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The South Africa Development Fund (SADF), formerly known as Fund for a Free South Africa (FreeSA), was established in 1985 by Themba Vilakazi with a group of South Africans living in exile in the United States. They were joined by Americans active in the civil rights and anti-apartheid movements in developing a model of philanthropy to help bring attention and an end to South Africa’s apartheid system and to reverse its political and social impact. Since its inception, the organization has facilitated cooperation between concerned Americans and South Africans to enhance social and economic justice in South Africa.


After the democratic elections in 1994, U.S. interest in South Africa began to dwindle. South Africa may have been finally free, but the residual impact of apartheid and the alarming spread of the nation’s AIDS pandemic made the need for donor support even greater.


Today, SADF solicits funds from individuals and donor organizations and works in partnership with community-based organizations to provide financial and technical support to communities still disadvantaged by decades of racial and social injustice.


SADF supports community-based organizations committed to non-sexist, non-racial, democratic practices which address human rights through health, education, economic development, environmental justice, and democracy-building.

SADF is grateful for support from the following foundations:


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Calamus Foundation

Cameron Schrier Foundation

Michael & Joanne Levin Foundation

New World Foundation

Scherr-Lloyd Fund

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