Repository logo

Investigating the effectiveness of the victim empowerment programme (VEP) by the Department of social development (DSD) in Gauteng Province.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The increasing level of crime and violence in South Africa threatens the feeling of safety for citizens and threatens the democracy that was obtained in 1994. As a response to the scourge of crime and violence, the South African Government conceptualised and implemented the Victim Empowerment Programme. The Victim Empowerment Programme is one of the key responses to combat the effects of crime and violence. It seeks to address the effects of crime and violence on individuals; and ensures that victims have formal rights in the criminal justice proceedings. It is against this background that a study to investigate the effectiveness of the Victim Empowerment Programme by the Department of Social Development in Gauteng Province was conducted. This is a qualitative research study. Descriptive data was collected through semi-structured focus group interviews which allowed Victim Empowerment Programme managers from the Civil Society Organisations and the Department of Social Development in Gauteng province to share real life experiences about the implementation of the programme. Twenty-eight (28) participants were recruited for this study through non-probability purposive sampling. The findings of this study indicated that the Department of Social Development was effectively coordinating, managing, leading and implementing the programme. However, challenges such as communication, availability of adequate human and financial resources, partnerships with Civil Society Organisations and unavailability of accountability systems were cited. The recommendations for this study include the development of a logic model for Victim Empowerment Programme to improve effectiveness; strengthening of partnership with Civil Society Organisations to compliment victim‟s services through placement of government paid professional, rigorous marketing of the programme to ensure public knowledge about the programme and revamping of the programme into work streams with vibrant accountability systems.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.