Here we are in South Africa with junk status and a recession. For years we have been hearing about the dearth of funding for the non-profit sector and we can presume, first, that finances have become even more difficult. Second, another assumption is that as our economy contracts, so there are more unemployed people and a greater need for assistance. This could be straightforward charitable help such as food and shelter, but often people need retraining as they are retrenched or need to have the skills for self-reliance.
The South African National Parks has used the R250 million donated by American philanthropist and businessman, Howard G Buffet, to help boost measures to protect the Kruger National Park (KNP) from poachers.
Major general, Johan Jooste, head of the anti-poaching operations, points out that, “The park has upgraded their protection by upgrading ranger points by enabling them to operate helicopters, house the K9 dogs and the training of the rangers, making sure that their equipment is up to scratch.”
There is very little to show for the huge amounts of money invested in local pro-democracy groups over the years, a western envoy has lamented, adding that the non-governmental organisation sector has become as corrupt as the regime whose ouster it sought.
A diplomat who heads one of the western donor organisations in the country says that, “You can see that there (has been) no, or very little, change in the democracy situation in the country despite the civil society having been well resourced financially.”
Non-governmental organisations have welcomed President Peter Mutharika’s declaration of Malawi as a state of national disaster describing it as a much-needed acknowledgement of the scale of the problem.
In a statement, they say the declaration should send a strong signal to donors to act quickly to the country’s disaster situation.
“The International community should act swiftly and decisively on government’s declaration of emergency where people are facing worsening hunger because of El Nino related drought and nationwide crop failures,” it explains.
The categorisation of Namibia as an upper middle-income country has left many orphanages, charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in a state of limbo as donors have gradually withdrawn financial assistance.
This has in turn compelled some organisations to shut their operations, as there no funds to sustain them, leaving vulnerable children and orphans stranded with no place to call home.
Mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe, has announced his family foundation is activating a pledge to donate R117 5 million over 10 years to promote soccer‚ netball and the arts at schools.
In 2013‚ Motsepe donated half of his family’s wealth to the foundation‚ which has so far funded a range of development projects including the construction of clinics‚ schools and community halls in rural areas as well as bursaries for college and university students.
According to Lahja Nashuuta, ever since the World Bank elevated Namibia to the upper middle income country status, majority of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country have been struggling to remain afloat as donor funds dry up.
Nashuuta states that since the reclassification of Namibia from the lower-income country to upper–middle income country in July 2009, donors have redirected their funding to country that are classified as more poorer than Namibia, leaving local NGOs in financial squeeze.
South African newspapers recently reported that organisations supported by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria face severe funding cuts.
This follows a decision from the United States-based organisation to limit its funding to the eight areas in South Africa that have recorded the highest prevalence of HIV.
According to Trevor Saruwaka Mutasa, if Zimbabwe goes hungry it has no capacity to feed its own people and therefore depends on non-governmental organisations and donor countries contrary to the mantra by President Robert Mugabe that they must leave us alone.
Mutasa states that in an article titled ‘food for all is our goal’, the country’s Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Prisca Mupfumira, attempts to pronounce a policy position on who must get this aid by boldly declaring that food is for all.
Zimbabwe’s local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwe, says civil society activists have no business in auditing national programmes such as the youth fund because no one audit NGOs when they loot donor funds.
Kasukuwere was heading the indigenisation ministry in 2009 when government, with the assistance of Old Mutual, disbursed US$11 million for youths' projects which 97 percent of the beneficiaries failed to repay.