Balelapa "My Family" Household Profiling

In 2008, the government of South Africa embarked on an anti poverty campaign of profiling the poorest households and providing them with government services. The main aim of the program is to provide integrated government services in the most deprived wards over the next five years [2009-2014]. Based on the Index on Multiple Deprivation (PIMD), the most deprived wards were identified in all provinces.
For the Northern Cape Province, sixty-one wards were identified.

The intensification of the War on Poverty Programme culminated in the development of the Balelapa Program which stemmed from an EXCO decision to profile all households in the Northern Cape Province.

The Balelapa Household Profiling Project was launched on May 24 2010 by the then National Minister for Social Development, Ms. E. Molewa, the Premier, Ms. H. Jenkins, the then Chairperson of the National Education Portfolio Committee, Mr. M. Fransman and the MEC for Social Development, Mr. A. Botes. Profiling in the Frances Baard, Siyanda and Pixley-ka-Seme Districts commenced in August 2010, in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District during October 2010 and the Namakwa District during November 2010.

The terms of reference of the project is to conduct the house- hold survey throughout the Northern Cape Province utilizing the questionnaire designed by the National War Room on Poverty. The project will utilize 1000 unemployed young learners who will be identified to conduct the field work. The volunteers will receive training and a stipend from the SETAs.

The purpose of the Balelapa Household Profiling Project is to:

  • Identify needy households for planning to devise strategies to alleviate poverty and improve service delivery

  • Integrate services between departments and spheres of government

  • Inform planning, budgeting, decision-making by all government departments

  • Provide socio-economic data to provincial government for planning

  • Obtain information/profiles per household by entering either the name or address of the person/s

  • Identify areas that are under-provided/serviced

  • Determine trends e.g. who worse off than before



We acknowledge that most questions are similar to those posed in the Statistics South Africa Census, scheduled to commence during October 2011. The first level of Census 2011 information which is information per province and nationally will released during November 2012. The second level which contains information for municipalities and places will be released during mid 2013.

Information collected on the Balelapa Household Profiling/War on Poverty questionnaire is accessible immediately. The information contained in the Balelapa Household Profiling/War on Poverty questionnaire is specifically tailored for enabling provincial government to plan better, utilize resources optimally. In fact the questionnaire was developed by Statistics South Africa.

Value of the project:

  • Community and Social Development is, to a large extent, dependent on accurate information

  • Unlike census this information is readily available in the province by the public service

  • Access of information by the designated public service for proper planning

  • Employment opportunities

  • Skills development with a view to increase youth employability and skills set

  • Database of household members and service needs (especially information of those who live in abject poverty for interventions and monitoring purposes)

  • Identification of needy house-holds for planning strategies to alleviate poverty and improve service delivery

  • Integration of services between departments and spheres of government

  • Inform planning, budgeting, decision-making by all government departments

  • Provision of socio-economic data to provincial government for planning and M&E

  • Information/profiles per house-hold by entering either the name or address of the person/s

  • Identify areas that are under-provided/serviced

  • Trends can be determined e.g. who worse off than before

  • Provide Northern Cape Executive Council with a comprehensive set of information on the household profiles of every household in the Northern Cape.

  • Skills development through a SETA Accredited Training Program or full learnership for youth.

  • To have a system in place from which people living in abject poverty can be identified to receive the necessary services by the generation of referrals for immediate intervention.

  • Ensure integrated service delivery across all spheres of government.



The Department launched the project in Springbok on May 24 2010. The guests expected at the launch comprise amongst others Northern Cape provincial MEC’s and MEC’s for Social Development (in all provinces), Heads of Department (provincial), Mayors, Municipal Managers, Speakers (municipalities), CEOs of SETAS, among others.

This project will span over 18 months and will be, in essence, an intensification of the War On Poverty Campaign. The support and participation of government departments and State owned Enterprises (SOE) in this project cannot be over-emphasized.

This article originally appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper as a sponsored feature

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