Christmas Message from SANGONeT Executive Director

Monday, 11 December, 2017 - 11:24

SANGONeT believes that ICTs have a critical role to play in enabling South Africa to realise the objectives set out in the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030. And with that being said, the need to capacitate non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on various ICT tools is imperative. This has been the reason why every SANGONeT activity is centred around ICTs and the NGOs. Our primary beneficiaries are NGOs and we will remain focused on that.

As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to extend best wishes for the holiday season. We celebrate this time of the year in many different ways, depending on our cultures, traditions and beliefs.

We also take this time on reflecting on how quickly the year has passed and it is incredible to think that we will be celebrating Christmas in a few days, and in just a week after that, 2018 will have arrived.

Like in other recent previous years, 2017 has been a challenging year globally for the NGO sector.  It has also been a year that has seen plenty of hard work undertaken which of course makes us all look forward to enjoying the holiday season.

It is with gratitude and pride that we reflect on the labour of the past year. Twelve months of dedication we have worked tirelessly in ensuring that we facilitate access, information-sharing, building capacity, raise awareness, enhancing reach and impact, and linking the NGO sector through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

SANGONeT started the year with a strategic sessions focusing on how the year should look like in our service delivery platform for NGOs. This was in line with our overall vision and mission. The process also looked into a sustainability strategy that will assist the organisation to survive beyond donor funding.

SANGONeT strongly believe that NGOs should be capacitated to be able to embrace ICTs in their activities.

NGOs are a critical component of our democracy and their sustainability will translate into enabling government and donor agencies to continue working towards improving people’s lives for the better and to also help to strengthen our democracy.

ammes for the NGO Sector around ICT platforms. We have responded to the increasing needs of NGOs capacity building as the demand has grown. We have added more resources to meet these needs but continue to work extremely hard every day to balance the growing needs and available resources.

SANGONeT has also noted a significant increase in the number of NGOs that have visited the NGO Pulse Portal on daily basis for various services and products. As such, the NGO Pulse Portal platform as information and communication tool have increasing relevance for the local NGO sector. We salute CS Mott Foundation for continuously supporting the NGO Pulse, and we believe is because of the value it has on the NGO Sector.

This year marked 30 years of SANGONeT, and it was celebrated through an NGO ICT Summit held for three days. The Summit was used as a platform for engagements with relevant policies, plans and opportunities presented by the government and other developmental agencies on how to address e-skills shortage amongst others.

The Summit theme was titled “ICT as a strategic tool towards NGOs sustainability”. 

The Summit produced resolutions that will provide guidance and direction for SANGONeT in delivering the required support and services to the NGO sector as those were coming directly from the beneficiaries and other stakeholders. We are also grateful that the Summit has delegated a task team that will work with us in ensuring that we implement the set resolutions during the year 2018 plans. One thing that became outstanding for the summit is the fact that we have managed to attract relevant stakeholders for the future of our programmes and plans.
SANGONeT, as one of the credible regional structure we are concerned about the state of the Civil Society in the country. The need for uniting and revitalization of the sector is both obvious and urgent. Civil Society Organizations continue to play a pivotal and indispensable role in the public life of South Africa. The civil society sector is open to new entrants and these new entrants are changing the landscape and blazing new trails. There’s nothing wrong with a changing and growing civil society landscape, however, the sector memory, experience and skills in traditional and long standing civil society cannot be dispensed with or substituted. The civil society as we know it still occupy and organizes critical sectors and enjoys support and participation of a multitude of organizations and individuals.
As part of our programme for 2018, we have taken a resolution that we are going to work tirelessly with other partners in ensuring that we bring back the vibrancy of the Civil Society participation in advocacy, lobbying and coordination of the developmental agenda of South Africa.

I would like to thank our Board of Directors for the direction and guidance they have provided to the organisation during the year 2017. We also look forward to a productive 2018 under their leadership.

I extend a heartfelt word of appreciation to the SANGONeT most precious resources- the human capital that is our employees. Thank you for the dedication, positive spirit and remarkable teamwork you have displayed this year.

Furthermore, thank you to our beneficiaries, partners and stakeholders for choosing SANGONeT as your business partner. Beneficiary satisfaction remains the center of our operations, and where we fall short and need to improve, we would like to hear from you.

With only a few days left until Christmas, I warmly wish our Board, staff, partners and stakeholders a blessed Christmas spent in the company of family, close friends and loved ones. The time has come to slow down the pace and take it easy, especially when you are travelling- life is precious.

It is my wish that 2018 may bring with it abundant opportunities, great success and boundless personal growth.
Kenneth Thlaka
Executive Director: SANGONeT

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