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,
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.