a framework document introducing nGOs in south africa
This document has been produced by NGOCONNECT Africa, and we wish to acknowledge
and thank the following contributors:
Liz Brouckaert for writing and pulling together the document
Ronel van Heerden for the design and layout
For more information about NGOCONNECT Africa, or this material, please contact
This work is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa
You are free:
• to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
• to Remix — to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor
(but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the
resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
5 Definition of NGOs
6 Description of NGOs and programme areas
8 What is an NPO?
9 NGOs in South Africa
17 Establishing the credentials of an NGO
19 Engaging with an NGO
20 Regional summary
23 Resources and Links
In order to understand what an NGO is, we have created a set of resources to help you
navigate through the complex and variable environments that define these organisations.
The objective is to provide a concise and functional introduction to NGOs that operate
within South Africa.
Here you’ll find various presentations that you can engage with at whatever level you
choose. This document forms part of a white paper, a Power Point presentation and an
In the global development context the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
in 2000 adopted eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015.
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Global Partnership for Development-MDG 8, is essential for the attainment of the other
seven MDGs. Recommended partners include: Governments, UN Agencies, international
financial institutions, bi-lateral agencies, private and civil society. The UNDP uses its global
presence to bring together partners from many different backgrounds to share expertise,
launch joint ventures, and develop long term solutions.
In 2008 the MDG Gap Task Force reported that while there has been progress on several
counts, important gaps remain in delivering on the global commitments in the areas of
aid, trade, debt relief, access to new technologies and affordable essential medicines,
especially in developing countries. The weakening of the world economy and the steep
rises in food and energy prices threaten to reverse some of the progress made in the
various dimensions of human development. Strengthened global partnerships are needed
to avoid any reversal of progress made thus far. A further detail is that in Sub Saharan
countries the gap is the biggest and to achieve the 2015 targets it has been recommended
that stronger partnerships are created; between developed and developing countries,
among developing countries themselves, and with the active involvement of the private
As a result there are a range of new players and institutional formations in the
development arena with the partnerships happening across the public, private and civil
society sectors. More recently we have seen the advent of significant local, national and
global Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and greater linkups between similar NGOs
to form consortia to deliver on government tenders for development service delivery.
The private sector is increasingly being pulled out of its profiteering mode and sees
the value of supporting initiatives for
poverty alleviation and development
as healthy development promotes
Social Entrepreneurship a vibrant market which in turn
promotes sales and sustainable
is also on the rise in the growth. Social entrepreneurship is on
the rise in the form of consultancies
form of consultancies and and individuals who work within this
developmental agenda. Frequently
individuals who work within helping unfamiliar partners manage
projects, programmes and helping
this developmental agenda. them get to know each other better.
In this context NGOs have been
Frequently helping unfamiliar identified as an important grouping
within civil society whose collective
partners manage projects, agency is responsible for significant
development. NGOs provide the link
programmes and helping them to the communities and the people
who may not have a voice. They
get to know each other better. provide mechanisms to test new ways
of doing things without placing the
whole system at risk. Their flexibility
and innovation act to support and
encourage pluralism and diversity which in turn challenge stasis and inflexibility which are
often reactive responses by overburdened state structures. Therefore it is fast becoming
an imperative to get to know them better.
However, for the uninitiated, NGOs exist in an intricate and sometimes confusing
matrix, we hope with this document to provide insight and understanding of how these
organisations exist and operate in South Africa.
Definition of NGOs
Non-government organisations – or NGOs as they are commonly known –
perform a range of functions in civil society and are by definition non-commercial. They exist
to service needs that are not provided for by the government and commercial sectors.
A non-governmental organisation (NGO) is a formalised, non-profit group which has been
created outside of government to address particular issues, tasks or functions of a non-
commercial nature. Such groups may be organised at a local, national or international
level. They are dedicated to serving a particular function and are driven by people with a
common interest in addressing these issues.
NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions. These can include lobbying
for particular causes, advocating and monitoring government policies and encouraging
political participation through the provision of information. Some are organised around
specific issues, such as human rights, animal rights, environment or health. They provide
analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help to monitor and
implement international agreements.
The phrase non-governmental organisation came into use with the establishment of
the United Nations in 1945 which specified a consultative role for organisations that are
neither governments nor member states.
Description of NGOs and
NGOs fulfill a range of functions including development assistance, emergency relief, social
and health services. In addition, some organisations in this category represent special
interest groups, such as craft guilds, chambers of commerce, professional associations,
recreational clubs, youth associations, environmental groups and trade unions.
NGOs come in many different shapes and sizes, and they
have a variety of programme areas such as
• Advocacy and awareness around • Gender matters
particular issues • Health
• Access to justice • HIV/AIDS
• Access to land • Housing
• Adult basic education • Human rights
• Animal rights • Infrastructure development
• Child welfare • Media and communications
• Community development • Monitoring and evaluation
• Community training and capacity • Networks
building • Participatory democracy
• Conflict resolution • Philanthropic intermediaries and
• Crime prevention and rehabilitation promoting voluntary activities
• Culture and recreation • Rural development
• Economic development • Social services
• Entrepreneurship • Job training and career guidance
• Environment • Counselling, therapy and psycho-social
• Formal education and research rehabilitation
Within these areas there are clusters of NGOs that have very
different organisational cultures and competencies. For example, the
TAC (Treatment Action Campaign) is a highly evolved lobbying and
advocacy group that operates at a national level working towards
getting the state to take responsibility for providing access to ARVs
for people living with HIV/AIDS. Also within this cluster are a range
of NGOs that have developed as direct responses to the HIV/AIDS
epidemic such as home based care programmes, orphanages, NGOs
that support grandmothers supporting orphaned grandchildren
(GOGO Project). They may have been created by individuals who
only have their intentions and feet as resources whereas others may
be working with professionals, international funding and a detailed
knowledge of ICT. Therefore it is important to consider each of them
according to their specific requirements at whatever level they
are operating as their levels of ICT use and competence may vary
dramatically and their ICT needs are likely to be specific.
Let’s explain the terminology:
• Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): a broad description of organised groups that are made
up of NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and Trade Unions.
• NGO: A Non-Governmental Organisation can exist in various legal forms, including a
Voluntary Association, Section 21 Company (South Africa) or a Trust.
• CBO: Community Based Organisations include among others youth groups, sports
clubs and rate payers associations. These are membership-based and members
usually pay a fee to belong to them. Funding comes mainly from community fund
raising efforts, ‘gifted’ (donated) infrastructure and volunteer efforts.
• FBO: Faith Based Organisations is used to describe organisations that are religious
in nature and distinct from those that are government, public or private secular
• PPP: Public Private Partnership. This describes a partnership made up between the
government and private sector often involving NGOs.
• SETA: Sector Education and Training Agency. An organisational form that has been set
up by the government to provide sectoral Education and Training facilities that oversee
standard setting and registration of Education and Training Service Providers within
each of the sectors.
• SEDA: Small Enterprise Development Agency. This development agency is also an
initiative of the government (Department of Trade and Industry) that works to support
small enterprises. It is in essence a government agency that carries out the work of the
government but is organisationally separated. It has multi-stream funding support and
so it is publicly directed (by law) however has funding from the government, private
and civil society (especially donor agencies). It is a hybrid institutional form that sits
somewhere in between the public and private sectors providing a direct service for the
government’s development programme.
SEDA type agencies are on the increase. They provide a service
that is developmental, directed by government policies and funded,
to a degree by government but have organisational autonomy. This
allows for greater flexibility in terms of service provision using tender
processes and engaging with private institutions and NGOs, in the
kind of Public Private Partnership (PPP) that is advocated by the MDG
8 (see discussion in background section, page 4).
What is an NPO?
The terms NGO and NPO are often used interchangeably and sometimes incorrectly
because there is a difference between the two in legal terms. In South Africa for example,
once an NGO has been officially formed it can apply to the NPO Directorate within the
National Department of Social Development to be registered as an NPO under the Non-
Profit Organisations Act No 71 of 1997. An NPO number is assigned to it to signify that
the organisation conforms to the appropriate legal requirements.
A non-profit organisation can be incorporated as a trust, a company or any other
formalised association. This entity is firstly established to serve the public in some manner
and secondly any income or property it owns cannot be transferred to its members or
office bearers except where they are paid for the work that they do.
Organisations that can apply for NPO status include NGOs, CBOs (community
based organisations), FBOs (faith based organisations) or trade unions that are formally
constituted or have any other founding document.
Why is NPO registration important?
Acquiring NPO status for an NGO is a significant qualification because it gives potential
donors some assurances:
• Improves the credibility of the organisation because as an NPO it is accountable to a
• Gives the organisation a formal definition;
• Helps to set and maintain standards of governance, accountability and transparency;
• Provides benefits such as tax incentives and funding opportunities.
You can check the NPO status of an organisation by visiting the
NPO directorate section on the National Social Development
Department website at http://www.npo.gov.za/
It allows you to search for organisations by name and registration
NGOs in South Africa
Throughout South Africa’s development history, successive governments have decided
that the country is not a welfare state. This means that when someone is in need, it
is expected that the family or the community should help. The State will only become
involved if help cannot be given privately. Due to this there has always been a call for
individuals to show a spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ and philanthropic concern.
Before the 19th Century - there were no organised welfare services. Families looked
after their own needs. In 1916 a national conference recommended the coordination
of private welfare services. The late 1920s saw the beginning of a number of National
Welfare Councils. Before World War II “The Carnegie Poor White Investigation” report,
recommended the creation of a State Bureau of Social Welfare, to coordinate the welfare
activities of state departments in cooperation with voluntary organisations and the
churches. A Department of Social Welfare was established in 1937.
As a result of the active public fundraising that took place during World War II it was felt
that some control of the public collections needed to be introduced. This gave rise to the
Welfare Organisations Act No. 40 of 1947. With the issuing of the National Welfare Act 79
of 1975, national and regional welfare boards came into being. Several commissions of
enquiry followed, including the Van Rooyen Commission of Inquiry into the Collection of
Voluntary Financial Contributions from the Public and out of their recommendations came
the Fundraising Act No 107 of 1978.
Most community projects
were carried out by religious
In the past government often groups during the mid 1950s
but this started to shift and
influenced the idea of corporate change around the late 1970s
when NGOs and CBOs
citizenship but this has changed; started to form and address
social imbalances. A huge
NGOs are becoming essential growth in the sector occurred
between the early 1980s and
partners in the delivery of products 1994 – mainly due to the flow
of foreign funding and local
and services to the private sector efforts in fundraising for good
and indeed on behalf of the state. Over the past 10 years
there have been major shifts
and changes both, in ratio-
nalisation by government of service delivery and the legislation controlling and regulating
NGOs. Subsequently the role of NGOs has begun to influence the way business is done,
especially with regards to corporate social responsibility (CSR). In the past government
often influenced the idea of corporate citizenship but this has changed; NGOs are
becoming essential partners in the delivery of products and services to the private sector
and indeed on behalf of the state. Linked to this is the creation of a range of development
agencies that operate in a collaborative way between the Public and Private sectors (see
explanation and note about SEDA on page 8).
The ANC-led government still has in its ranks a range of NGO activists who become
political leaders and so social development/welfare is high on this government’s agenda.
However in the light of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the worsening state of the world’s
economy NGOs are often filling the gaps of public service to communities; doing the work
government should be doing, or raising social issues that the government pretends don’t
exist. They, the NGOs, are social change agents and work in many areas of life.
In South Africa it is estimated that income generated through donations, grants, sales,
membership dues, fees for services (contracts/tenders with government and the private
sector) plus interest on investments is in excess of R16 billion per annum (US$2.3 billion).
In 2007, R3 billion was contributed through corporate social investment. It is probable
that more than 2 million people volunteer their time, talent and expertise to NGOs annually,
with an estimated worth of a further R5.1 billion in sweat equity.
Donations or funding of
programmes can be provided
by either private parties or
... it is probable that more than
government agencies. NGOs
generally do not make any
2 million people volunteer their
distinction between govern-
ment funding (a significant
time, talent and expertise to NGOs
source) and other funding.
The Income Tax Act makes
annually, with an estimated worth of a
provisions for NPO organisa-
tions to become registered
further R5.1 billion in sweat equity.
with the South African
Receiver of Revenue as Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs). This provides them with
certain tax exemptions. Furthermore, if they qualify according to certain criteria, Section
18 (A) receipts can be issued to donors, affording the donors with limited tax exemption
against the donations made.
Public Private Partnerships and
Currently welfare service and social development activities in South Africa have, to a large
extent, been collaborative undertakings as part of Public Private Partnerships. Since 1994
we have seen the creation of a range of institutional forms (mentioned in the background,
page 4) such as groups of NGOs forming consortia to tender for specific service delivery,
PPPs and the work of agencies that work together with national and local government
structures, international donor agencies and local and national NGOs. They all work
together in an attempt to address issues such as HIV and Aids, poverty, environmental
programmes, housing and other pressing social needs as they arise.
Millennium Development Goals in
the South African Context
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) currently provide an overarching set of global
challenges that progressive South African NGOs hold as objectives to mobilise around
(described in the background section on page 3). The South African development agenda
falls amongst the others of Sub Saharan African countries which are mentioned in the last
MDG meeting (held in September 2008) report, as forming the epicentre of the escalating
humanitarian crises due to poverty and conflict over scarce resources and ethnic feuding.
This is further aggravated
In Africa 74 people out of 100 do by the HIV/AIDS epidemic,
climate changes and lack of
not have access to electricity. infrastructural resources such
as electricity, clean drinking
water, roads and ICT. In Africa 74 people out of 100 do not have access to electricity.
This first report of the Task Force highlights that there has been progress on many fronts,
but the delivery on commitments has been deficient and has fallen behind schedule. A
shared future for all will not be possible without globally concerted action and strong
partnerships. At this midpoint in our work towards meeting the 2015 deadline, it is essential
that all partners accelerate their efforts to deliver on the promises they have made.
Some recommendations linked to MDG 8
in particular are
• Rapid increase in coverage of population with access to mobile phones
• Work at reducing the digital divide in internet use
• The need to strengthen the global partnership for access to new technology
• Strengthened global partnerships
• Urgent responses are needed to bridge the existing implementation gaps and
deliver on the promises to achieve the MDGs
Actions required to expand the access to technology for
• Formulating national ICT strategies aligned with broader development strategies
• Introducing more flexibility in relation to Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights
to accelerate the diffusion of technology for development to developing countries,
including that related to renewable energy and adaptation to climate change
• Increasing efforts to expand both basic infrastructure such as electricity supply and
ICT-facilitating infrastructure, especially in low-income countries
• Creating incentives for the private sector to develop technologies relevant to people in
low-income countries, including those that address issues of climate change adaptation
and renewable energy
• Applying more widespread differential pricing practices to reduce the costs of key
technology in developing countries in order to make access affordable to all
In addition, Archbishop Ndungane of the Anglican Church Southern Africa recommends
six steps that can be taken by African civil society to accelerate the continent’s and South
Africa’s rate in meeting the MDGs:
1. Intensify service delivery
2. Become involved in policy process
3. Advocate for better use of resources
4. Monitor delivery of promises
5. Mobilise voices of African CSOs
6. Create solidarity with partners from the North and South
Some relevant characteristics of, and
challenges faced by the South African
The NGO sector in South Africa is substantial and diversified, with huge differences
between organisations, ranging across the organisational cultures, operational standards
NGOs in South Africa operate in the following programme areas: Advocacy and
awareness around particular issues, access to justice, access to land, adult basic
education, animal rights, child welfare, community development, community training
and capacity building, conflict resolution, crime prevention and rehabilitation, culture and
recreation, economic development, entrepreneurship, environment, formal education
and research, gender, health, HIV/AIDS, housing, human rights, infrastructure develop-
ment, media and communications, monitoring and evaluation, networks, participatory
democracy, philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion, rural development,
social services, job training and
career guidance, counselling,
therapy and psycho-social
rehabilitation (see bulleted list
SA NGOs rise and fall; a few last and on page 6).
In addition, similar NGOs often
provide consistent service delivery. form collaborative networks
that provide sector leadership
This rise and fall can be attributed around developing
frameworks or acting collec-
tively to engage government
to shifting social needs in a rapidly around issues of concern.
In South Africa they will
changing and stressed society. include registered voluntary
associations, section 21 com-
panies and trusts. These run
projects and programmes that
positively impact social and
economic policies and deliver necessary support services to those who need it the most
– they feed, clothe, teach, create, guide, safeguard, accompany and facilitate.
It is difficult to provide good statistics on how many NGOs exist in South Africa, it
is estimated that there are approximately 120,000 CSOs (Civil Society Organisations)
of which 37,000 are registered as NPOs, what proportion of these numbers are bona
fide NGOs is up for debate. What we know is that the NGO sector in South Africa ‘is
BIG’, cynically described by some as a ‘home for all’... ex-politicians, ex-government
officials, people with axes to grind, messianic zealots, ‘bleeding hearts’, begging bowl
subscribers, empire builders, DIY’ers and in the main, (those that last), some very
sophisticated, intelligent, functional, good hearted and passionate people who see a
gap and try to fill it.
SA NGOs rise and fall; a few last and provide consistent service delivery. This rise and
fall can be attributed to shifting social needs in a rapidly changing and stressed society.
Some challenges that South African NGOs face
• There is a high degree of burnout amongst the leadership of SA NGOs and some of the
more sustainable NGOs consider having a succession strategy as an essential element
in their long-term strategic plan.
• The “self-sustainability” level of NGOs tends to be low. Which, when considered does
make sense if the activities are centred around welfare provisioning, as welfare activities
tend to drain rather than generate resources.
• Most NGOs have limited financial and management expertise. However amongst some
of the more ‘established’ NGOs this is changing as the donor community has wised
up and has introduced a range of checks and balances that provide an imperative for
NGOs to acquire these competencies. Some are financially sound, but most operate
in a precarious state of scarce funding, job insecurity and threadbare facilities.
• Many NGOs lack inter-organisational communication and coordination and subsequently
tackle their chosen causes without a clear understanding of the broader social and
• Funding remains a challenge with some of the funds having been diverted to government
operations as well as onerous monitoring and evaluation requirements of donors.
• Monitoring and evaluation - many lack the tools and understanding to measure and
track effectively, and IT usage is not as sophisticated as a tool in this community.
• MDGs - as much as these have raised awareness and funding for NGOs, it has also
introduced new players in the form of PPPs which can be seen as competition for
• Changing face of development - focus on sustainability. NGOs have long focused on a
“non-business” approach and are increasingly asked to introduce more business like
• Distrust - history of distrust in SA NGO community in particular.
• Corruption - there has been a history of corruption in the NGO community in SA (and
elsewhere). This is a stigma that some NGOs are still fighting.
Strengths and advantages
• Probably their most significant characteristic is their strong grass-roots support - and
hence their ability to identify the problems of their constituents and then tailor assistance
to meet their needs.
• NGOs work in the field, adapting to local situations, and are able to develop integrated
projects based on local needs.
• They usually adopt a process-oriented approach toward development for which they
use participatory methodologies and tools. In South Africa everyone is familiar with the
work of HIV and Aids volunteer canvassers on ‘door to door’ campaigns – meeting
their neighbours and breaking down the barriers to ensure affected families access
• They are able to take on jobs that the government cannot.
• They access resources in the community which are unavailable to the government
structures, e.g. volunteers and sweat equity.
• They provide links between established government programmes and civil society,
religious, interest and philanthropist groups.
• Provide a space that people with particular sub sets of skills are better accommodated
outside of government structures.
• In bypassing government’s bureaucratic and restrictive regulation they can operate more
effectively and efficiently.
• Able to respond to needs in communities more rapidly.
• There exists amongst the older NGOs enormous bodies of local knowledge that provide
the sector with significant development intelligence and wisdom that know the local
conditions and restrictions intimately.
The South African NGO
sector is vast and diverse,
and there is no short list
of all their advantages
Establishing the credentials
of an NGO
When you check the credentials of an NGO it is important to locate the organisation in
relation to the country’s legislation and regulation, the programme areas and/or sectors it
addresses and its levels of activity and service delivery.
Bear in mind that this context varies significantly from region to region and there are
many factors that determine what contributions and services an NGO provides.
Prior to engaging with any NGO, we recommend a number of steps to be taken. You
should not take anything for granted and establish the organisation’s bone fides at every
turn. In this section you’ll find a checklist and a suggested way of approaching an NGO
to ensure that it can provide appropriate levels of accountability, response, sustainability
and developmental partnering.
Some critical questions that should be asked
• Is the organisation properly constituted? Does it have a written constitution?
• How long has it been operating?
• Does it operate according to its stated objectives?
• Does it operate within a broader network of similar organisations?
• Who do they partner or engage with?
• Which networks do they belong to?
• Who are the board members?
• Any success stories?
• Has it implemented a networked response to a social need?
• Does it duplicate the services of other organisations, resulting in competition for scarce
• Does it have good democratic governance infrastructure?
• Is it soundly structured as an organisation?
• Is it registered as an NPO with an NPO registration number
• Is the NPO registration current? (Check on NPO directorate database
http://www.npo.gov.za/ and follow the links)
• Is there good financial management and good financial reporting?
• Can you easily make contact with the organisation head/leader/director, chairperson
and financial officer?
• Are there reliable telecommunications facilities (telephone, fax, mobile/sms)?
• Is there reliable road, postal and courier access? Sometimes courier services are used
instead of postal services – this is more expensive but also more secure and reliable.
• What kind of security is there? – including social, property/work place and ICT
Is the NPO registration current?
Check on NPO directorate database
http://www.npo.gov.za/ and follow
Some other questions that could be asked
• Does it have access to email and/or internet facilities? Access to internet cafes can be
• Does it have a website or plans for a website?
• Does it have a well-established public profile?
• Does it have a marketing strategy?
• Is the organisational brand well established?
Suggested actions and checklist before making first contact
• Accessing public references, media or publications: Do search-engine research to
establish whether the organisation has a web presence;
• Find out about the staff and board members involved; do search-engine research to
establish the leadership credentials of the individuals involved;
• Establish what banking and financial services are used by the organisation;
• What access and communication facilities does it have access to in terms of language,
telephone, email and post;
• What infrastructure and transport resources does it have: how easy is it to get to,
what are the travel requirements (e.g. visas and health considerations distances,
road conditions, transport services and accommodation) involved if you have to visit
Engaging with an NGO
Once you are satisfied that a particular NGO is the ‘right one’ to engage, it is important
from the first to be open and allow the relationship to develop without too many initial
expectations. A patient and tolerant attitude will go a long way to finding the true measure
of the organisation’s experience, wisdom and potential to be a good partner.
Working in the NGO environment can be tricky and the organisations that survive and
have competent and passionate leaders who are seasoned survivors, are familiar to
disappointment and having to reinvent the wheel over and over again.
Initial resistance to significant engagement could be a good sign! Resistance can be an
undervalued indicator of integrity. These ‘good’ leaders are used to working in ‘muddy
waters’, like Gangetic dolphins (fresh water Ganges and Indus River dolphins) who are
virtually blind and live in muddy water, they are able to navigate through engagement
processes using other faculties, which might not be standard in the business world.
Each partnership has a particular culture that needs to be developed and it is important
to state upfront what your engagement agreements might be, for example this might
• How does the communication happen and who, within the NGO is in charge of managing
the relationship and communication?
• Staying within the agreed upon process-not changing the goal posts without proper
• Adequate notice for rescheduling meetings and deadlines-the culture around time
management can vary significantly between different organisations causing stress and
• Who is invited by the other party to meetings? How is it negotiated by the lead partners?
• At what point is it appropriate to introduce discussions around contracts, roles and
At the same time if you feel, early on, on an instinctual level that something is ‘not right’,
don’t dismiss it and ensure that appropriate checks and balances are put in place. Write
it down, keep records, report it to your colleagues and ensure that there is a space within
the engagement process to report and air misgivings about processes and programmes.
What is important is to allow the partner to explain or contextualise the situation without
it damaging the relationship as it develops in the early stages.
Providing a space to negotiate around and air differences can go a long way to finding
creative solutions and new ways of doing things thus enabling the partnership to harness
and marry diverse skills and resources that benefit all parties and result in constructive
and meaningful development.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been in existence since 1980,
when it was formed as a loose alliance of nine majority-ruled states in Southern Africa
known as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC). Its main
aim was to coordinate development projects in order to lessen economic dependence on
the then apartheid South Africa.
The founding member states are: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,
Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. SADCC was formed
in Lusaka, Zambia on 1 April 1980, following the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration -
Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation.
The transformation of the organisation from a Coordinating Conference into a
Development Community (SADC) took place on 17 August 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia,
when the Declaration and Treaty was signed at the Summit of Heads of State and
Government thereby giving the organisation a legal character.
The Member States are: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South
Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The SADC headquarters
are located in Gaborone,
Country specific information
Official GDP per
Country Capital Currency Area (km2) Population
Angola Luanda Kwanza Portuguese 1,246,700 15,941,000 $ 2,813
Botswana Gaborone Pula 581,726 1,639,833 $ 11,400
DRC Kinshasa French 2,344,858 63,655,000 $ 774
Lesotho Maseru Loti 30,355 1,795,000 $ 2,113
Madagascar Antananarivo French & 587,041 18,606,000 $ 905
Malawian English &
Malawi Lilongwe 118,484 12,884,000 $ 596
Mauritius Port Louis French-de 2,040 1,219,220 $ 11,125
Mozambique Maputo Portuguese 801,590 20,366,795 $ 1,389
Namibia Windhoek English 825,418 2,031,000 $ 7,478
Seychelles Victoria 451 80,654 $ 11,818
South Africa Bloemfontein, Sotho, 1,221,037 47,432,000 $ 12,161
Cape Town Sotho, Swati,
Lobamba & English &
Swaziland Lilangeni 17,364 1,032,000 $ 5,245
Tanzanian Swahili &
Tanzania Salaam & 945,087 37,849,133 $ 723
Zambia Lusaka English 752,614 11,668,000 $ 931
Zimbabwe Harare Ndebele & 390,757 13,010,000 $ 2,607
Questions that need to be asked with regards
to regional engagement
• Access to internet connectivity: What kind of internet connectivity exists? Is it widely
accessible? How much does it cost?
• Banking practice and funds transfer practice: How long do banks take to transfer money?
What are the bank charges?
• Telecommunications, road, postal and electricity (power surge protection and different types
of supply) infrastructure: It is wise to check on these infrastructural resources as the
standards can vary dramatically and can cause programme delays due to a lack of
understanding of local conditions.
Resources and Links
• To check on an NGO’s NPO registration status go to http:www.npo.gov.za and follow the links
• South African NGO Network website: www.ngopulse.org
• South African NGO Coalition (SANGOCO) website: http://www.sangoco.org.za/site/
• SANGOTech: The SANGOTeCH online technology donation and discount portal is a partnership
between SANGONeT and TechSoup, the San Francisco-based nonprofit technology capacity
building organisation, that links technology donations and the South African NGO sector: http://
• Prodder Directory: South African NGOs & Development directory, available in white paper and
online formats (see links www.ngopulse.org)
• Guide to the Non Profit Act: http://www.npc.org.za/faq.html
• The International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (South African resources link): http://www.icnl.org/
• MDG Africa Summary: http://www.mdgafrica.org/pdf/MDG%20Africa%20Steering%20Group%20
• MDG Gap Report 2008: http://www.undp.org/mdg/MDG-GAP-TF-Report.pdf
• Directory of Development Organisations (Resource Guide to development organisations & the
• Non profit expert.com: In strategic partnership with diversified non profit services. The
Development Gateway puts the Internet to work for developing countries. It provides innovative
Internet solutions for effective aid and e-government – increasing access to critical information,
building local capacity and bringing partners together for positive change http://www.
• An academic paper on the question of what is an NGO: http://www.staff.city.ac.uk/p.willetts/CS-
• Defining the Non Profit Sector: Ghana http://www.jhu.edu/~ccss/publications/cnpwork/
• NGO Research Guide, African NGOs (sorted by country): http://library.duke.edu/research/subject/
• NGO research guide, list of NGO activities: http://library.duke.edu/research/subject/guides/ngo_
• Directory of African NGOs, Third Edition: http://www.un.org/africa/osaa/ngodirectory/
• West African NGO Network: http://www.wangonet.org/
• A Toolkit for African NGOs Document 3914_3917 http://www.fern.org/media/documents/
• List of African Countries and dependencies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African_countries
• NGO Guide: An NGO Training Guide for Peace Corps Volunteers - The Roles of NGOs in Civil Society: