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Country Profile: South Africa

Welcome to South Africa!

Howzit. Thobela. Molo. Sawubona. Riperile. !hoi ca. Dumela. Avuwani. With 11 official languages and many different cultures, South Africa is aptly named the rainbow nation. Its diversity is not just reflected in its various people groups, but also in nature (South Africa is the third most bio-diverse country in the world) and in the socioeconomic status of its people ranging from the richest of the rich to the poorest of the poor.

Although South Africa is a country of opportunity and huge potential, the social and developmental needs are vast. Some of the challenges facing the country include a high crime rate, a population ravaged by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, many immigrants from across Africa flooding the borders in search of a better future, and the struggle with the peaceful integration of cultures in a post-apartheid era.

OM in South Africa

OM has been working in South Africa since 1986. Initially the focus has been on mobilising the church and training missionaries to go into the world, but in recent years the work of OM has become even more diverse as we respond to the needs in South Africa. Today there are between 400-500 missionaries represented by OM South Africa, either working locally or in a foreign country.

Our Vision

OM South Africa, in relationship with churches, disciples and sends workers to see lives and communities transformed locally and among the nations.

Our focus

We are primarily focused on the following:

  • Relating with churches

We aim to serve and mobilise churches to become involved in the work of the great commission. We do this through building relationships, missions awareness and providing resources, with a great passion and commitment to the previously disadvantaged black African churches (Emerging Missions Movements). We are willing to embrace any opportunity and employ pioneering initiatives, like sports ministry (through our SportLink team), to achieve this aim.

  • Discipling workers

We are passionate about people and we love to see them grow and mature in the Lord. Through our Missions Discipleship Training (MDT) every year, we disciple and equip a diverse group of more than 100 participants from around the world. We provide quality training that challenges individuals to a deeper relationship with Christ, and helps them to be prepared for effective ministry in the missions field.

  • Sending the workers

We have a dedicated team providing support services and administrative functions necessary to get missionaries to the field and help them stay focused on their ministry without worrying about administrative tasks. South African workers are serving long-term in Middle East, Europe, Asia and South America, and every year there is a large group joining OM Ships and other programmes and outreaches.

  • Transforming lives and communities

We are gripped by the task of bringing the whole Gospel to the whole world.

In South Africa we are anguished by the ravages of HIV and AIDS and the hopelessness that it brings. Our AIDSHope team, based in Mamelodi (within a township community), reaches out to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. We bring a message of hope through a daily after-school programme for vulnerable youth, training and community projects.

We also see the unique opportunities of reaching out to the least-reached and marginalized in South Africa, and our one- and two- year Global Action Teams aim to work with these groups leading them to Jesus.

Our Global Challenge team provides opportunities for individuals and churches to become involved in short-term outreaches across the globe and in South Africa. TeenStreet is another opportunity we offer to help teenagers and youth workers to connect with God and become involved in the hurting world around them.

How can you join us?

You can become involved by praying, giving and going.
Visit www.omsa.org.za or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out more.

South Africa Statistics:

  • Population: 49,320,000
    (2009 est.)

  • HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 20.9%
    (2008 est.)

  • HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 5,700,000
    (2008 est.)

  • Ethnic groups:
    black African 79%
    white 9.6%
    colored 8.9%
    Indian/Asian 2.5%
    (2001 census)

  • Religions:
    Zion Christian 11.1%
    Pentecostal/ Charismatic 8.2%
    Catholic 7.1%
    Methodist 6.8%
    Dutch Reformed 6.7%
    Anglican 3.8%
    Muslim 1.5%
    other Christian 36%
    other 2.3%
    unspecified 1.4%
    none 15.1%
    (2001 census)

  • Unemployment rate: 24%
    (2009 est.)

  • Population below poverty line: 50%
    (2000 est.)

Missions Gallery
South Africa

South Africa :: “[At MDT,] I realized that I was hiding myself behind my analytical mind. I did not want to deal with my emotions, and this behaviour caused me pain, anger, resentment, pride, jealousy and selfishness. So I prayed that God would make me humble and to open up my heart’s desires, and suddenly, I realized that I had to deal with sin. … God revealed to me that all these sins that made me feel guilty were already dealt with by Jesus on the cross; I was free and forgiven, once and for all.” - Tiwonge from Malawi, MDT participant
South Africa :: “When you get missionally involved in a country, culture, or people group, you start to see the needs through the eyes of God. Sometimes, this can be overwhelming, and you can feel helpless. I struggle with a sense of ‘we must do more.’ This is when God reminds me to be faithful in the things He has called me to and live the example Jesus modelled for us; we cannot change the whole world, but we can share Jesus with others, through words and actions, and He will change the world.” - Ruth from UK, MDT leader
South Africa :: “My interest in missions started when I was 15 years old and my dad passed away. I had a wish to go out in the world and help people in some way, but I wasn’t completely missions-minded until God led me to MDT, where I learned more of His purposes. I only started to do missions now when I came to MDT, so it has not been for long, but I will definitely continue doing missions, because it’s important to reach out to the people who do not know God and give them the light of love of God.” - Maggy from Sweden, MDT student
South Africa :: “When I was on the [OM] ship, I asked God one morning to show me how much I love Him. I thought I had a great relationship with Him going. He asked me, ‘How much do you love that brother in the cabin opposite you?’ I showed God with index finger and thumb a few centimetres apart how much I loved this guy. (The truth was I couldn’t tolerate him.) Then came the answer from God: ‘Now you know exactly how much you love Me.’ That was shattering to realise that the same love I have for people (even my enemies) is the same love I have for God. My biggest struggle is to love God and then my neighbours as myself.” - Francois from South Africa
South Africa :: “Jesus has called us to come and follow Him. Therefore, my understanding of leadership is to follow Jesus. If you are too big to follow, you are too small to lead. Daily dependence on Him and His leading enables us to take others with us on this journey to see lives and communities transformed.” - Francois from South Africa, OM Africa leader
South Africa :: “I learned to depend on God very much [in missions], and I will say serving as line-up team leader for five years on Logos Hope, I have learned that God hears prayers and He is always in control.” - Barnard from South Africa, MDT leader
South Africa :: Port Elizabeth, South Africa :: Dyfan Graves (United Kingdom) re-enact his encounter with three juvenile delinquent boys in a judicial centre holding cell.
South Africa :: East London, South Africa :: Logos Hope alongside in East London.
South Africa :: Cape Town, South Africa :: Logos Hope arrives in Cape Town, South Africa.
South Africa :: Cape Town, South Africa :: Logos Hope arrives in Cape Town, South Africa.
South Africa :: Cape Town, South Africa :: Logos Hope arrives in Cape Town, South Africa.
South Africa :: Cape Town, South Africa :: Logos Hope arrives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Recent Stories
South Africa

Sharing the gospel in a hair salon

Logos Hope crew members share the Gospel in a hair salon with someone who has never before heard about Jesus.

Either God or not.

MDT trainees have an opportunity to minister and pray for healing for a lady in Lesotho.

A double dose of hope

Durban, South Africa :: Logos Hope is helping promote The Bible App for Kids in South Africa with OneHope

Once and for all

A Missions Discipleship Training participant discovers that his sins were dealt with by Jesus on the cross, making him free...

Using arts to open hearts

In July, an OM team of artists will use their creative gifts to share about the Creator at the National...

more stories...

Recent Mission Opportunities
South Africa

Operations Manager - Africa Area New!

Direct & Manage the activities of our existing network of volunteer trainers & Area/Country/Community relationship managers

Start Date: as soon as possible
· Commitment Length: 2-3 years
more information
Project Manager - Africa Area New!

Direct & Manage all new projects (capital, process or product development) including framing, feasibility, detailed design, funding & implementation.

Start Date: as soon as possible
· Commitment Length: 2-3 years
more information
Travel/Transport Coordinator - Africa Area New!

Our office often feels like a busy airport, as people come and go to destinations all over the world. It...

Start Date: as soon as possible
· Commitment Length: 2 years
more information