The University of Venda for Science and Technology Department of Social Work, led by Prof. von Bochove with the help of two other staff members, began offering professional training in Social Work in 1986. Prof. Thabede (then Mr. Thabede) took over the headship of the department from Prof. von Bochove in 1992, on her retirement. By 2010, there were six full-time staff members.

Since its inception, the department has focused on offering only a four-year’ undergraduate training program (BA (Social Work)), and from 2007, a revised BSW program. The department has grown from strength to strength. As an example, it produced only 6 graduates in 1992, ten years later (2002) some 53 students graduated from the program, and by 2010 it produced 116 graduates. The BSW program is currently one of the popular choices of a large number of newly enrolled students in the School of Human and Social Sciences. During 2003, first-year class had no less than 125 students, with 90 in the second-year, 56 in the third-year, and 40 in the fourth-year. By 2010, first year class had 160 students, while fourth and final year class had 158 students.