The significance of volunteerism is marked by the declaration of the year 2001 as an International Year of the Volunteers. The purpose of the declaration is to facilitate, network, promote, and recognize volunteers and their efforts. The recognition of volunteers in social welfare services is also proposed in the White Paper for Social Welfare (1997:5) as a new approach. The White Paper highlights that volunteers are a significant human resource, which is being utilized by welfare organizations and development programmes. This study was an exploration of the motivational factors for the retainment of volunteers for CANS A in African communities. The focus of the study was on current volunteers for CANS A in the African communities of Mamelodi, Atteridgeville and Soshanguve. In 1995, the Pretoria branch of the Cancer Association appointed three social workers to extend its services to the referenced African communities. The social workers recruited volunteers to assist in service rendering, however, whilst it was easy to recruit the volunteers, it was not easy to retain them. The assumption for the study therefore was that CANS A would be able to retain volunteers, if the reasons and motivational factors for the retainment of volunteers can be realized. From the research findings, it became clear that in order to retain volunteers, there are processes and factors that need to be taken into account before and after the recruitment. Conclusions drawn from the study is that a solid foundation is necessary in order to retain the volunteers recruited. It is the researcher's view that a successful volunteer programme will emerge within the organization if the volunteers are recruited properly and for a specific purpose. In this way it will be easier to render an effective and efficient services to the volunteers recruited, thus enhancing their stay within the organization.