NGOs

NGOs

  • For and Not-For-Profit Big Bang...

    Two worlds are colliding and the results can only be fun.

    I am sitting in the Impact Investing conference organised by the South African Network for Impact Investing (SAII) and hosted by the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and you can see it happening.

    There are those of us from the nonprofit background (clearly visible as we don’t wear sharp cut suits or impossibly high heels) and those from the financial world, who talk a strange language of bonds and equity and use acronyms as if they are pronouns.

    I often think that the jargon of business is designed to be intimidating so that those of us on the periphery are forever excluded, like little children not invited to the Top Dogs birthday party.

    But this week, I had one of those moments where all became clear and suddenly it made sense. I missed the choir of angels and harps accompanying my epiphany, but it was no less dramatic.

    We are all saying the same thing - just differently.

    There are fund managers out there looking (yes – looking!) for social enterprises to invest in. This took a long time for the fundraiser in me to understand, as these moments are few in the nonprofit world.

    These fund managers will take you through a rigorous process assessing your business, your future growth and your ability to survive independently of traditional grants and handouts. You are after all, a business. They do however, despite the sharp suits and high heels, seem to have a heart. They are just approaching us from a different angle.

    So no longer can nonprofits assume that business does not understand the world of social service delivery. They bring new insights, which we must acknowledge and respect and vice versa.

    So this is the Big Bang, where the world of for and not-for-profits collide.

    It is a change in thinking.

    We know that the traditional funding model - of dependency on finite grants, and hard-won subsidies - cannot last.
    The financial stress and pressure that we all largely operate under means that we can never think ahead. We are always worrying about the now, rather than the where do we want to be.

    Impact Investing may not be your thing, but the thinking of this new approach has to be explored and interrogated.
    Why?

    Because it encourages you to develop a social enterprise - a business wing that supports the delivery of social services. Because it is passionate about measurement and accountability. Because taking on financing  forces you out of the cushioned security of grant funding and means you have to face up to your own organisational risk: ‘Will it work?’ takes on a whole new meaning when you have to pay the money back.

    And let us be honest. This is exactly what the nonprofit world has been calling for. We have just been using different phrases that ask for new funding streams, greater accountability and transparency, as well as ownership by all.

    So. Sparks will fly, as our worlds slowly collide. But Impact Investing has gravitational pull and its going to be hard to resist.

    - Kerryn Krige is a freelance advisor in development. She has worked for some of South Africa’s leading non-profits as a fundraiser and programme manager. She started off as a journalist and moved into the non-profit sector in the United Kingdom, working for traditional charities and social enterprise. She has worked in East and Southern Africa and is passionate about building the capacity of the nonprofit sector. You can get in touch on ayandamalindi@yahoo.co.uk.

  • Corporate Governance in South Africa: Weak Links that Allow Fraud and Corruption to be Rampant

    One has now lost count of the number of fraud and corruption incidents that get reported in the media - almost daily.  Most would agree that this indicates our corporate governance is collapsing, has completely collapsed or that it needs some serious re-vamp. The fact that fraud and corruption incidents do get reported, confirms that corporate governance still works – but mainly on the detective side. What about the preventative side?  Until a balance is struck between preventative and detective controls, combating fraud and corruption will remain as elusive as ever or may even escalate. I have noted three key weak links in our corporate governance structure here in South Africa:

    • We do not have minimum governance structure expectation from organisations. Until we do that, we will forever be chasing possible fraud and corruption perpetrators only after the action has been done;
    • Organisations are not legally required to have internal audit departments. Those that have internal audit departments make such to suffocate within the organisations – adding very minimal value if any, to what they could potentially do to their organisations;
    • The fact that organisations have an option to follow King III guidelines or not is a waste of resources - taking into account time and money invested in the research. What is the use if only say 10 percent of organisations follow the King guidelines? It simply means there are no corporate governance guidelines in South Africa.
    To come out of the quagmire of rampant fraud and corruption, South Africans need to agree on the following recommended minimum governance structure:


    Organisations should be expected to have the above structure as a minimum requirement - where internal auditors will be concerned with the future, external auditors with the past, board of directors very much concerned with the present, the audit committee with continuous risk assessment and monitoring and the shareholder with the overall performance and results of the organisation. (Governance structures are by no means precluded from interacting). All these governance bodies have direct access to the shareholder. How wonderful? Where can fraud and corruption get a chance with such tight governance? Admitted, it will never be airtight, but fraudsters will have to sweat to achieve what they want.
     
    By allowing fraud and corruption cases to be reported at this rate without strategic countering, governance bodies such as the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Institute of Directors are partly to blame for the high incidents of fraud – not as active participants, but as passive participants. Most internal auditors are not comfortable with the position of internal audit in their organisation organograms, but are afraid to say it because it may have career limiting consequences. The institute of directors is quite aware that until King III guidelines are made legally enforceable, governance will remain poor - but they do not push for King Guidelines to be enforced. Why?
     
    Internal audit is one function that could be relegated to the heap of history if it does not re-invent itself and position itself as a catalyst in the fight against fraud and corruption – through proactive systems and controls. Whenever fraud and corruption incidents are reported, one hears very little or nothing from internal auditors. Their role has become that of a lame duck or a toothless bull dog – bucking loudly, but unfortunately not able to bite.

    To re-invent itself, internal audit has to fight for legal recognition. The current status is that organisations may opt to have or not to have internal auditors in their structures. We need legalised internal audit for these reasons:
    • Once given a legal standing, internal auditors should be elevated to report not to management but to the shareholder. This will give internal auditors the necessary muscle to do their work without fear of reprisal from management;
    • Preventative controls will be entrenched in all organisations. The likelihood of fraud and corruption being reported once it has occurred will be significantly reduced;
    • Inefficient, ineffective and uneconomical control environment will be discovered and reported sooner rather than later;
    • On-the-job training for inexperienced youths could be housed in this department. With a well run internal audit department, managers have a pleasure to recruit from the internal audit department because recruitees would have had some exposure to business processes and procedures within the organisation;
    • Like external auditors, internal auditors should have their reports included in the annual reports;
    • If legalised, so many new quality job opportunities will be created for youths entering the market – this is where the job fund could come in handy.
    In conclusion, the re-vamping of both the Institute of Internal Auditors as well as the Institute of Directors as effective governance structures will help achieve three goals at once; prevent fraud and corruption before it happens; help with continuous training; help create quality employment for the youth especially.

    - Kgosiemang Esau Moloko, Mobile: 084 700 4784

  • Annual Report Launch

    The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) invites you to the launch of its Annual Report on 22 January 2009 in Johannesburg.

    As the LRC approaches its 30th anniversary, it remains committed to the social and economic transformation of South Africa based on the strengthening of its constitutional democracy.

    Date: 22 January 2009

    Time: 08h30-10h30

    Venue: Johannesburg Civic Theatre (City of Light Room)

    Contact Person: Adelline Malema, email: adelline@lrc.org.za

    For more information on LRC, click here.

    Event start date: 
    22/01/2009
    Event end date: 
    22/01/2009
    Event venue: 
    <br />
    Event type: 
    Launch
  • Youth Dialogue

    Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth

    Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth) was formed in 2009, conforming to the provisions of African Youth Charter, which was adopted by the African Union. The Charter defines African youth as people between the ages of 15 and 35. Membership to OAYouth is open to individuals and youth organisations, that are working to empower youth on any issues.

    The youth voices in South Africa are fragmented and divided by race, religion and especially controversy-magnetic political platforms. As such, young people generally do not have a cohesive neutral platform for dialogue. In certain circumstances South Africa fails to answer: Who speaks for the youth?

    OAYouth, in partnership with students associations at University of Witwatersrand, is hosting a Youth Dialogue on 18 August 2012 in Johannesburg.

    The symposium will be attended by over 60 young people, youth organisations and students leaders.

    The event is aimed at discussing the following question - ‘how do developmental trajectories have to look like in order to achieve social equality in South Africa? What is the role of youth to make it happen?’

    These and other policy issues such as nationalisation, land reform, unemployment and entrepreneurship development, will strengthen a more coherent voice of youth and their willingness to partner with developmental stakeholders to make South Africa a great nation in Africa and the world.

    For more information contact:

    Mordekai Shumba
    President Organisation of African Youth
    Mobile: 073 445 4355
    E-mail: mordekai@oayouth.org

    For more about the Organisation of African Youth, refer to www.oayouth.org.

    Event start date: 
    18/08/2012
    Event end date: 
    18/08/2012
    Event venue: 
    FNB Auditorium 101 - West Campus, University of Witwatersrand
    Event type: 
    Seminar
  • New Code of Governance for Non-profits in South Africa - Please Comment

    A proposed code of governance for non-profit organisations (NPOs) in South Africa has been released for public comment. The draft Independent Code of Good Governance for Non-Profit Organisations in South Africa aims to encourage best governance practice and was initiated by a group of NPOs at a Civil Society Consultative Forum meeting held in August 2010. They recognised the need for South African civil society to formulate and adopt its own distinct code rather than be regulated by government or corporate sector codes.

    The Working Group mandated to develop a draft code has already consulted hundreds of NPOs across the country and individuals and organisations now have until the end of April 2012 to submit their final suggestions and comments. Various provincial workshops are also planned where the code will be further debated.

    It is intended that the process should culminate in the formal adoption of the proposed new independent code by the end of July 2012.

    The Working Group consists of Chris Mkhize, Chief Executive Officer, Uthungulu Community Foundation; Shelagh Gastrow, Executive Director, The South African Institute of Advancement: Inyathelo; Colleen du Toit, Chief Executive Officer, Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa; Jimmy Gotyana, President, SANGOCO; and as legal adviser, Richard Rosenthal of Richard Rosenthal Attorneys.

    The 18-page draft document proposes eight particular ‘values’ which are of special relevance and concern to the NPO sector, as well as six key leadership principles, and five statutory legal and fiscal principles.

    Click here to read or download a copy of the initial draft of the proposed Independent Code of Governance for Non-Profit Organisations in South Africa.

    Click here to read the official media release in support of the release of the draft code.

    To submit your comments in response to the draft document and/or for more information about the planned provincial workshops, please contact Janine Ogle on janine@inyathelo.org.za or Tel: 021 465 6981.

     

  • African Youth Day Conference 2011

    Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth)

    The Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth) is the youth platform for information exchange, forum for debate on African issues and a network of future political, corporate, academic, literary, religious and traditional leaders in all African contexts.

    The African Youth Day was declared and adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2006 to be commemorated on 1 November each year. It has since evolved as the most powerful platform of young people of Africa.

    OAYouth, in collaboration with Phelps Stokes and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is hosting the ‘African Youth Day Conference 2011 (AYDAC'11)’ on 1 November 2011 in Johannesburg.

    The youth of Africa will convene at AYDAC’11 to celebrate the African Youth Day. The conference will pave way for youth to examine workable methods to improve youth unity as well as strengthen youth economic empowerment through leadership development, entrepreneurship support and agricultural transformation.

    Conference Objectives:

    • Echo the voice of ordinary young people of Africa;
    • Share information and best practices in promoting opportunities for youth encouraging youth to start new entrepreneurship initiatives;
    • Establish suitable structures for meeting the unique needs for youth business start-ups in developing economies in Africa;
    • Build lasting relationships between youth and business institutions;
    • Infuse a gender perspective and rights-based approach to policies and programs for youth;
    • Cultivate in the youth the spirit of accountability, transparency and integrity (ATI).
    Only young people of between 15 and 35 who are of nationality of any African State will qualify to apply.

    Cost: R2 430 per delegate.

    For sponsorships, exhibitions and applications, write to: info@oayouth.org.

    Enquiries: Tel: +27 73 445 4355.

    For more about The Organisation of African Youth, refer to www.oayouth.org.

    Event start date: 
    01/11/2011
    Event venue: 
    Ingwenya Country Escape, Lanseria, Johannesburg
    Event type: 
    Conference
  • Hate Crimes Against Gays on the Increase in Africa

    International human rights groups are reporting increases in hate crimes against gays and lesbians across Africa.

    Denis Nzioka, one of East Africa’s most prominent gay rights activists, points out that, “We have seen an upsurge of violence, of discrimination.…  You’ve got guys in Cameroon being arrested; you’ve got guys in Nigeria being killed for being gay.  It’s happening all over Africa.”

     In South Africa, according to Natasha Vally of Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, a particularly worrying phenomenon in Africa is, “Police homophobia.…  Police are increasingly using arrest itself as a means of punishment.  So we’ve seen in lots of these cases it doesn’t appear that the police have the intention to prosecute at all.”

    To read the article titled, "Africa’s gays say they’re ‘under siege," click here.
    Source: 
    VOA News
  • Partnership to Provide Relief to Flood Victims

    Government has set up a task team with the private sector and civil society to provide immediate relief to people who have been affected by floods.

    Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, said the primary function of the task team is to coordinate humanitarian assistance and to provide an opportunity for social partners to, through their projects, respond to the immediate emergency priority needs while at the same time laying the foundation for early and eventual long term recovery of the affected communities.

    Speaking to the media after meeting with business and NGOs in Pretoria, Dlamini, also said the task team will also look at setting up a special fund through which aid can be channelled to those in need.

    To read the article titled, “SA Govt, business partner to provide relief to flood victims,” click here.




    Source: 
    SABC News
  • SABC Urged to Make Mokoetle Settlement Public

    The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) says the public has a right to know the details of the financial settlement bestowed on embattled former South African Broadcasting Corporation CEO, Solly Mokoetle.

    In a press statement, SANEF chairperson, Mondli Makhanya, points out that, “The public interest and the fact that public funds could be involved dictate that a full and proper public statement is called for."

    Makhanya argues that the ‘secrecy’ surrounding Mokoetle's departure is a cause concern, adding that SANEF view the silence over the matter as another move to deny the media and the public information concerning state conduct.

    To read the article titled “SANEF: Make Mokoetle settlement public,” click here.
    Source: 
    Mail & Guardian
  • Ugandan NGO Opposes AIDS Bill

    Members of civil society and security organisations want the Ugandan Parliament to two sections of the controversial HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, which seeks to criminalise a person who attempts or intentionally pass on HIV to another person.

    The Northern Regional Prisons Commander, Alfred Okullu, warns that it will not be easy to prove that one has intentionally transmitted HIV/AIDS to another person.

    "More resources should be invested in behavioural change in the fight against HIV/AIDS," explains Okullu.

    To read the article titled, “Gulu NGOs oppose HIV bill,” click here.
    Source: 
    All Africa
Syndicate content