technical Area:
Education, Governance and Government Advisory
eThekwini Municipality

Project Overview

The Zibambele Program (piloted by the Department of Transport) is designed to provide sustainable work opportunities to poor families in South Africa.

The Program creates meaningful work for female-headed households, while addressing fundamental objectives of the Government of South Africa, through the maintenance of the eThekwini Municipality rural road network (and other assets). Through the Program, households are engaged to undertake maintenance activities on an assigned length of road. Currently, approximately 6,000 households are working with the Program, equating to 2,500 km of the eThekwini road network. The Program will pay households for two days (of work) each week to perform their road maintenance tasks, including; maintenance of the road drainage system, maintenance of the road surface, ensuring roadside visibility, and clearing of litter and weeds.

Selected by the community, a household is employed on a 12-month contract. Upon expiry, the community opts to renew or discontinue the agreement based on performance, eligibility (in terms of a means test) and approval (of the area committee structures).

Based on the success of the Program within the KwaZulu‑Natal province, future plans are being considered to implement the program nationally.

OUR Role

SMEC has an active role in the Program’s implementation, monitoring and reporting.

“The Zibambele Program creates meaningful work and enhances human dignity associated with being gainfully employed. Zibambele is a wonderful example of how a program designed to alleviate poverty can be gender affirmative, employ the neediest and still be successful in delivering a basic level of service in a cost effective manner,” said Mr. Mark Tomlinson, eThekwini Project Manager, Roads and Stormwater Maintenance.


Dave Duke General Manager Social & Urban Development +27 83 795 1969