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Deputy Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Honourable Buti Manamela,

Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board, Professor Nevuthanda,

The leadership of SANGONeT and SANGOCO,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I greet you.

My name is Kenneth Thlaka, executive director at SANGONeT

Tonight marks a very important moment in the history of SANGONeT. Since SANGONeT was established in 1987, the organisation is still committed to working with the nonprofit sector, donor agencies, government and other relevant stakeholders to provide a wide range of information and communication technology products and services.

The use of ICT is seen as an empowerment tool, where disadvantaged people can shape decisioons that affect our lives.

As SANGONeT, we believe that ICT provide opportunities for society to interact and communicate with one another, expressing their own ideas, knowledge and culture.

At SANGONeT we strive to contribute to a just, equitable and prosperous Southern African society, where the impact and contribution of sustainable development programmes are supported by relevant and affordable ICT solutions

In living up to our vision of serving as a strategic leadership organisation influencing social transformation through ICTs, and our mission of supporting the effective use of ICTs in Southern African civil society organisations by providing quality services and initiatives, we have implemented Civil Society Information Programmes, namely; NGO Pulse, Prodder NGO Directory and SANGOTeCH Technology Donation Programme, which was implemented in partnership with TechSoup Global, a San Francisco-based NGO.

The primary beneficiaries of all our programmes are mainly NGOs.

Our activities contribute towards facilitating access, sharing information, building capacity, raising awareness, enhancing reach and impact, and linking people and organisations through the use of ICTs in Southern Africa.

When I joined SANGONeT in July 2013, we did internal assessment of our services and programmes and our reach within the sector. The assessment revealed that SANGONeT continued to impact the sector, however, we have noticed that majority of NGOs that are in rural areas do not know much about about our services and programmes and they have never benefitted. From this, we decided to place more of our efforts in engaging and involving rural NGOs in our programmes. Our strategic diirection has placed NGOs in the rural areas at the centre to our programmes and services.

The new approach brought another challenge to us in the sense that majority of those NGOs that we need to put our focus and emphasis on, ddoes not have capaity to take part  in ICT platforms, whicch will prohibit them to engage on projects like Tipfuxeni. We then decided to establish a Capacity Building Unit that will ensure the it equip those NGOs with the necessary skills tht will enable them to take advantage of the use of ICT.

Since few in the NGo sector has all necessary capacities to create and communicate contents, our understanding is that capacity building and partnership development are essential to advance and create improvement.

The Tipfuxeni Project, which we are launching tonight, further positions SANGONeT as an ICT NGO. Funded by the National Lotteries Board, the Tipfuxeni Project is a Capacity Building Programme for South African NGOs.

In view of increasing focus on the development of online information platforms as well as the ongoing needs of South African NGOs for relevant information on development funding issues, SANGONeT, in partnership with the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), has established the Tipfuxeni Project. Tipfuxeni is a Xitsonga word meaning ‘do it for yourself’.

The objective of project is to develop and maintain a user-friendly ‘one-stop’ Internet entry point to information on South African development funding issues. The project also presents grantmakers and funders with a tool to disseminate and communicate information to NGOs on their funding activities in South Africa. The project will also present South African NGOs with up-to-date information and capacity-building resource to enhance their fundraising efforts.

The Tipfuxeni Project also showcases the work of all local and international development funding agencies operating in South Africa. The project’s Online Funding Resource is a platform through which NGOs, community-based organisations, faith-based organisations, cooperatives, donors, converge to discuss development funding issues in South Africa. In addition, the platform will also enable all the stakeholders to share information and best practices model. We believe that this platform will also assist in ensuring that the NGO sector contribute towards the implementation of the National Development Plan.

We commend the National Lottery for realising the need to support capacity-building organisations like SANGONeT, whose work is for the benefit of the NGO sector in the country.

We 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.

Through the Tipfuxeni Project, we are also saying the time is now for NGOs to tell their good stories and share their best practices, since their work contributes towards enabling South Africa to realise the vision outlined in the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030.

I would therefore like to invite all the stakeholders involved in development sector to take part and contribute to ensure that the Tipfuxeni Project becomes a success, as well as living up to its expected goals.

Let me end by quoting a Brazilian educatonist who once said, "We make the way by walking it".

I Thank you.

 

Deputy Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Honourable Buti Manamela,

Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board, Professor Nevuthanda,

SANGONeT and SANGOCO leadership and staff,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I greet you.

My name is Tebogo Makgatho, Board Chairperson at SANGONeT.

Tonight marks a special moment for the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) and the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO). Since its establishment, SANGONeT is still focused on its mission of Linking Civil Society through information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The organisation 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.

Over the past years, SANGONeT has been working with NGOs in the Southern African Development Community in line with our mission and vision because we believe in the power of partnerships. This is why we worked with various NGOs in the region on projects such as Thetha, which was an ICT Discussion Forum. The Thetha Project had footprint in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Botswana to name but a few. We have also implemented other projects including the SANGOTeCH Technology Donation Project, in partnership with TechSoup Global - a San Francisco NGO - in Kenya and Botswana and plans are underway to expand to other countries in the SADC region.

The Tipfuxeni Project, which we are launching tonight, will help to redefine the history of SANGONeT in many ways. While our partnerships have been more on activities taking place outside South Africa, we will now partner with local NGOs to advance development initiatives through ICTs.

We commend the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund for supporting the Tipfuxeni Project. We wish other funders can come on board to ensure that the benefits of the Project are expanded to other NGOs in the country.

I Thank you.

Humanity has run so far down the line in scientific discoveries that have made life better. I am referring here to the advent of electricity, airplanes, computers, Internet and the list is endless. The development from the feudal system into capitalism - from autocracy into democracy - has moved beyond any mind boggling event. This is reflective of our own history since the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 from Victor Verster prison, which changed completely the South African outlook to this day.

Participants in the development of world affairs hold different views of our own reality, which is unconsciously influenced by our own nature as imperfect human beings, and the more we think, the more we think about. The more complex the thinking, the more complicated the reality becomes. Reality has the power to surprise thinkers, and thinking has the power to create reality (George Soros: 2000:24).

None of the apartheid thinkers including Dr H.F. Verwoed (the architect) ever thought South Africa will be a democratic state to the service of all its citizens, the continent and the world at large. The reality that Dr Verwoed and other oppressors created was defeated during the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. South Africa was set in a developmental path to ever change our human condition. Even though we acknowledge to be imperfect human beings, but nothing is as satisfying as to be in charge of our own political, social and economic destiny. We therefore have the power not only to create our reality, but to be surprised by reality as we take lessons from our fallible mistakes.

Designing a new South Africa

We believe in the importance of rooting proposals for the new South Africa that is democratic, prosperous, non-racial and non-sexist, in the soil of current political, social and economic reality. Therefore, our emphasis is upon the process of transformation from the world that is to the world that might be if certain conditions might be established. It is our intention to highlight things that are central to this transformation, and civil society participation in the processes leading to this transformation.

Building formidable leadership on social front to equal the task. We need to increase our social entrepreneurs to innovate on our development processes and programmes so as to be efficient in our output and effective in the use of our resources. Civil society ought to see itself as transformation agents with not just a mandate, but also capability to effect change in the lives of people.

In sharing these views, the South African NGO Coalition (SANGOCO) hopes to encourage a way of thinking about the new South Africa that is dynamic rather than static and that conceives of the future in terms of alternatives rather than as a single dogmatic possibility. The future should be informed by rational expectations that are underpinned by the ability to change course if unforeseen circumstances appear on our horizon. We should have the capacity to embrace new ideas brought about by the changing reality.

Technology has brought to such marvellous state of development that we have achieved unthinkable milestones and changed our lives for good, even though at some point has accelerated our inclination to self-destruction. Our emphasis here will be on improving access to this tool for acceleration of the development of democracy, especially the socio-economic and good governance.

SANGOCO/SANGONeT Partnership

SANGOCO and the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) have engaged in a robust programme of changing the world of civil society engagement with the developmental agenda in South Africa. It has come to our realisation that empowering civil society in the age of information, requires constructing new ways of thinking and tools in the information and communication technology (ICT) area. Our resolve is to ensure that information sharing across the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector becomes a living force charged to consolidate our efforts, improve our communication, link us to sides of knowledge, solidify our networks, and generally give us access to the world of finance through donors and other international financial institutions. We cannot forget the international NGOs that continue to be invaluable resource as we build our capacity in areas of lobbying and advocacy, research and development.

The Tipfuxeni Project

Tipfuxeni is a Xitsonga word meaning wake up and do things for yourself. It is an inadequate explanation, but comes close to what the concept is. One must try to view African problem as having African solutions and I therefore would use African terminology to be in that thinking mode. We believe that generating this indigenous knowledge using global technology would help to advance the development and outreach of civil society to tackle issues such as poverty, inequality and the scourge of unemployment.

The Tipfuxeni Project allows interaction of the civil society sector through ICTs. The project further allows the donor community to align itself to the sector in terms of the goals and achievements envisaged. The project draws from government the developmental agenda as captured in the National Development Plan (NDP), different departmental growth and development strategies, and corporate South Africa for their corporate social investment.

This project is by its own nature a mobilisation of resources, human and monetary, for a fight against past injustices and practises that were a crime against humanity. Here we refer to the legacy of apartheid system that produced an advanced economy for whites and a secondary economy for the black masses and thereby producing a highly unequal society. Our aim is to create not just an interactive platform for dialogue, but also an instrument that will facilitate organisational relations properly constituted for development. In addition, the project also contributes to relations that match donors, government and civil society for the improvement of our socio-economic development, economic management and good governance of our institutions.

We support the idea of creating an open society driven by values of transparency, accountability and democracy. A society in which all are open to opportunity, but more importantly one in which even the least among all will develop sufficiently to desired potential. Our intention and purpose is to bridge the gaps of a divided society constructed to perpetuate poverty and inequality to one where resources are shared for the benefit of all, but of course dialogue is primary, access to knowledge is paramount, resources are key and the Tipfuxeni project is the foundation to build on.

In conclusion, we recognise the enormity of reconstructing our society and the achieved goals since 1994. It is an insurmountable project and requires us to think outside the box. We are also aware that there are political parties that in a populist way, call for economic freedom without from political society some are, in the most populist way, continue to call for economic freedom without even qualifying that in a programme.

SANGOCO and SANGONeT remain resolved that work has to be done by all sectors. Government will lead and civil society will complement its efforts. Civil society will also contribute to ensuring that transparency and accountability become central to the transformation project.

Thank you

Jimmy Gotyana, President, South African National NGO Coalition.

 

Tuesday 23 September 2014
Address by the Honourable Buti Manamela, MP, Deputy Minister For National Planning, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, on the Occasion of the
Launch of Tipfuxeni Project
SunnySide Park Hotel
Parktown, Johannesburg
 
Ms Ndivhuwo Sekoba Secretary-General of SANGOCO;
Mr Kenneth tlhaka; Executive Director of SANGONeT;
Ms Tebogo Makgatho; Chairperson of the SANGONeT Board
Mr Yershen Pillay, Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency;
 

Comrades

Friends

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for the opportunity to be part of an event that demonstrates powerfully and practically how achievable and rewarding it is to move South Africa forward, one project at a time.

It is particularly comforting and energising today to be in the company of compatriots who (in the course of our first 20 Years of Freedom), have converted the trenches of our liberation struggle into trenches of development and advancement of the National Democratic Revolution.

At a time when many South Africans are driven by self-interest and self-enrichment and are shielding themselves from community life and experience by taking cover behind high walls, we are here today to celebrate the spirit of collectivism and social solidarity.

As government, we are humbled on an occasion such as this when we witness the work of social movements such as SANGONeT and SANGOCO whose impact on the lives of the masses has laid the foundations and provided the inspiration for the programmes of successive administrations since 1994.

South Africa is a better place today because Non-Governmental Organisations have cultivated active and vocal citizenry. The National Development Plan describes active and vocal citizenry as people who are direct participants in their own development.
 
On an occasion such as the launch of the Tipfuxeni Project, we are reminded of the National Development Plan’s injunctions on active citizenry, which says (I quote): “Active citizenry and social activism is necessary for democracy and development to flourish. The state cannot merely act on behalf of the people – it has to act with the people, working together with other institutions, to provide opportunities for the advancement of all communities.
 
All sectors of society, including the legislatures and judiciary, have to ensure that the fruits of development accrue to the poorest and most marginalised, offsetting possible attempts by elites to protect their own interests at the expense of less powerful communities.” Close quote.
 
Indeed, this has been SANGONet and SANGOCO’s mission over nearly three decades (collectively), and it is a mission that has delivered, among many other outcomes, the Tipfuxeni Project we are launching here today.
 
Funded by government’s National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the first phase of the Tipfuxeni Project has entailed the development of an online funding resource - a web platform that enables participating non-profit organisations to; share content, access funding opportunities, undertake online fund-raising, profile their own work and share best practice models.

The Tipfuxeni Project recognises that information and communication technologies have a critical role to play in ensuring that NPOs embrace the vision outlined in the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030. The project is founded on the belief that access to ICT plays a crucial role in creating conditions for meaningful participation of people in society.
 
The profound meaning of the Xitsonga word Tipfuxeni, which means Do It For Yourself, is a critical underpinning of our national call to action, Together We Move South Africa Forward.

Given the collective, inclusive nature of the Struggle that brought us political liberation in 1994, it stands to reason that government cannot possibly claim to have a monopoly on the varied and complex solutions or resources that are needed to deepen transformation in the country.

For this reason, government is deeply committed to working with non-governmental and non-profit organisations to push back the structural poverty, unemployment and inequality that continues to haunt our society 20 years into democracy.

The Tipfuxeni Project allows NGOs to broaden networks and resources and exchange insights that will improve the functioning of the NGOs concerned and ultimately enhance the contributions NGOs are making building a more inclusive and equal society.

In this context, Tipfuxeni is an initiative that will deepen our information and knowledge society and foster innovation and invention in sectors of our society that need transformation and opportunity the most.

Tipfuxeni is being rolled out at a time when, as government, we are focused on harnessing ICT more effectively to create an internationally competitive knowledge economy, improve productivity and expand access to new markets and social development, as the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services indicated in his 2014/15 Budget Vote.

The Minister indicated that the backbone of broadband infrastructure, which is fixed line optic fibre, currently reached 170 000 kilometres, linking cities and small towns and that the urban-rural digital divide will be bridged with more comprehensive networks.

He added that the rapid deployment of fast and affordable broadband infrastructure remained a powerful lever to create an internationally competitive knowledge economy, improve productivity and expand access to new markets and social development.

Our National Broadband Policy: South Africa Connect, seeks to move us away from over-reliance on mobile broadband and to achieve 100% broadband penetration by 2020.

Minister Siyabonga Cwele has indicated that in the current financial year, R20 million has been allocated for the finalisation of the first phase of the Broadband Plan. In the medium term, government is looking to connect 580 clinics, 4 444 schools, 182 police stations, and 572 other government offices.

South Africa’s migration into digital terrestrial will also be leveraged to promote local production of content,  creating sustainable jobs and solutions whilst in the process moving South Africa and our continent forward.

The National Broadband Advisory Council has been established to ensure that; government, the private sector, academia and civil society work together to reach the SA Connect targets.

As part of civil society, SANGONet and SANGOCO are key allies – and already, key innovators – in moving communities into the digital age and undoing the perception that ICTs are the preserve of the elites.

By strengthening the NGO sector, the Tipfuxeni Project will ultimately empower communities better, creating individual and collective opportunities and bringing all of us closer to the non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous South Africa we strive for every single day.

Government’s Twenty Year Review and Stats SA’s frequent updates on our development as a nation tell the Good Story of a country that has made remarkable progress in 20 relatively short years.

As government, we recognise that these gains are the product of partnership and of effective alliances across a range of sectors in our society.

However, we know our transformation is far from complete and that our social fabric is taking strains on many fronts. The latest national crime statistics are a sobering reminder of the many measures we need to take to build a more prosperous and more peaceful society.

Many of the serious crimes listed are social in nature, reflecting the ravages of unemployment and poverty, as well as the social harm induced by criminal greed and corruption.

Many of these crimes are so embedded in our social fabric that they happen in our homes, classrooms and workplaces, where interventions other than measures such as police patrols or crime intelligence are required to stop these crimes from happening in the first place.

It is in these settings and circumstances that our nation’s non-governmental organisations have a major role to play in rebuilding and reinforcing our social fabric and enriching the soul of the nation.

This is a role to which government will lend its fullest support.

The Tipfuxeni Project tells us we are on the right track and I am confident that its positive impact on the lives of millions of South Africans will be felt for decades to come as the project evolves and morphs into new possibilities and opportunities.

We look forward to the project delivering results from which not only NGOs will learn, but from which we will learn as government as we try to build a capable state and improve the delivery of services and information to our people.

 In closing, it is my pleasure to wish the project coordinators well in making Tipfuxeni another beacon of innovation, partnership and hope along our journey of moving South Africa forward.

Congratulations and keep up the good work.

Thank you.

The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), in partnership with the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), invites you to the official launch of the Tipfuxeni Project, on 23 September 2014 in Johannesburg.

Tipfuxeni is a two-year online capacity building project aimed at South African non-governmental organisations (NGOs). One of the components of the Tipfuxeni Project is an interactive web platform (the Tipfuxeni Portal), which provides a platform for NGOs, especially those that have not benefited from any information and communication technology (ICT) projects before, take advantage of ICTs to raise awareness about their work, share best practices, access information on NGO opportunities, among others.

SANGOCO and SANGONeT will increase the number of participating NGOs in the second phase to ensure that the Project is sustained beyond two years. The sustainability of the Tipfuxeni Project is key because while NGOs deliver development projects in the communities, they do not have the means to communicate the impact of their programmes to the communities, donors and other stakeholders.

Participating NGOs - 135 – are trained on various ICT tools and other skills, including the use of a content management system, social media, writing proposals, etc. NGOs will also have the opportunity to share their good stories through ICTs. This will not only benefit these organisations in terms of publicity or engaging their beneficiaries but will it will also be a way of acknowledging the contribution that funders make into their projects.

Dates: 23 September 2014

Time: 18h00 – 20h30

Venue: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, Johannesburg

Guest Speaker: Mr Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister: Monitoring and Evaluation, The Presidency

RSVP: Nomsa Nxumalo, Tel: 011 403 4935, Email: nomsa@sangonet.org.za / Dipuo Mahanyele, Tel: 011 403 4935, Email: dipuo@sangonet.org.za

Enquiries: David Makhafola, Tel: 011 403 4935, Email: davidm@sangonet.org.za

We look forward to meeting you at the launch.

For more about the South African National NGO Coalition, refer to www.sangoco.org.za.
 
For more about SANGONeT, refer to www.sangonet.org.za.

 

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