The Centre for Development Support (CDS) is a progressive research and development unit within the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) with the broad aim of promoting sustainable human development in the broader South African society. In addition to this, the CDS also presents a two-year multi-disciplinary Master's Programme in Development Studies (MDS) with lecturers from sixteen departments at the UFS, by means of resource-based learning. This degree is designed for people who are currently working in a development-related context, or who intend to do so.


To be a leading research, training, and knowledge centre promoting sustainable human development

Promoting sustainable development through:

  • Conducting applied and policy-orientated research to inform, steer, and facilitate development initiatives, development programmes, and academic excellence
  • Building capacity through training and development programmes
  • Being a knowledge centre focused on four niche areas, namely
    • poverty and social development, 
    • human settlements/housing 
    • local economic development/enterprise development, and 
    • socio-economic characteristics of arid areas
  • Rendering a consultative service on socio-economic development issues and initiatives to clients in the private and public sector, as well as the NGOs and CBOs
  • Being part of a broad network of national and international development expertise.

The CDS strives to achieve this mission with passion, a spirit of entrepreneurship, and through partnerships.


Centre for Development Support
PO Box 339
University of the Free State

Prof Lochner Marais
 +27 51 401 2978


Lizette Pretorius
+27 51 401 2173
+27 51 444 5465


Internal Box 11, UFS
PO Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300

Economic faculty contact block

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