TechSoup Global, Open Institute and Making All Voices Count (MAVC) will host Buntwani 2015 from 25-26 August 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The theme of the event is "The Next Step in Innovation for Good Governance:  Moving the dialogue forward from potential to impact".

Buntwani 2015 is a global gathering of actors from the civil society, technology, donor, research, government and policy sectors focusing on the intersection of governance and innovation. We hope to provide a platform for reflection, analysis and candid dialogue on the impact of technology-supported initiatives aimed at empowering citizens to voice their concerns and demands, and improving governments' responsiveness and accountability to their citizens.
In advance of the event, the Buntwani team is organising two one-hour tweet chats so that both confirmed participants and other stakeholders have an opportunity to highlight specific issues and experiences relevant to the theme and focus of the event. A third tweet chat will be held after the event to reflect on the outcomes of Buntwani 2015.
# Wednesday, 12 August 2015, 15h00 CAT / 16h00 EAT / 18h30 IST / 09h00 EDT
= Topic: "Where do we stand?: the role of technology and innovation in the governance sector"
# Wednesday, 19 August 2015, 15h00 CAT / 16h00 EAT / 18h30 IST / 09h00 EDT
= Topic: "Governance and technology: scaling, sustainability and what comes next?"
# Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 15h00 CAT / 16h00 EAT / 18h30 IST / 09h00 EDT
= Topic: "Buntwani 2015 - what have we learned?"
The #hashtags to be used are #Buntwani and #BuntwaniChat.
Please share this information in your networks and encourage others to join the conversations.
For more about the Buntwani team, refer to

South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. The Government of South Africa declared August women’s month and 9 August is celebrated annually as Women’s Day.

Women's Day 2015

Women’s month 2015 will celebrate women achievers and their participation in the economy. Women’s Day (9 August) will be hosted in Sasolburg, Free State. The theme for 2015 is Women United in Moving South Africa Forward.

 Women's Month 2015

The 2015 Women’s Month is a build-up towards the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s march and is aimed at:

  • Educating the nation about the role women played in the emancipation of the continent;
  • Documenting the correct stories of heroines of South Africa;
  • Celebrating women who have made it in all spheres of life in the continent;
  • Honouring and celebrating the girls of 1976 and recognise the role played by young women in the liberation struggle;
  • Uniting South African women;
  • Celebrating the struggles of the women over the decades and a rejuvenation of our commitment to strive for a society that is truly non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and free of all forms of discrimination; and
  • Remembering the history of Women's struggle in South Africa and to continue writing our history as it has to evolved.

Every week of August 2015 will focus on a specific sub-theme:

Week 1: Celebrating Women in Fashion

The week will be dedicated to celebrating profiling women in the fashion industry who contribute to job creation.

Various media platforms will be utilised where we will have a collage of these women and their contribution in dressing the nation. The SABC will partner with the Department of Women in this programme.

Week 2: Celebrating Women in Film

The department in partnership with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) will have two screenings produced or directed by women or telling stories of women. The screenings will target young people and will take place as follows:

  • 10 August 2015: Jabulani
  • 14 August 2016: Kwamashu

The screenings will be extended to other provinces as we move towards the 60th Anniversary.

Week 3: The fight against human trafficking and labour exploitation of women

The week will focus on the fight against trafficking of women and children as well as the exploitation of women from our neighbouring countries with specific focus on Lesotho women. South Africa will partner with Lesotho government and the following activities are planned for the week:

  • 21 August 2015: Symposium focusing on labour exploitation and related issues.
  • 22 August 2015: A symbolic march at the Maseru border gate where both South African and Lesotho women will give their memorandum of demands to authorities representing their countries. The march will call for an end to human trafficking and request more stringent measure of combating trafficking of women and children.
  • 22 August 2015: The march will culminate into a rally on a farm where the leadership of both countries will have an opportunity to address women. The rally will be held at Mooderpoort farm, the home of Mantsopa.

Week 4: Economic Empowerment (Financial Inclusion of women)

In line with the African Union themes of the African Women’s Decade and the new mandate of the Department of Women’s socio-economic empowerment, the department will host high level engagements on the mechanisms and modalities for women’s financial inclusion in the economy and all sectors of the country.

  • 4-5 September 2015: Trade Fair and Exhibition of Women in South Africa and Zimbabwe to be held in Musina, Limpopo. Women from both countries will showcase and sell their products from clothes to crafts.
  • 9 September 2015: Techno-girl roundtable – The department will host The New Age business breakfast focusing on the empowerment of young women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The business breakfast will culminate into a high level panel discussion on how to strengthen the current Techno-Girl job-shadowing programme

Advances made since 1994

Great strides have been made since 1994 to improve the status of women.

Prior to 1994, the South African Parliament had a mere 2.7 percent representation of women, and following the first democratic elections, women representation in the National Assembly stood at 27.7 percent. In 1999 that figure increased to 30 percent and then to 32.7 percent in 2004. After the 2009 national elections women representation reached 42 percent. Currently women ministers comprise 41 percent of the Cabinet, women deputy ministers make up 47 percent of the total number of deputy ministers and there is a 41 percent representation of women in the National Assembly. The Women in Politics 2015 Map launched by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women shows how South Africa fares in relation to the rest of the world. 

Furthermore, government policies and programmes have improved the living conditions of women. In 1997 the Office on the Status of Women (OSW) was established in the Presidency to steer the national gender programme and championed the development of the National Policy Framework for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality that was approved by Cabinet in 2000. Subsequently, similar structures were established in the Premier’s offices. In May 2009 the President pronounced on the establishment a Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD). In May 2014 the President evolved the structure to a dedicated Ministry for Women in the Presidency as a way of elevating women’s issues and interests to lead, coordinate and oversee the transformation agenda on women’s socio-economic empowerment, rights and equality through mainstreaming, monitoring and evaluation.

Since the advent of democracy and freedom South Africa has seen a number of women taking up leadership positions in areas previously dominated by men. One of the success stories of our democracy is that of the representation of women in political and decision-making positions. Involving women in governance processes constitutes one of South Africa’s globally acclaimed success stories.

uty President of the country, as the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; and the positioning of other South African women such as Geraldine Frazer-Moleketi, Special Gender Envoy to the African Development Bank; Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences; and Judge Navi Pillay as the High Commissioner for Human Rights and formerly as a judge in the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an indication of the impact that women in decision-making have in winning the trust and confidence of citizens in South Africa, on the continent and internationally.

Currently, women are heading portfolios such as the Commissioner of Police; the Public Protector; chief executive officer of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; the Independent Electoral Commission; Governor of the Reserve Bank, the South African Law Reform Commission, and the first female Deputy Auditor-General, among others.

Prior to 1994, South Africa had only one woman Judge, whilst today women judges make up almost 28 percent of the Judiciary. Women are making inroads into business leadership and heading up global giants in the country such as the head of the ABSA bank. Women own conglomerates in the country with some business women being millionaires. Women also can be found as chairpersons of corporate boards in the country, while others are entering and leading in previously male dominated territories, for example, the head of the Palaeontology Department in the University of Cape Town is a woman, and the South African Airways (SAA) now has women pilots, some flying international bound flights. Women are in the defence force, navy and air force in South Africa. In fact women make up almost 40% of the Senior Management Service in the public service and overall women comprise more than 50 percent of employees in the Public Service.

Women have even entered previously male dominated areas in the corporate world, and currently constitute 3.6 percent of chief executive officer positions, 5.5 percent of chairperson positions, 17.1 percent of directorships and 21.4 percent of executive management positions.

Origin of Women's Month and Day

The historic march in 1956 was a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom and society at large. Since that eventful day, women from all walks of life became equal partners in the struggle for a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.

The march was coordinated by the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) led by four women: Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams De Bruyn. These leaders delivered petitions to the then Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office in the Union Buildings. Women throughout the country had put their names to these petitions indicating their anger and frustration at having their freedom of movement restricted by the hated official passes.

Women’s month is a tribute not only to the thousands of women who marched on that day in 1956, but also a tribute to the pioneers of the women’s movement in this country, dating back to 1913, when women like Charlotte Maxeke led the way in establishing the ANC Women’s League and encouraging women to engage in the struggle for freedom. Pioneers include Cissy, Jaynab and Amina Gool who were amongst the leaders of the National Liberation League and the Non-European United Front of the 1930s. The names of Ray Alexander Simons, Elizabeth Mafekeng and Elizabeth Abrahams will always be associated with the struggles of women.

In the 1940s Amina Pahad and Gadijah Christopher, who were amongst the first volunteers to occupy the site of the 1946 Passive Resistance Campaign on Umbilo Road in Durban cannot go unnoticed. Women’s month also service to recall and recognise the work of Dora Tamana, Winifred Siqwana, Ida Mntwana, Bertha Gxowa, Florence Matomela and other stalwarts of the 1950s, who led militant women’s formation for the rights of workers and the rights of women.

There were also the women who formed the Black Sashand who were the first to protest against the disenfranchisement of the Coloured voters during the 1950s. The Coloured voters played an important role in the united front of anti-apartheid forces that developed in the last three decades of apartheid.

Government has made significant progress in empowering women in the political, public and educational spheres, but the marginalisation of poor women severely compromises progress.
Speeches, statements and advisories on Women's Month

Other events

NPOs should have websites through which they raise awareness about their work to the donors, beneficiaries and other relevant stakeholders. SANGONeT - while updating the Prodder NGO Directory – discovered that most South African NPOs do not own a website. While NPOs continue to work towards improving people’s lives for the better, their absence in the online space means that their ability to raise awareness about their work remains limited. Also, the significance of the reach of Internet means that the need for NPOs to utilise a website as a communication tool, becomes imperative.

In line with the above, SANGONeT intends on developing and hosting interactive websites for NPOs in Southern Africa. We will also empower these organisations to maintain the websites as part of the package. Do you think this is a feasible idea for NPOs?

Tell us what you think.

Please send your suggestions to

Sabbaticals are commonly seen as an employment perk in the academic world, but sabbaticals are gaining ground in the social service sector, as way to help both the nonprofit leaders and the organisation experience revitalisation and reinvigoration. There is a cluster of funders who are committed to the art of talent-focused grant making as a dynamic and innovative opportunity for growth and renewal of present and potential leadership, as well as that of the organisation.

The Practice of providing Civil Society Organisations Leaders the opportunity to step away from their organisations, on a sabbatical period is also known as creative disruption. On the part of the leader the sense of disruption can spark creativity, new perspectives on leadership, job longevity, greater confidence, and better relationships with staff, board and community as well as a new vision.

For the organisation the creative disruption can lead to improved governance, sharing of leadership and succession planning, as well as the organisation developing a new appreciation for their staff’s abilities. Leadership Sabbaticals can support the survival and performance of the organisation in a period that is characterised by the discontinuity of many nonprofits.

When it’s time to change trajectory? The stagnation of leaders and organisations decreases organisational effectiveness, negatively impacting on the population the organisations serves. The stagnation of leadership and organisations stifle the organisational culture, development, and progress and retards the ability of organisational and personal/professional growth. These organisations reflects limited innovation and disengaged employees. The routine and procedures of survival eclipse inquisitiveness and enablement. Stagnation in organisations happens when leaders become satisfied with the status quo or they are unable to impact on the status quo. Leaders can plateau, maintaining rather than developing, or moving forward. Many leaders are, due to various circumstances strong leaders – but are they inspiring leaders?

 Revitalising inspiring Leaders

Great nonprofit organisations are driven by dedicated, passionate directors. These leaders give tirelessly of themselves to further the missions of their organisations. They inspire their boards, their staff, and the communities they serve.

You ensure inspiring and passionate leadership by revitalising your leader and developing or strengthening the leadership capacity throughout the organisation. The present Leadership should buy into the concept that leadership is ultimately about developing leaders. If they do this they practice true leadership – their impact is not limited to what they do when they are in the organisation, but what lasting impact they leave, through leaders they have developed - after they have gone. On the longer term the organisation benefits from a more innovative and sustainable leadership that has been developed across various levels of the organisation – from the leader, to the second line leadership to the Board of Management. If you revitalise the leadership on all levels, support and develop people within the organisation to meet ongoing and future needs, you will ensure support for the direction of the organisation. The Organisation, and leaders/management on all levels need support to prepare and handle the possible new order of things and be willing and able to welcome organisational change. Their emotional intelligence regarding aspects of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management will be enhanced and they will lead the organisation to reach and exceeds its purpose

Pauline Roux is Managing Partner at the Organisational Puzzle

Following the deregistration of thousands of non-profit organisations (NPOs) for non-compliance with the NPO Act (Act No.71 of 1997) towards the end of 2012, the Department of Social Development has spent R2.5 million on an awareness and educational campaign aimed at helping NPOs improve their compliance.

NPOs registered with the Department of Social Development are required in terms of the NPO Act to submit their annual reports (narrative and financial reports) to the Department. This applies to all NPOs registered under the NPO Act, whether funded or unfunded.

Currently, there are 140 513 registered NPOs and 87 565 (about 62 percent) of these are not compliant with the provisions of the NPO Act.

Due to this high rate of non-compliance by NPOs, the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, has put a moratorium on the deregistration of NPOs, in the process re-registering all NPOs deregistered in 2012.This is in an effort to encourage compliance by NPOs and adopting a developmental approach in addressing the administrative matters relating compliance.

Minister Dlamini announced that there would be no de-registration of NPOs until she has satisfied herself that the Department has done all it can to assist NPOs with compliance. During her Public Participation Programmes (Izimbizo and community dialogues), South Africans have raised concerns about the process of compliance stating that it is misunderstood, expensive and cumbersome.

The awareness raising campaign was therefore rolled out nationally to assist NPOs with compliance and increase access by NPOs to the Department’s NPO officials for direct, face-to-face service.  To underline her serious intention on this matter, Minister Dlamini has also declared this year as the year of the NPOs.

Through the awareness campaign so far, the Department has registered 1 415 NPOs, received 1 973 outstanding annual reports, as well as responded to 2 593 compliance status inquiries by NPOs.

Thus far, the campaign has gone to Gauteng (Emfuleni, Lesedi, Midvaal and Vereeniging municipalities), Limpopo (Elias Motsoaledi, Makhuduthamaga and Fetakgomo municipalities), Eastern Cape (Bizana municipality), Western Cape (Kyamnandi, Mooiwater, Kylermore, Cloetesville and Klaapmans municipalities) and Mpumalanga (Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi municipalities).

The response from the NPOs has been great with most of them expressing their appreciation of the effort the Department is making to help them comply and stay in business. The NPO Directorate has also been invited by various municipalities to bring the campaign to their localities, and the awareness campaign will be an ongoing practice.

NPOs can visit to submit their annual reports or they can call 012 312 7036 or 012 312 7794. A list of non-compliant NPOs is available on the Department’s website and is updated monthly.


For more information contact:

Lumka Oliphant
Mobile: 083 484 8067

For more about the Department of Social Development, refer to


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