This special feature provides access to a number of publications that have been produced as part of a Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation research project on the Community Work Programme (CWP) and its impact on violence and crime prevention.

CWP is a public employment programme intended as a safety net that provides a basic stable income to people who are unemployed or underemployed.

CSVR’s interest in CWP and its potential to prevent violence was motivated by research carried out in 2009 and 2010. This research, part of a study on collective violence conducted by CSVR and the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand, indicated that CWP in Bokfontein in North West Province promoted community resilience against violence.

At that point CWP was still in a pilot phase. Since then CWP has been formally established as a government programme located in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). During the 2014-2015 financial year over 202 000 people were involved in the CWP and there are now more than 180 sites at which CWP has been established.

From 2013 to 2015 CSVR conducted research at six CWP sites in Gauteng, the Western Cape and North West. This research was funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the British Department for International Development (DFID) and forms part of the Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) research programme.

The research findings, which were presented at a national policy workshop (co-hosted by COGTA and GIZ), demonstrate the extensive and multi-level contribution that CWP is already making to violence prevention. CWP contributes by addressing underlying causes of violence (through providing income and employment opportunities), addressing immediate causes of violence (through patrols and safety campaigns) and building social cohesion and community capacity to act collectively.

A planned second phase of this project (2016-2018) will explore opportunities to build the capacity of CWP to contribute more effectively and expansively to violence prevention.

Please continue visiting this page to view new publications emerging from this research.


CSVR’s publications on CWP to date:


Bruce, David. 2015. “The Good, the Better and the Best: How the Community Work Programme Can Reach Its Full Potential as an Instrument of Community Development in South Africa,” CWP Policy Brief 1. Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Bruce, David. 2015. “Working for Safety: The Community Work Programme as a Tool for Preventing Violence and Building Safer Communities,” CWP Policy Brief 2. Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Langa, Malose. 2015. "The Impact of the Community Work Programme on Violence in Orange Farm." Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Langa, Malose. 2015. "A Follow-Up Report on the Community Work Programme in Bokfontein." Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Masuku, Themba. 2015. "A Case Study of the Ivory Park Community Work Programme." Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Mullagee, Fairuz, with David Bruce. 2015. "Building a Good Nation in Manenberg: A Case Study of the Manenberg Community Work Programme." Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Puwana, Zukiswa. 2015. "The Community Work Programme in Grabouw." Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Bruce, David. 2015. “Preventing Crime through Work and Wages: The Impact of the Community Work Programme.” South African Crime Quarterly 52: 25-37.

Langa, Malose, and Themba Masuku. 2015. "The Role of Ex-offenders in Implementing the Community Work Programme as a Crime and Violence Prevention Initiative." African Safety Promotion Journal 13, no. 2: 78-91.

Brankovic, Jasmina. 2016. “Women’s Contribution to Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention through the Community Work Programme." CWP Policy Brief 3. Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Masuku, Themba, Malose Langa and David Bruce. 2016. "The Community Work Programme in Kagiso" Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Brankovic, Jasmina. 2016. "Integrating Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation into Policy-Oriented Research: Lessons from CSVR’s Urban Violence Project." Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Langa, Malose, Themba Masuku, David Bruce and Hugo van der Merwe. 2016. "Facilitating or hindering social cohesion? The impact of the Community Work Programme in selected South African townships" South African Crime Quarterly 55: 41-48.