- This February, the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSF) is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a difference with its Dress Red campaign to raise awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke for women and children. Funds raised will go towards combating heart disease and stroke in various communities around South Africa.
By purchasing a R5 sticker from the HSF or making an online donation and dressing in red this Valentine’s Day, organisations, individuals or schools will not only help this worthy cause, but also stand a chance to win a Frédérique Constant ‘Hearts of Children’ watch to the value of R20 000.
Programme director: projects at HSF, Ashleigh Kuttner, says that while awareness of heart disease and stroke in women and children is growing around the world, people in developing countries such as South Africa are simply not aware of the risks, causes, and treatments:
“In South Africa, heart disease and stroke kills more women than men, but there's very little awareness around this. Added to this statistic is that two out of three women are overweight or obese, which heightens the risk. In fact, breast cancer is often perceived as the biggest health threat to women, when in fact, heart disease and stroke are the greatest threats globally, killing more people each day than all cancers combined.”
Kuttner says that children are vulnerable too, with 23 percent of children in South Africa overweight or obese, therefore increasing their risk for heart disease and stroke from a younger age: “Across the world we are facing a crisis, with more and more children overweight due to leading sedentary lifestyles. In South Africa, we also have many babies born with a low birth weight and 26 percent of our children one to three years old are stunted, not reaching their full potential height for their age. Research has shown that these factors also increase the risk for heart disease and stroke later in life. So a child’s risk can even begin before birth – during foetal development, and increases further during childhood with exposure to unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and smoking.
Through funding from the campaign, HSF will be able to continue its work in the communities, where awareness of the risk of diseases of lifestyle is especially low. The Foundation offers free services such as awareness and education workshops, distributes pamphlets containing vital information, and offers free blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and blood glucose screenings tests – all funding dependant.
“Women in developing countries who develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) are more likely to die from it than comparable women in developed nations. In South Africa, the proportion of heart disease and stroke-related deaths in women aged between 35-59 years is 150 percent higher than that of women in the United States. Most of the population of the communities we work in are not aware of the risks they are facing – which is why our work is so important,” said Kuttner.
To ensure eligibility for the competition, entrants can visit the HSF website to view the terms and conditions. Winners will be announced on 17 March 2014.
A spokesperson for Swiss luxury wrist watch manufacturer Frédérique Constant, which along with the World Heart Federation has partnered with the HSF to run the campaign, say that the organisation is passionate and proud to support the fight against CVD – the world’s number one killer.
“The partnership is a joint commitment to raise global awareness of CVD and focuses on women and children as vulnerable populations. We share a passion to educate people about their risk and help avoid the millions of needless deaths that occur each year. By uniting our efforts we strive to give families more quality time together.”
For more information on the competition go to the HSF website, visit the Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter @SAHeartStroke. Contact person: John Scharges, Tel: 021 448 5941, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Corruption Watch 2014 Report found that the majority of the people who report corruption to the organisation are African men, aged between 30 and 59, and mainly employed in public service.
The report profiles the landscape of corruption in South Africa based on the information provided to Corruption Watch by members of the public and gathered via a survey of a 10 percent sample of the people who have contacted the organisation in 2013.
Since January 2012, Corruption Watch has received 5 485 reports of alleged corruption and 2 262 of these were reported in 2013. The number of cases representing actual corruption – understood as abuse of public power and resources for personal gain – increased from 38 percent in 2012 to 58 percent in 2013.
“The increase in the number of actual corruption reports is not surprising. The latest data shows that the organisation’s role and the definition of corruption are now better understood. In our first year, in 2012, we had 3 223 reports which mostly fell outside of our area of focus. The latest data indicates that people understand that Corruption Watch is here to amplify the public’s voice on abuse of public resources instead of dealing with consumer or labour disputes,” said executive director of Corruption Watch, David Lewis.
The 2013 data reveals that people who reported to Corruption Watch in 2013 are mostly men – 74 percent of the sample. More than 90 percent are African and 81 percent are between the ages of 30 and 59, with 33 percent of this group being in their forties. About 37 percent of corruption reporters have completed secondary education and 44 percent have tertiary education. Most (63 percent) are employed or self-employed, and more than half (56 percent) of these work in the public sector.
The reporting trends from 2012 and 2013 by province have slightly shifted, with Gauteng topping the provincial charts at 38 percent, down from 46 percent in 2012. KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape followed closely with 13 percent, both up from 10 percent and eight percent respectively. The Free State is the only province where there was a significant increase from seven percent in 2012 to 14 percent in 2013.
A massive 77 percent of the people who chose to report to Corruption Watch said they did so because they did not know of any other organisation to report to. Some 53 percent of the corruption reporters had previously presented their cases to organisations such as national and provincial government departments and most commonly, to the Public Protector or South African Police Service but did not receive the assistance they expected.
Asked to explain their reasons for reporting to Corruption Watch, 48 percent said they felt morally obliged to report and believed it was the right thing to do and 28 percent said they reported because they believed the South African laws required them to do so.
Most striking was the 59 percent who said they reported corruption as they felt confident they we were capable of combatting corruption. This is consistent with the findings of Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer that 89 percent of South Africans are willing to join in fighting corruption: “This is very encouraging. We believe there are more people who wish to engage constructively in combatting corruption. It is now the right time for us to expand the spaces for people to use their collective voices to speak against corruption and hold leaders accountable,” said Lewis.
Corruption Watch now offers an online interactive platform for active corruption fighters to join and engage with other like-minded activists on matters of corruption. The platform built by Concursive Corporation can be accessed at corruptionwatchconnected.org. The organisation has also partnered with Mxit Reach to widely share its reporting line and public education content via cwconnect on Mxit.
For media interviews contact:
Mobile: 082 576 3748
Mobile: 076 862 9086
Mobile: 072 577 8419
For more information on the corruption trends based on data collected by Corruption Watch, refer to www.corruptionwatch.org.za.
- As the annual debate of whether or not the pass rate should be lifted rages on, we are yet again faced with the reality that history will question whether or not we collectively did enough to adequately prepare this generation of learners.
Education certainly remains an effective tool to a self-sustainable country which is able to lessen and possibly eradicate the inequality gap on many levels. So if this is obvious to most then we need to widen the focus of whose responsibility it is to address the quality of education in South Africa? Traditionally the focus at this time of the year is always on the Department of Basic Education (DBE) but the focus needs to be wider. We need to consider whether or not corporates and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are doing enough to strengthen the education sector.
While we acknowledge that DBE has many ‘challenges’ to address, we must also acknowledge the fact that the corporate sectors support of this sector is not only complex it is also very challenging. We commend those companies that have been undeterred by possible complexities. Companies such as Dimension Data and Vodacom among others are well known for using information and communication technology (ICT) to assist in the fight against illiteracy and ultimately poverty.
For ICT companies the link is obvious as they can be a powerful conduit for the transfer and spread of information to all parts of the country. This is extremely important when you consider that there are still many parts of the country that are largely removed due to the absence of basic infrastructure such as roads and electricity. Learners in rural communities are certainly the most vulnerable due to the absence of these amenities. So for ICT companies that are already playing an active role in these communities, they are creating the only access for young learners to keep abreast of the development opportunities that their urban counterparts are exposed to. It is pivotal to provide rural schools in particular with access to information so that learners are not left too far behind.
As stated above it is encouraging to see companies taking an active role in addressing some of these concerns. The companies mentioned above in particular donate computers to schools and access to the Internet. But for those communities where there is no electricity this presents serious challenges. Nevertheless, their intervention remains invaluable as it lessens the gap between urban and rural learners.
As the language debate also attaches itself to the pass rate debate, technology could be seen as a means to remotely provide teaching software in different languages to assist learners. Technology could also help ensure the timeous delivery of learning material so as to once and for all quash the annual textbook delivery debacle.
It is a given that it is not enough to merely provide schools with up-to-date technology, there must be well trained teachers aux fair with it. ICT companies can assist educational institutions in providing learners with access to online textbooks and other learning resources.
As changes are being made to improve the education sector, those involved should not lose sight of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and in particular those goals that address the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, the achievement of universal primary education, the promotion of gender equality and empower women and other related goals that can be indirectly addressed through education.
With respect to the goal related to improvements in primary education in particular there is a global recognition of education as a basic human right and achievable developmental goal. For corporates it makes business sense to play an active role in addressing education woes. Corporates will certainly appreciate the fact that one of the important conditions for their success is a stable social environment. If corporates are responsible for being the driving force behind creating an open market and free trade, education should not be seen as an exception. By playing such an active role corporates can assist their brand building efforts. They can choose to use their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to support a number of initiatives beyond what many may regard as mere ‘cause marketing.’
Regardless of which corporates and NGOs avail themselves to assist, DBE will still need to take the lead in integrating all pledged resources. DBE will need to leverage the offer of up-to-date technology and human resources that will assist in optimising the education system.
In conclusion there is arguably a low level of corporate involvement beyond the initiatives described above and beyond once of donations. As corporates make their new year’s resolutions, let us hope top of the list will be efforts to move CSR beyond once off donations. Corporates should not be deterred by the argument that it is difficult to measure social impact in a way that their investors would appreciate. Corporates should rise to the challenge and look to ensure that their CSR implementation and reporting reflects visible and significant outcomes.
- Janine Mosetlhi is managing director of Dara Consulting (PTY) LTD.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that almost two decades later South Africa is not the country that former president Nelson Mandela said it would become.
In a press statement, HRW executive director, Kenneth Roth, points out that, “Inequality and poverty remain rife, the education and health sectors are inadequate, and South Africa remains divided by racial separation and deep economic inequality.”
Roth states that Mandela led South Africa out of darkness and brutality, adding that the country’s next generation of leaders would do well to live up to his high standards and fervent commitment to human rights.
To read the article titled, “SA not as Madiba said it would be: Human Rights Watch,” click here.Source:Times Live
Critics say the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) conveys an 'elite bias' and does not show evidence of actual corruption.
For nearly 20 years, Transparency International has scored and ranked countries according to how corrupt their public sectors are perceived to be.
Drawing on 13 data sources, and based on the perceptions of businesspeople and country experts, the 2013 CPI gives 177 countries a score from zero to 100, where zero is a perception that the country's public sector is "highly corrupt" and 100 is ‘very clean’.
To read the article titled, “Is Transparency International's measure of corruption still valid?,” click here.Source:The Guardian
- The Corruption Watch Board has noted the ongoing tensions between the Public Protector and cabinet ministers regarding her report on the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence.
The Public Protector’s powers and functions are regulated by our Constitution. The office is subject only to the Constitution and the law. It must remain impartial and exercise its powers and perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice. All organs of state (which include all government departments, whether national, provincial or local, and all people who are exercising public power in terms of the Constitution or any law including government ministers) are required by the Constitution to assist and protect the Public Protector in order to ensure her independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness.
The Board of Corruption Watch notes that the Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi has publicly acknowledged that the upgrade of President Zuma’s Nkandla residence was characterised by irregularities. In the light of this admission, the Board notes with concern the reliance on ‘state security’ as a basis for the Cabinet ministers’ challenge to the release of the report by the Public Protector to interested and affected parties. The Board is deeply concerned that this approach avoids the key issues of possible wasteful expenditure and the flouting of procurement rules - neither of which fall within the ambit of national security.
Given that security considerations in the Nkandla upgrade are not concerned with the amount of money spent or the disregard of public procurement rules, the Corruption Watch Board views the ministers’ actions, including the assertion that they are the final decision-makers on all security-related matters, as having the effect of shielding any unlawful activity that may have been uncovered by the Public Protector from public view.
If the result of the ongoing tensions is that the Public Protector is impeded or hampered in her probe into Nkandla, this will severely undermine her ability to perform her functions without fear or favour and in turn has the potential to harm our democracy and undermine our Constitution.
The Corruption Watch Board calls for transparency and accountability to ensure that anyone who has acted unlawfully is held to account. In this regard, the Board calls for respect of the office of the Public Protector in carrying out its Constitutionally-mandated duties.
- Corruption Watch Board. For more information contact, Archbishop Ndungane, Chairperson of the Board, Tel: 082 894 1523.
- A review of the amended Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) codes would reveal that the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has not lived up to the state’s responsibility to nonprofit organisations (NPOs) as captured in section three of the Nonprofit Organisations Act (NPO Act). Section three of the NPO Act reads - “Within the limits prescribed by law, every organ of state must determine and coordinate the implementation of its policies and measures in a manner designed to promote, support and enhance the capacity of NPOs to perform their functions.” [The] dti has, in our view, not given sufficient attention in the revised codes to NPOs. The following examples illustrate this:
Reference to the outdated Section 21 companies - the revised codes refer to the outdated Section 21 company and defines a Section 21 company as ‘an association not-for-gain incorporated under Section 21 of the Companies Act’ (of 2008) - which is clearly incorrect. The dti is essentially responsible for the promulgation of the Companies Act of 2008 which came into operation on 1 May 2011. This Companies Act has abandoned the concept of a Section 21 company, yet this outdated reference has remained within the revised codes.
Measurement of NPOs:
NPOs with an annual total revenue of R10 million or less qualify as exempted micro-enterprises and are deemed to have a B-BBEE status of ‘level four contributors’.
Importantly, a sworn affidavit of its annual total revenue being less than R10 million should be sufficient proof to qualify NPOs as exempted micro-enterprises. There should accordingly be no need for such NPOs to pay accreditation agencies to issue BEE certificates confirming their B-BBEE status. However, the codes do not deal expressly with NPOs that have total revenue of more than R10 million.
Paragraph 18.104.22.168 of Statement of 000 of the revised codes provides that: a qualifying small enterprise (R10-50 million) ‘is required to comply with ownership as a compulsory element, and either skills development or enterprise and supplier development’. No express provision is made for qualifying small enterprises that do not have an ‘ownership’ element. There is accordingly no clear guidelines in the revised codes on how NPOs with an annual revenue between R10 to 50 million will be measured.
In contrast, provision was made in the initial Codes of 2007 for an Adjusted Generic Scorecard and an Adjusted Qualifying Small Enterprises Scorecard to accommodate entities that do not have ownership like NPOs. NPOs with an annual turnover between R5 to R35 million were eligible as qualifying small enterprises in terms of the Adjusted Qualifying Small Enterprises Scorecard which did not have the ‘ownership’ element.
The scorecard element dealing with Socio Economic Development (SED) Contributions is perhaps the most important element for most NPOs. Corporates would usually make donations towards NPOs to implement the SED activities. What qualifies as SED Contributions is defined by the revised codes. The revised codes provide that SED Contributions must be for the objective of facilitating income generating activities for targeted beneficiaries. This appears to be different from the initial codes where the objective of SED Contributions was facilitating sustainable access to the economy for those beneficiaries. These are two seemingly different objectives.
However, the definition section of the revised codes reverts to the language in the initial codes and provides that: ‘The objective of Socio-Economic Development Contributions is the promotion of sustainable access for the beneficiaries to the economy.’ It appears therefore that SED Contributions can be for the purpose of facilitating income generating activities and promoting sustainable access for the beneficiaries of the economy.
The revised codes provide that until 10 October 2014, a measured entity may elect to use the Amended Codes of good practice or the Generic Scorecard of the initial Codes. By implication, NPOs do not have this option because the Generic Scorecard includes the ownership element. NPOs will accordingly have to use the Revised Codes.
- Ricardo Wyngaard, Ricardo Wyngaard Attorneys www.nonprofitlawyer.co.za, Email: email@example.com
- South Africa has approximately three million orphans, a number that is anticipated to increase drastically in the next two years.
A study conducted by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) estimates that by 2015, there will be more than 5.5 million orphans in South Africa. The study also found that South African families would rather provide foster care than adopt them.
“A lot of orphans are looked after by their extended families or family friends in a private, informal arrangement known as kinship foster care,” says the SAIRR.
While this is the case, several local nonprofit organisations (NPOs) have rolled up their sleeves and are pulling out all the stops to address this issue.
Just outside Potchefstroom in North West is an innovative social enterprise that is fast becoming known for its social development work in the sprawling township of Ikageng. Made by Mosaic is a job creation project of Mosaic Community Developments, a NPO started in 2008, but it is its special focus on developing a sustainable orphan care model that really makes it different.
Mosaic’s modules include providing housing and job opportunities for foster families, constructive afterschool activities for children and holistic life skills training for all involved. In return, the foster parents are expected to maintain employment, to pay rent for their house, and to financially support their families.
“We identify a family with two or more orphans formally in their care, and then we build a proper house for them that they can rent at an affordable price. We also create employment opportunities for them, empowering them to better provide for their families and gain valuable job skills training,” explains Jordan Ridge, Made by Mosaic’s manager.
Made by Mosaic’s vision is to create jobs in the craft and food industry, not only for parents involved in their programmes, but also for other people who struggle with unemployment in the surrounding community. When Made by Mosaic started, they had one product line-knitted scarves. Now, they continue to knit and crochet products, including blankets, hats, shawls, and baby products, and have expanded to include a leather workshop that manufactures handbags and a kitchen from which they sell rusks, cookies, chutney, lemonade, and gourmet cupcakes.
Ridge adds that Mosaic does not just want to employ people, but it also wants to empower and develop them holistically. For this reason, the organisation is currently developing a comprehensive life skills training programme that will qualify employees for more high-end work in the future.
By all accounts the programmes Mosaic runs have been successful. Jordan cites the example of Dorah Moeng, who is fostering two orphans and has one child of her own. In 2011, Mosaic provided Moeng and her family with a three bedroom brick house, a huge improvement from their one room tin shack. Moeng started working as a volunteer for Mosaic, and was later promoted to the level of Assistant Manager.
“My life and my children’s lives have changed for the better. I am now able to provide for my family, pay for their education, and other necessities with the wages that I earn through the Mosaic employment,” she says with a smile.
Although Made by Mosaic is a for- profit business, all income goes towards growing the business and supporting the NPO, Mosaic Community Developments. As a result, all operations work towards providing employees with the skills needed for higher level employment.
Made by Mosaic maintains a sustainable and socially responsible South African supply chain, so that the impact of the business can reach beyond the employees and develop the country’s economy as a whole. All items are handmade, thus enabling the company to produce special or customised orders, and Ridge explains that they can accommodate a wide range of requests.
In 2012, the company received a host of success and accolades. It was one of a few companies from the region that were selected to exhibit their products at Design Indaba in Cape Town. It was also selected as one of the participants to join Fetola’s award winning business support programme, Legends.
In addition, founder and manager Ridge was chosen as one of ten Google Zeitgeist Young Minds to attend an international conference hosted by Google in London. In 2013, Made by Mosaic opened its first store and the first gift shop destination in Ikageng at its location in Extension 11.
Made by Mosaic’s products are currently sold in South Africa and the United States, with partnerships being developed in Germany. Their products are also available online at (Shop Made by Mosaic). Made by Mosaic’s new online store will launch in December of 2013.To learn more about Made by Mosaic and their products, refer to www.mosaicsa.org.
- Abram Molelemane is the media coordinator at Fetola.
British charity Oxfam has warned that the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is far from over and says it is vital to set up a political process to address deep-seated grievances in the troubled region.
In a press statement, the organisation points out that, "With more than 30 other armed groups active in the region, the conflict is far from over," adding that civilians were being exposed to daily violence.
It further calls on the Congolese army and the United Nations force in the vast central African country to take clear steps to minimise the negative impact of operations on civilians.
To read the article titled, “Oxfam warns DRC conflict far from over,” click here.Source:Times Live
- There are many risks that confront nonprofit organisations today and some arise where an organisation has a phase of rapid growth in resources. We have noted this, particularly in relation to new ‘social movements’, with activism at their core, which have been achieving significant success in raising public awareness and in raising funds.
Charles Tilly defines social movements as ‘a series of contentious performances, displays and campaigns by which ordinary people make collective claims on others.’
A number of such movements have received substantial initial funding leading to rapid growth, others are still growing or are poised to grow.
With growth comes both increased numbers of paid staff (employees), who are often deployed over a wide geographical area, and increased levels of activities. Together, these areas of growth result in an increased need for effective financial management systems and controls and for an organisational infrastructure that few can afford, or are prepared to pay for.
As budgets get bigger (due to increased monthly financial commitments), the need for good financial management increases but the associated costs become more difficult to finance, especially if the initial funders later withdraw or reduce their support. We are now seeing large, previously well-funded and effective organisations using up their hard-earned reserves (built up over many years) in order to meet their on-going obligations to pay staff and other running costs. What is happening?
With some exceptions, we are seeing funding shift away from established organisations, some of the funding is then switched to emerging social movements and related organisations which are seen to offer a new dynamism, mobility, profile and exposure at a lower cost than the more established organisations with a longer track record. Whatever your views are on whether this is a wise move on the part of funders / donors and on whether such funding will be for the longer-term, our experience tells us that, if you do not invest in the very necessary costs of systems, controls and infrastructure or the lack of them will come back to bite you!
Lack of effective financial management systems, controls and infrastructure may result in one or more of the following:
- Inability to account for, and report back to funders and supporters on, funds received;
- Disgruntled staff, funders and other stakeholders;
- Waste and/or misappropriation of resources (including, but not limited to, cash);
- Damaged reputation;
- An inability to carry out necessary financial planning and strategic financial thinking;
- Cash flow crises.
Financial management expertise
Failure to set up appropriate financial management systems from the beginning is a big mistake and a patch-up job later, when the gaps and negative consequences are already obvious, may prove to be more expensive than the implementation of good systems from the start would have been. At a later stage, it will also become even more difficult to secure funding to implement / upgrade systems. Every organisation (regardless of size and track record) needs access to financial management expertise. Good finance administrators, bookkeepers, accountants and financial managers are in short supply and are expensive to employ, but all organisations need the skills they offer. This is not an expense to hold back on and it is wise to:
- Employ or contract experienced and well trained finance staff or service providers from the outset; and
- Ensure the finance staff are given adequate support and training in line with their responsibilities.
- This article first appeared on the CDMS Website.