SANCA National

SANCA National – Organisation


South Africa


National (all SA)




2 Whitney Road
Whitney Gardens


The South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA)'s National body was established in 1956 in response to a need expressed by communities for assistance to deal with escalating alcohol and other drug related problems. Today there are 29 SANCA organisations in most of the larger centres around the country – at least one in all 9 provinces. Since its inception as a National Council, major developments, in terms of the establishment of service delivery centres, have taken place throughout South Africa. Prevention, education and treatment services were extended to all races and the established clinics, with their capacity of trained staff and infrastructure, provided a sound foundation of services in the form of out-patient clinics and/ or clinic and/ or information offices, within disadvantaged communities.

SANCA is a non-governmental organisation, the major objectives of which are the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug dependence. These objectives are achieved through the provision of highly effective primary and secondary prevention services, as well as comprehensive treatment programmes for chemically dependent people and their families.

SANCA National Organisations strives to address alcohol and other drug related problems in South Africa, through the provision of specialised accessible prevention and treatment services, hereby enhancing the quality of life and restoring  the self-respect and dignity of persons affected by alcohol and other drugs.

SANCA, as a corporate body, is privileged to have the required skills, expertise and experience to lead the way in the field of substance abuse in South Africa.


Click here for the contact details of the SANCA Centres around South Africa.



To be the most effective organisation in the field of prevention and treatment of chemical dependence in South Africa.



  • To develop, consolidate and sustain outcome-based addiction services in South Africa, through active partnerships with governments and other stakeholders.
  • To facilitate the development, expansion and sustainability of outcome-based addiction services in Southern Africa, through provision of training and consultancy services.
  • To influence policy formulation and to lobby and align SANCA with the initiatives towards safer communities.
  • To strengthen the corporate image of SANCA through effective marketing of our footprint.



  • Heighten public awareness.
  • Enlighten public and private sectors.
  • Prevent and reduce chemical substance dependence.
  • Provide treatment for dependents and their families.
  • Advocate restriction of availability.
  • Offer specialised training and education programs.
  • Undertake and encourage research.
  • Mobilise and utilise community resources.
  • Empower communities through prevention programs.


SANCA Portfolio Committees

SANCA is committed to the empowerment of youth within the communities and offers a number of skills programmes with the aim of increasing the employability of youth and volunteers.

SANCA through its local, provincial and national structures is committed to deliver on its mandate through the collective expertise and the activities of the following Portfolio Committees:


Community Development Portfolio Committee

The community development portfolio's objectives are to:

  • Identify and strengthen resources, strengths and weaknesses of communities;
  • Empower services and communities by utilising strengths, sourcing funds and establishing new services to address needs while executing the national strategic development community plan.

Community development, capacity building of emerging organisations and empowerment as well as establishing Community Coalitions form part of the range of services offered. SANCA is well represented and takes a leading role in many of the forums and consultative task teams at both community and state level.

Networking and joint initiatives with NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and state departments form an integral and important part of the work. This promotes and enhances SANCA’s philosophy, that it is only through a coordinated, well-orchestrated plan of action that it is possible to successfully make inroads into the devastating effects of addiction in the country.


Prevention Portfolio Committee

The Prevention Portfolio's objective is to standardise, evaluate and accredit all prevention strategies and programs implemented by SANCA organisations, to create unification in the SANCA family.

Prevention services are targeted at vulnerable and high risk groups such as youth, women and under resourced communities. Prevention services receive major emphasis particularly in schools and other communities. 

SANCA has proven experience in the selection, screening and utilisation of volunteers to facilitate prevention services. Volunteers receive effective factual training and are provided with the tools to run prevention programmes. Monitoring and evaluation of the volunteers is a non-negotiable part of this programme. Trained volunteers could train peer educators to combat the scourge of substance abuse in schools.

A number of prevention programmes have been developed such as the Poppets Programme as well as the new “Boogie Woogie” Puppet programme. These programmes are facilitated in the community and are aimed at the prevention of chemical abuse. These programmes have been adapted for children under the age of 10 years.

The programmes are targeted at vulnerable and high risk groups such as youth, women and previously disadvantaged communities. Prevention services receive major emphasis particularly in schools and other community groups.


Treatment Portfolio Committee

The Treatment Portfolio's objectives are to:

  • Negotiate with medical aid schemes to improve benefits for alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs.
  • Be involved in policy formulation at national, provincial and local levels, respectively, in partnership with the Department of Social Development and other relevant role players.
  • Ensure awareness and knowledge of new approaches to the treatment of alcohol and drug dependence.

SANCA clinics have been in existence for over 60 years. Consequently, vast knowledge and experience of treatment programmes have been acquired. SANCA has become the preferred service provider for many Medical Aids. Standardise criteria for membership of all SANCAs as well as other service providers have been developed.


Research skills and ability to capture and analyse data collected for the evaluation study

The Research Portfolio's objectives are to:

  • Develop a national database for treatment and prevention services.
  • Conduct research on SANCA's existing programs and projects.
  • Publish a SANCA National Report and articles on research projects.

SANCA collaborates and often takes the lead in capturing, analysing and furnishing treatment data with regard to the general trends of substance abuse to SACENDU. Client profiles are published annually. SANCA has developed a Treatment Evaluation Scale with the University of Johannesburg.


Marketing, Liaison and Fundraising Portfolio Committee

The Marketing, Liaison and Fundraising Portfolio's objective is to work towards a strong corporate image through creating a brand image, aggressive media promotion and innovative marketing strategies.


Finance Portfolio Committee

The Finance Portfolio's Objectives are to:

  • Ensure financial stability by sourcing national and international project funding.
  • Ensure national financial planning and management through a structured finance committee that reports to the Management Board of the organisation. The finances are audited annually by independent auditors.



All SANCA organisations offer training programmes to the communities they serve. Related training programmes include but are not limited to:

  • Low intensity Treatment Programme specifically designed and developed with the focus on professional and other staff members with basic counselling responsibilities for the Department of Social Development and other Government Departments.
  • Ahanang Correctional Centres project for training of Correctional Centre staff facilitators and direct treatment of offenders.
  • POPPETS Programme: Programme for primary prevention education through stories. This programme aims at life skills training from the early ages of 3 – 10 years, and has been offered in all nine provinces. It is inclusive of HIV/Aids and sexual abuse modules, so as to accommodate the latest research trends in the field of substance abuse. Master trainers have been trained in this programme to continue with training in all their respective communities under the mentorship of SANCA.
  • EAP programmes: For the last twenty years Corporate Training Programmes (EAP), focussing on the management of substance abuse in the workplace, have been offered.
  • Peer Counselling programmes focus on prevention, early identification and referral in the context of chemical dependency. SANCA has a NQF level 4 Health and Welfare Seta Accreditation for basic counselling.


Seta Accredited training

The organisation is accredited with HWSETA and offers the approved Counselling qualification. Feedback from workplace mentors was extremely positive in that the students have added value and have been able to enhance the depth and quality of HIV counselling services.


Proven experience in developing training programmes, learning material and related manuals

SANCA has proven experience in development of programmes within the specialist field of substance abuse. In addition to the development of most of the SANCA programmes, SANCA have developed:

  • Minimum Service Standards for Out-Patient Centres – funded by the UNODCP.
  • Model for the Treatment of Substance Abuse Dependent Youth in residential facilities.
  • Developed the Ahanang manual for training in Correctional Settings.
  • Developed the ORT Training Manual for General Substance Abuse Empowerment.
  • Developed the Poppets Manual for Early Childhood Development.
  • Developed the pilot National School Safety Programme for the Department of Education.
  • SANCA was the regional lead for the UN beyond 2008 conference with the National Department of Social Development.
  • Developed the Ke Moja and Time Treatment programme for the Department of Social Development.


Related members