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Date: 20 Jun 2012
Title: Dept seeks new partnership with NPOs
Cape Town - The Department of Social Development wants to forge a new partnership and understanding with non-profit organisations (NPOs), Social Development Director General Vusi Madonsela said today.
Addressing NPOs from the Western Cape during the first provincial dialogue to address the funding shortage and communication issues, Madonsela said a new partnership was necessary, but stressed that civil society needed to remain independent and critical of the government.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who was taking copious notes during feedback from representatives of NPOs, will address the dialogue later today.
Last week, Dlamini launched provincial dialogues following a number of regional dialogues in provinces themselves.
The provincial dialogues are expected to culminate in a national summit in August.
Since the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) Act came into being in 1994, the number of NPOs had risen from 10 000 to 85 000 today. However, the funding crisis has forced a number of them to close, whilst threatening the future of others.
Madonsela said some NPOs had called for the government to cover their entire funding, while other organisations had raised concern that such a move would result in them losing their independence.
Representatives from NPOs said they wanted to be treated as partners working with the government, rather than for government and salaries of social workers employed by NPOs needed to be on par with those social workers employed by government.
Representatives also said there was a lack of transparency in the allocations of funding and funding was not fairly distributed.
Many community workers used their own funds and paid for their own cellphone costs to carry out work.
Other suggestions were that more consultative forums should be used and that the application process should be simplified.
Representatives also said the registration process should be decentralised to provinces, help desks in provinces should be opened and an online registration process should be made available.
Corruption was a concern, as was a sense of entitlement from community members who often had a grant mentality, rather than one of actively looking at opportunities such as setting up their own business. - BuaNews