Since the 1999/2000 financial year, the Department of Environmental Affairs (and Tourism, then) has been implementing programmes aimed at conserving natural assets and protecting the environment. Over time this programme has evolved and has grown from a budget of R75 million in the 1999/2000 financial year to more than R750 million in 2012/2013. In this period the programme has seen introduction of new methods of doing things and has also changed names from Poverty Relief Programme to Social Responsibility Programme and it is now called the Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme (EPIP).

EPIP Programme implements its projects through various focus areas or programmes, they include:
  • Working for the Coast
  • Greening and Open Space Management
  • People and Parks
  • Working on Waste
  • Working for Land
  • Working for Wetlands
  • Working for Wildlife
  • Youth Environmental Services (YES)