• De Klerk Foundation: Media Freedom is Threatened

    The FW De Klerk Foundation expresses concern about possible threats to media freedom in South Africa on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2014, under the theme which reflects the media’s importance in development, the safety of journalists and the rule of law as well as the sustainability and integrity of journalism.

    The Foundation’s spokesperson, Jacques du Preez announces that while media freedom was protected by the Constitution when weighed against the theme for this year’s Press Freedom Day, South Africa did not appear to entirely measure up.

    “Although press freedom in South Africa… is enjoyed and protected, there are indicators of threats to press freedom,” states Du Preez.

    To read the article titled, “Media freedom is threatened - De Klerk Foundation,” click here.

    The Citizen
  • Project Tackles, Prevents Stunting of Children

    The United Nations Humanitarian food agency has launched a new project to tackle stunting in nearly one million affected children under the age of five in Malawi.
    The World Food Programme (WFP) states that the project is designed to reduce stunting in the district by five to 10 percent, as well as build evidence for the best ways of tackling the problem.

    Meanwhile, World Vision - a relief, development and advocacy organisation working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice - has been selected by WFP as the lead non-governmental organisation partner in the project.

    To read the article titled, “New Project Aims to Tackle, Prevent Stunting of Malawian Children,” click here.

    All Africa
  • MSF Opens Up Access to Humanitarian Data

    Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a humanitarian-aid non-governmental organisation, initiates an open-access approach within the humanitarian sector in the hope that other medical aid organisations will follow suit.

    According to a report published in PLOS Medicine, MSF has made the data clinical and research staff collect, freely available online – marking the first time a medical humanitarian organisation has fashioned a policy to openly share its data.

    Leslie Shanks, who led the development of MSF's data-sharing policy, states that “by making its medical data open access, MSF will enable other scientists to conduct further research on them, potentially leading to health benefits for the vulnerable and neglected communities where MSF works.”

    To read the article titled, “MSF Pioneers Opening up access to humanitarian data,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Mandela NGO to Preserve SA Heritage

    Speaking at the official opening of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma says the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory plays a vital role in preserving part of South Africa’s heritage.
    Zuma believes the centre has made a major contribution towards integrating the liberation heritage into our nation’s cultural heritage.
    “The resources housed at this centre form an integral part of defining where we come from as a nation.  They also help in articulating the kind of society we seek to build,” he stated.
    To read the article titled, “Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is important for SA: Zuma,” click here.


    SABC News
  • Foundation Admits to Funding Breytenbach

    The FW De Klerk Foundation is footing the hefty legal bill of senior prosecutor, Glynnis Breytenbach, partly by way of multimillion-rand donations from billionaire businessman, Nathan Kirsh.

    The Foundation’s executive director, Dave Steward, admits that Kirsh, “…a major donor, also to our litigation fund, which has paid the legal fees of Glynnis Breytenbach.”

    Steward explains that from this donations, the organisation also funds other projects, adding that the main project is Breytenbech’s litigation.

    To read article titled, “De Klerk funds Breytenbach,” click here.

    IOL News
  • Department of Social Development: Members of the Panel of Arbitration in Terms of the NPO Act

    Department of Social Development
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Monday, February 11, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Call for Nominations of Candidates to be Appointed as Members of the Panel of Arbitration in Terms of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, No 71 of 1997 (NPO Act)

    Nominations are hereby invited for the appointment of suitable persons to serve on a panel of arbitrators to be appointed by the Minister of Social Development in terms of Section 9 of the NPO Act. The NPO Act, created an appeal mechanism in respect of decisions to refuse or cancel registration under the Act, and specified a procedure for appointing the persons who may conduct appeals and arbitrations.

    Function of the Panel of Arbitrators:

    To consider and decide on appeals and arbitrations where an organisation lodges an appeal against cancellation of registration or refusal to register.

    Criteria for Nomination:
    • Knowledge of the NPO sector;
    • At least five-year-experience in the NPO sector;
    • Knowledge of the provisions of the NPO Act;
    • Commitment to the building and strengthening of the NPO sector.
    Nomination Procedure:
    Nomination should be submitted to the Minister of Social Development for the attention of:

    Ms Siphiwe Nziyane:
    NPO Directorate
    Department of Social Development
    Private Bag X901


    Office #546 South
    HSRC Building
    134 Pretorius Street




    Ms Mpho Mngxitama
    Tel: 012 312 7015/ 7312
    Cell: 072 777 2125

    For more about the Department of Social Development, refer to

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to


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  • De-registration of NPOs in South Africa – What You Need to Know

    In the past few weeks many NGOs have discovered that their “NPO registration status” with the NPO Directorate has changed to 'de-registered' or 'non-compliant' 

    According to well-known consultant to the sector, Ann Bown, 36 513 organisations have been de-registered, 35 217 are on a warning (non-compliant) while only 29 019 are in good standing (registered), out of the approximately 85 000 registered on the NPO Directorate database.  

    Whatever the reasons for these changes - non-compliance by NPOs or administrative incompetence by the NPO Directorate - NPOs need to understand the implications of these changes and take the necessary steps to rectify this situation.  

    # Why is it important to be registered by the NPO Directorate  

    Registration in terms of the Nonprofit Organisations Act of 1997 (the NPO Act) is voluntary. However, for some organisations it has become practically compulsory. For example, those setting up a voluntary association must be registered in terms of the NPO Act if they have any hope of opening a bank account. Banks are now insisting on the NPO certificate for voluntary associations.

    Government departments and some donors (e.g. National Development Agency and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund) also require registration in terms of the NPO Act as a condition for funding, while others believe it contributes to increased NPO transparency and credibility.  

    # How to check your status

    If your organisation is registered with the NPO Directorate and has been issued an NPO number, refer to to check your status.

    The status will reflect - Registered, De-Registered or Non-compliant.  

    # Reasons for de-registration  

    If your organisation has been de-registered, it is important to establish the reason/s for the change in your status. The NPO Directorate’s website would usually indicate the reason, and it should be reflected in the notice of non-compliance that the Director for NPOs issued to your organisation before de-registration.

    De-registration is usually linked to the failure by NPOs to submit financial and narrative reports as required in terms of the Act.

    The Director for NPOs can de-register NPOs that are registered in terms of the Act if such NPOs have not complied with:

    • a material provision of its founding document;
    • a condition or term of any benefit or allowance conferred on it by the Minister of Social Development in terms of the Act; or
    • its obligations in terms of sections 17, 18 and 19 and any other provision of the Act.
    # Requirements before de-registration  

    It is important to understand that Section 20(1)(a) of the Act requires that the Director for NPOs must send a compliance notice in the prescribed form to a registered NPO if the organisation has not complied with its obligations in terms of sections 17, 18 and 19 and any other provision of the Act.

    This notice must, first, be in writing, second, notify the NPO of the compliance steps required and, third, inform the NPO that it has one month from the date of the notice to comply.  

    # Is re-registration possible?  

    Section 22 of the NPO Act allows a de-registered NPO to dispute its de-registration by referring the matter for arbitration to an Arbitration Tribunal. This Tribunal must within three months, after having received an appeal, consider the arbitration. Unfortunately, the Tribunal has not been appointed as required in terms of the Act.  

    It seems that an organisation will be re-registered if it submits its outstanding narrative and financial reports - if it has been de-registered for failing to submit those reports. The NPO Directorate’s system is now automated and you can submit your financial and narrative reports online.  

    Otherwise, if your deregistration or non-compliant status is due to an administrative mistake by the NPO Directorate, then submit proof to the NPO Directorate that your reports were submitted on time.  

    # Other steps to be taken  

    As expected, the change in “registration” status has upset many NPOs because they claim their information is up-to-date. Others feel this is part of a sinister move by government to regulate the work of the sector as it cannot be the case that so many organisations have not fulfilled their responsibilities in terms of the NPO Act.

    CAF Southern Africa is collecting information about organisations that have been de-registered due to administrative error on the part of the NPO Directorate.  

    Click here for more information.

    NPOs should visit the NPO Database to establish their current status or contact the NPO Directorate at for questions in this regard. 

    Also comment on this blog by sharing information about your experiences with the NPO Directorate, the NPO registration process or efforts required in restoring your registration status.  

    (I would like to thank Ricardo Wyngaard for the inputs provided in support of this blog. He has prepared A Basic Guide to the NPO Act which provides detailed information in support of many of the issues highlighted above. He has also produced a training DVD on compliance with the NPO Act, which includes an interview with the NPO Directorate. The training took place in September 2012. A limited number of DVDs is available free of charge from Ricardo Wyngaard Attorneys.)

    Related article:

    Joint media statement by Minister Bathabile Dlamini and the Ministerial Task Team on Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) (31 January 2013)

  • Report Back on Lotto March

    Many thanks to the 450 NGOs who marched to the National Lotteries Board (NLB) offices in Pretoria and the hundreds who signed our petition and supported us. NGOs from throughout South Africa i.e. Eastern, Western and Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Gauteng. People travelled from as far as Secunda, Nelspruit, Vereeniging to voice their outrage – one only has to look at the posters to gage their opinions.

    We must also thank the media for the extensive coverage we received in the week leading up to the march – radio, TV and press, which clearly highlighted the corruption and maladministration of the lotto and the distributing agency.

    And yet, the chairperson of the board, Alfred Nevhuthanda, persists in dismissing our concerns in a most condescending and unsatisfactory way.

    It is my view that the only time when we present irrefutable evidence of corruption, we will be able to bring about change and take this matter to the Public Prosecutor. During the Lotto’s road shows last year, NGOs did come forward and report cases of bribery, which the Lotto has done nothing about – could these people please contact me?

    The way forward

    We now have a core of representatives within the sector, people with years of experience who are willing to ensure that the sector is treated fairly, honestly and is acknowledged for the vital services they provide.

    We would like to call a press conference in about three weeks to give NGOs the opportunity to present proof of corruption, maladministration and bribery.


    There is an abundance of dedicated, professional and experienced people who work in this sector and one has to wonder why the NLB has never bothered to seriously seek their input or opinions when determining policies.

    Our time is now – we must use this opportunity to expose corruption, bribery and maladministration in order to ensure our survival so that the most marginalised people in South Africa are not forgotten.

    On behalf of the NGO sector:

    Sandra Millar
    Tel: 012 430 2630
    Mobile: 082 555 4905


  • Supporting Community Organising Against Evictions

    In a post-apartheid South Africa, poor black people still face evictions, demolitions and continue battling for land and housing. The Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI), attempts to strengthen organising against unlawful evictions, using the powerful ‘Dear Mandela’ documentary as an entry point.

    Located in the East Rand of Johannesburg, along the road to Springs, Lindelani is a community that is easy to miss. Any news from Lindelani is often about the illegal mining activities, some residents take part in, yet a visit to the community suggests that there are even more pressing issues to be addressed- with housing and eviction threats being resident’s biggest concern.

    This correlates with data from the University of Johannesburg Social Change Research Unit and Municipal IQ that housing remains among the top stated reasons for protest in the region. This data is further affirmed by the Community Law Centre’s project, the ‘Multi-Level Government Initiative (MLGI)’, which has found that land and housing have been the top reasons for protests in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 respectively. Yet, when one is in a small community, it can feel like a struggle that is borne by that single community. Facing persistent threats of eviction or relocation may be an isolating experience for communities struggling for recognition and socio-economic development.

    It is for this reason that the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), supported by Local Government Action (LGA), recently undertook a pilot ‘Dear Mandela’ screening and workshop in Lindelani. The multi-award winning documentary follows the struggle for housing in Durban- portraying the brutal repression, evictions and demolitions undergone by a community who took the government to the highest court in the land.

    Lindelani residents were taken through emotional scenes in which a Durban resident narrates her experiences when her shack was demolished. She was at school that day and received a call telling her that her home is being demolished. She then shows viewers where her home once was. "When the municipality sends the red ants, it's like they are sending the devil's angels to do their dirty work", she says, getting nods from the residents watching the documentary. They themselves are very familiar with threats of eviction and have faced serious violence in their battle for housing and services.

    The screening was then used as a springboard for discussion, with the film’s directors Dara Kell and Chris Nizza, sharing their experiences in filming the documentary, before entering into a discussion about how Lindelani residents relate to the characters in the documentary and organise.

    "The very same people who gave us our Constitution and are supposed to protect our constitutional rights are the ones who violate them", shouted a participant. He went on to talk about how community members frequently "apply for marches, but … aren't given permission to do that. They [the police and local government authorities] keep refusing us our right to march and we are just expected to remain landless, without homes”. The repression in the documentary had struck a chord with residents, who went on to discuss the insecurity in which they live due to the threats of eviction and relocation.

    The discussion led into an interactive and detailed discussion on the legal rules regulating evictions in South Africa. Michael Clark and Princess Magopane, from SERI, facilitated this component of the workshop. Attendees were  taken through the provisions of the Prevention of Illegal Evictions (PIE) Act. The workshop aimed at informing participants of their legal rights in relation to evictions, how to know when an eviction is illegal and what practical steps they could take to resist eviction or to have the eviction set aside. The need to take as many photos as possible in an eviction situation to ensure adequate documentation was emphasised along with the importance of gathering as many people as possible to ensure that there are many witnesses seeing the eviction.

    Another resident suggested that, "SAPS must also be taught about the right to protest; sometimes they are the ones who start the violence during protests". He went on to explain how “crime is a huge problem in the area, especially rape- SAPS should be dealing with this, not making criminals of protesters." His comments led to a discussion about the difficulties the community has had in the past during protests. It also led to the discussion of the role of SAPS in illegal evictions, and why they are part of them when they are the ones meant to enforce the law, not break it.

    “This was the first in a series of workshops the SERI aims to facilitate in conjunction with the ‘Dear Mandela’ directors to equip informal settlement communities with an awareness of their legal rights in relation to evictions, basic services and how to engagement with local government,” said Michael Clark. “The workshops try to make the issues that communities face on a daily basis more relatable by using the film and provide an interactive platform for engagement. The aim is to highlight that mobilising against evictions is possible by using the law and a variety of other social strategies.”

    Recent events in Lwandle and Alexandra have shown the relevance of these workshops. Inhumane demolitions and evictions, just as winter hits the country, prove that the threat of evictions should actively resisted, as no poor, landless black person knows when their community will be the next target.

    For more information follow Local Government Action on Twitter and Facebook or refer to
  • Cronje Appointed New SAIRR CEO

    The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) has appointed Frans Cronje as its new chief executive officer.

    Cronje, who will be taking over from John Kane-Berman who retires at the end of February next year, joined SAIRR’s research department in 2004 and since taken over responsibility for the organisation’s marketing drive while also launching its Risk Analysis.

    Meanwhile, SAIRR president and the University of the Free State vice-chancellor, Professor Jonathan Jansen, describes Cronje’s appointment as ‘wonderful news for independent research and courageous thinking in South Africa today’.

    To read the article titled, “SAIRR gets new CEO,” click here.

    SABC News
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