The importance of Human Resources (HR) in a non-governmental organisation (NGO) as a means of ensuring sustainable growth for an organisation cannot be overemphasised, as it is the fundamental strength upon which people, strategies, processes and operations are based. Effective employee management should be on top of the list of priorities for progressive improvement of an organisation. A NGO must strive to attract, develop and retain qualified and enthusiastic employees as they are the key to the success of one’s business.
At present, South Africa (SA) has an extensive and lively non-governmental sector which boasts roughly 100 000 registered nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and an estimated 50 000 unregistered ones.(2) SA’s large nonprofit sector is the product of a diverse society including a variety of ethnic groups and a history that has informed the way in which South African society operates as a whole, as well as the way in which the nonprofit sector conducts its operations.
According to an article by Alexander O'riordan, when the Institute for Democracy in Africa (Idasa) announced its closure for lack of funds, many asked how this could happen when donor funding to South Africa is at a 10-year high.
O'riordan points out that participating donors report their financial disbursements to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as part of a coordination and anti-corruption mechanism.
Post-1994, the tasks of confronting social inequalities and driving development in South Africa have increasingly become the work of civil society organisations (CSOs). This sector is already saddled with a mammoth task, but now also faces challenging economic and political constraints that have forced some CSOs to scale down on their activities, or close their doors altogether.
The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) is a nonprofit organisation that works towards a vibrant, sustainably managed coast and oceans of South Africa. Through the production of films, posters, and educational booklets for teachers and students, SST raises environmental awareness to help preserve coastal areas from over-harvesting and pollution. SST has worked in many communities around South Africa, including Hamburg, Alice and along the wild coast.
Ocean Discovery Centre
Solidaridad Network is a civil society organisation with nine regional offices in four continents specialised in sustainable supply chain development. Together with producer organisations, the business community, governments and civil society organisations, Solidaridad Network creates initiatives for sustainable trade with the ultimate goal that good economic, social and environmental practices become a normal part of the business.
Fairfood International is a nonprofit global advocacy group with its head office based in Amsterdam and hubs located in several parts of the world, including Johannesburg. Fairfood encourages food and beverage companies worldwide to address socio-economic and environmental sustainability issues within their products’ supply chains. Fairfood envisions a future with a fair and sustainable food system, which is able to feed the world in a way that preserves the environment for future generations, respects human rights and secures a thriving economy for all.
Hospices in South Africa are being forced to retrench staff and cut back on the numbers of patients they care for as United States donor funding dries up.
Lynn Gwyther, chief executive officer at the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, points out that the budget crunch meant that an increasing number of terminally ill people are at risk of spending their final days in pain, isolation and distress.
Gwyther further states that there is less support available for ‘very sick’ HIV and tuberculosis patients who could be restored to health in the right hands.
There is a huge funding crisis in the NGO sector and since the South African Council of Social Service Professions (SACSSP) is representing the interests of communities and social serivice professionals e.g. social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers etc. it would like to respond to the current situation by means of a presentation to the Minister of Social Development. Please assist by giving input on this topic if you are working in the NGO sector; especially if you employ staff registered at the SACSSP.
Concerns over a ‘failing state’ and the need for transformation and diversity in civil society representation were some of the talking points at a recent gathering of the Goedgedacht Forum for Social Reflection.