In South Africa, the levels of unemployment and poverty are extremely high and these are two of South Africa''s most pressing problems. Over the past 28 years several major programmes have been initiated in South Africa to counter unemployment and poverty. This did not solve the unemployment problem. Since 1994 the African National Congress (ANC) government has implemented large-scale programmes with similar objectives to those before 1994. After an analysis of the theoretical premises and implementation of labour-intensive public works programmes in Africa, the thesis critically evaluated several pre - and post - 1994 large-scale development programmes in South Africa. A major conclusion is that the pre-1994 lessons were not taken into considerations in the post-1994 programme planning and implementation. Based on the research, the author has derived a six phase Programme Management Framework for Development Programmes. This framework embodies a long-term programme management approach to the planning and implementation of large-scale, labour- intensive development programmes.