Business monitoring visit | Pretoria CBD



Refugees in South Africa have sustainable livelihoods through engagement in employment and self-employment activities that enable them to secure an income to afford the necessities of life, such as food, water, shelter and clothing on a sustainable basis, at the minimum.

Hand in Hand SA, in partnership with the UNHCR will realise the above goal through the following three objectives:

Objective 1

Developing an enabling environment through advocacy interventions that recognize and facilitate the employment and self-employment of refugees.

Objective 2

Implementing an employment support programme for refugees through facilitation of access to skills and employment opportunities.

Objective 3

Facilitating self-employment/entrepreneurship, and business development support to grow and expand refugee enterprises.


UNHCR has entered into a partnership agreement with Hand In Hand Southern Africa (HIH) to implement the Livelihoods and Self Reliance Project for Refugees in South Africa. The project is currently being implemented in Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces. The Livelihood project will give support to refugees through advocacy and lobbying interventions that promote social cohesion in targeted communities, self-employment and employment support.

Achievements and Outcomes

  • Of the 360 targeted in 2022, 210 Persons of Concern (POCs) have been trained on business skills. In addition, 139 POCs were trained on a package of skills programs that consist of life skills, entrepreneurship, life skills, employability and digital literacy against a target of 240.

  • HIH SA Cape Town office is now fully functional with one business advisor, supported by the team in the Gauteng Head Office.
  • A business loan of R12 000 was issued.
  • Fourteen (14) people were given grants of the value of R93 355 following the floods in Durban that killed many people and destroyed infrastructure. The grants are meant to rebuild the businesses of the refugees and South Africans that are part of the Livelihood project.
  • At least 118 South Africans from the 2022 cohort and previous years have been employed on the NYS project in KZN and Gauteng.


Any person interested in participating in the project must meet the following criteria:

Must have a valid Section 24 Refugee Permit and/or RSA ID issued by the Department of Home Affairs

1. Must be between 18 years and 45 years of age

2. Must be residing in Johannesburg or Pretoria for the duration of the project

3. Must not have been supported by UNHCR under the previous livelihoods projects

4. Must demonstrate commitment to fully participate in the project activities during the project implementation period

5. Persons with Asylum seeker permits or permanent residence permits do not qualify

6. For self-employment support, candidates must have been operating a business for a period of at least a year

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