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The South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), in partnership with the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), launched 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, which provides NGOs, especially those that have not benefited from any information and communication technology (ICT) projects before, the opportunity to take advantage of ICTs and raise awareness about their work, share best practices and access information on NGO opportunities, among others.

Speaking during the Tipfuxeni launch, deputy minister of monitoring and evaluation in the presidency, Buti Manamela, described South Africa as a better place due to NGOs such as SANGOCO and SANGONeT whose mission over the decades, and in the outcome of Tipfuxeni, has been in cultivating active and vocal citizenry by being participants in their own development. Manamela states that, “The Tipfuxeni Project recognises that ICTs have a critical role to play in ensuring that NPOs [nonprofit organisations] 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.”

He adds that, government is deeply committed to working with NGOs to combat concerns of poverty, unemployment and inequality which continue to haunt society 20 years into democracy.

To view the full speeches delivered at the launch refer to:

SANGOCO and SANGONeT would like to thank all civil society organisations and all stakeholders involved for supporting the launch of the Tipfuxeni portal.

We encourage you to continue engaging the sector on issues relating to NGO fundraising in South Africa through the Tipfuxeni portal, www.tipfuxeni.org.za, Twitter: @Tipfuxeni_Tipx and Facebook: Tipfuxeni Portal.

 

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.

 

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