For 14 years the San have been assisted by the South African San Institute (SASI), which has launched numerous projects to improve the San’s economic situation and to build up personal and communal independence and self-reliance. When SASI started its support, particularly for the ‡Khomani San’s land claim, the political climate for such demands, nationally and internationally, was exceptionally favourable. Indigenous rights movements which had developed first in North and then in Latin America some decades before, started organizing themselves on an international level and had begun to identify themselves as global indigenous communities. Indigeneity as a concept entered into the international discourse, and indigenous rights were acknowledged by the UN and other international institutions.
The South African San Institute-SASI has its roots in the formation of the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) . In the 1980s and the early 1990s, development programmes were initiated for the San in Botswana and Namibia. Through a series of meetings, the San realised the need for regional organisation and established WIMSA. As part of a South African initiative to secure basic human rights for San people, a support organisation-SASI- was established, becoming a Trust in April 1996. A study undertaken shortly thereafter revealed the extent and nature of the struggles that the San were facing and highlighted the need for organisational support. SASI was formed to implement programmes in three areas: legal support and advocacy, culture and heritage and language, and tourism through the development of income generation projects.
As part of the Kuru Family of Organisations-KFO , SASI works at national and regional level (legal and advocacy support programme) through the creation of multi-disciplinary development projects.