CLRDC’s strength and its pride lie in its successful model of establishing and sustaining a network of its Community Advice Officers.

Organisational Overview

CLRDC has for more than the last two and a half decades, provided true, reliable and unbiased information to rural communities, its primary beneficiaries, and continues to be a welcome source of information to rural citizens. The analysis of information obtained from communities has helped the CLRDC to shape its programmes to meet the needs of rural communities.

Working under the jurisdiction of AmaKhosi (Traditional Leaders), when it started, and now with the elected government structures, the CLRDC’s good relationship with most community leadership structures opened doors for paralegals to work without obstacles, intimidation and in relative security, and most of our offices are hosted in the traditional courts and administrative structures.

  • A non-partisan, non-profit organization (NPO)
  • Established in 1989 as a pilot project of 5 communities
  • Initially known as Community Law Centre (CLC) affiliated to the then University of Natal and status changed in 1998 when incorporated as Section 21 Non-profit company
  • Became independent of the University
  • Name changed to Community Law & Rural Development Centre (CLRDC)
  • Currently support 18 Community Advice Offices (CAO’s)
  • Access to justice
  • Democracy and good governance
  • Enhanced human rights culture
  • Promotion of Gender Equality
  • People-centred and driven development
  • Training of Paralegals and Management Committees
  • Conducting public educational workshops and dialogues to raise public awareness of rights and law
  • Provision of free essential legal services to marginalised and vulnerable groups
  • Provide on-site support and monitoring of community-based paralegals’ work
  • Management and facilitation of projects of a specialized nature responding to the specific needs of a particular sector
  • Publication and development of training materials for capacity building
  • Partner and network with other organisations to advance social justice to favour the vulnerable groups

Development of an integrated and linked skills development system for civil society (communities) and NPOs to strengthen democracy through promotion of:

  • Good Governance
  • Capacity Building
  • Community Participation
  • Human Rights Awareness
  • Rural Development Support

Our Mission

  • To play a pivotal role in the sustenance of a human rights culture through its multi-pronged education and training programmes.
  • Our projects include Democracy and Good Governance, Access to Justice, Capacity Building for Community Structures, Gender Awareness and Rural Development support.


To promote sustainable rural community development, access to justice, democracy, good governance and the rule of law and human rights awareness and education for rural communities, by establishing and supporting community-based advice offices in rural areas, and by education and training of Paralegals to staff such offices; building capacity for local community leadership to advocate for social change.

Our Vision

  • Enhanced rural communities’ capacity to use human rights, law and democratic values to advance their socio-economic and justice aspirations for improved quality of life.
how can we help you?

Contact us at the CLRDC office nearest to you or submit a business inquiry online.

Mr Sithole is an Executive Director of Community Law and Rural Development Centre and Ex-officio member of the Board, as its Secretary. He has been the helm of the organisation from 1 July 2012. Mr Sithole holds a Masters Degree in Social Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and has led a number of projects as a Co-ordinator. He has more than 20 years working in the NPO sector.

Mr. Sandile Sithole
Executive Director, Community Law & Rural Development Centre

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Our Core Programmes

The CLRDC prepares training manuals for the trainers and offers legal advice and support to the communities and publications on human rights and democracy.

Paralegal Training

Paralegal Training

Accredited Paralegal training which includes a certificate and diploma qualification.

Continued Legal Education

Continuous Training of paralegals and skills update on new and changing legislation.

Capacity Building

Training of CAO’s management committees and other leadership structures on leadership and governance.

Provide legal compliance training for other NPO’s.

Partnerships & Networks

Collaborate with other organisations on issues of common interest.

Community Outreach

Conducting public educational workshops and dialogue to raise awareness of socio-economic rights and law.

Provision of free essential legal services to the marginalised and vulnerable who meet the CLRDC means test.

Management and facilitation of specialised projects.

Publications, Research & Advocacy

Research, development and publication of educational materials for advocacy purposes.

Development of training manuals for capacity building.

Training of paralegals on socio-economic rights awareness and the significance of human rights-based approach to development.

MAP: Community Advise Offices

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