Johannesburg –World NGO Day is celebrated worldwide annually on the 27th of February, a day to commemorate and acknowledge NGOs in South Africa that are compliant and making an impact in communities. The day also brings to the fore further solutions that can be adapted to ensure the sustainability of all registered NPOs (NGOs is a world term, locally NPO is used to include civil society organisations (CSOs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) and several other legal entities).
“The National Development Agency (NDA) celebrates World NGO Day to symbolise our ongoing support and collaboration on the delivery of impactful development programmes in poor and vulnerable communities. We are mindful of the tremendous role played by these organisations who work tirelessly to rebuild our broken moral fiber, often at times when we as government are not there. We are mindful and are addressing the issues that affect these organisations negatively such as office closures, job losses, funding challenges and capacity building.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken us back slightly, however, it also brought about opportunities to establish programmes focusing on behavioral changes both in relation to the Covid-19 but also as a result of the pandemic. It is key also for us to ensure that transformation within the sector happens through structured mentorship programmes,” says Mrs Thamo Mzobe, Chief Executive Officer at NDA.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to create awareness, advocacy and education on COVID-19 and behavioral change programme to communities, the NDA launched a Volunteer Programme in April 2020.
Participating CSOs assisted to design programmes including door to door campaign and hot spot areas identification to ensure the adoption of Covid-19 protocols; including information sharing, social distancing and sanitisation which assisted communities tremendously. The Volunteers also assisted the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) with the Social Relief and Distress: distribution of food parcels and R350 online grant applications.
The programme, which consisted of 200 CSOs and 2000 volunteers, reached over 181 171 households, distributed 73 581 food parcels to vulnerable households and assisted 1 479 people to apply for the Social Relief of Distress grant in all 52 districts countrywide from April to December 2020. The programme has been extended to the end of March 2021.
An oversight visit to SASSA’s Bellville offices in Cape Town recently by Minister Lindiwe Zulu clearly demonstrated the impact of the NDA Volunteer Programme. There was a sense of gratitude from SASSA staff who, on average, attend to just over 500 people per day. The NDA Volunteers freed them from having to also deal with crowd control and ensuring adherence to COVID-19 protocols by SASSA clients. This programme has not only restored SASSA beneficiaries’ dignity, but it has also provided the much needed jobs and working experience to participating volunteers. The NDA has spent over R30 million to date on this programme which had a positive impact in targeted communities.
The NDA is also implementing a Department of Social Development (DSD) and Department of Justice Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA) Programme which is aimed at fighting the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF). Participating CSOs ensure that GBVF survivors have improved access to care, support, prevention services and quick access to the justice system. A total amount of R95 million was transferred by DSD to the NDA for the implementation of the CARA project over a two-year period.
The NDA Board approved funding to 312 CSOs to the value of R85, 6m, as recommended by the Grant Evaluation Committee. Of the Board approved funding, R36, 75m has been disbursed to approved CSOs. This amount comprises R33, 75m in first tranche payments to 249 CSOs and R3m in second tranche payments to 22 CSOs. The outstanding payments which have been committed, amounts to R48, 85m. These are made up of both first tranche payments to the 63 remaining CSOs that were approved for funding, and second tranche payments committed to 290 approved CSOs. Payment delays are normally due to late reporting by implementing CSOs.
“We remain committed to the survival and prosperity of all NPOs in the country – our services of capacity building, grant funding and mentorship are accessible to all. We wish the sector a prosperous day and look forward to partnerships with all other stakeholders to ensure the sector’s future prosperity,” concludes Mrs Mzobe.