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Regional Presence

The witness and outreach of the Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army spans a large geographic area, including an island in the South Atlantic ocean (St Helena) and four countries: South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini (Swaziland).

The Salvation Army’s presence in South Africa and St Helena goes back to 1883 and 1884 respectively, making these two among the earliest outposts in the fledgling organisation.

Work in South Africa commenced on 4 March 1883 when Major and Mrs Francis Simmons with Lieutenant Alice Teager began their witness in Cape Town. Other officers were sent to the island of St Helena in 1886 to consolidate work commenced in 1884 by Salvationist “Bluejackets”. Social services began in 1886.

The Salvation Army’s first organised ministry among African people was begun in 1888 in the then Natal and, in 1891, in Zululand. Work in Swaziland (eSwatini) was commenced in 1960s. Having previously been in Namibia from 1932 to 1939, The Salvation Army re-established itself in the country in January 2008 and was given official recognition on 11 March 2008. The mountain kingdom of Lesotho saw the beginnings of the work of The Salvation Army in 1969.