Monday, 18 July 2011

Research report from the Funding Practice Alliance: Meeting their Mandates?

Written by
The Alliance of Youth NGO (AYONGO), an umbrella body of youth NGOSs in South Africa, hereby wishes to condemn the attack on the National Development Agency (NDA) and National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) by a group of non-profit organisations which are: Inyathelo - The South African Institute for Advancement, Rural Education Access Programme (REAP), Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT) and Community Development Resources Association (CDRA). We strongly believe that these civil society actors have a hidden agenda which is informed by their political affiliation and lack of appreciation and understanding to the broader mandate of the NDA. We also believe that their acts are influenced by their lack of access to funding in both the National Development Agency (NDA) and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). Furthermore, the survey questionnaire form which was produced by these organizations was a clear tool to target the NDA and NLDTF. We, as AYONGO, strongly condemn and cannot allow provincial sectoral based non-profit organisations to dictate and make such barbaric allegations on the NDA and the NLDTF.
AYONGO came to this conclusion based on the manner in which these so-called groups of non-profit organizations approached the process. Such acts by these organisations will have a negative impact on the society as a whole. It is on record that NDA and NLDTF have supported various community projects and have strengthened community based organizations. The funding criteria for NDA and NLDTF are broadly in line with the provisions of the act and its broader mandate, and have enabled every deserving organization to receive support. Its criticism is highly elitist and neglects the fact that it has done so well in supporting community based projects, and the projects supported are available on public domain.

However, we encourage debate on the extension of broader mandate of the NDA and NLDTF to look at the funding challenges of the broader civil society operating in different sectors such as good governance, human rights and other advocacy issues: given the status of our country as a mid-income country which has moved donor funding away from South Africa to other developing countries.

We endorse a call for national dialogue on civil society funding in the country, not only limited to NDA and NLDTF but to other agencies such as government agencies tasked to fund civil society in the country. The role of civil society organization and NGOs is important in the consolidation and strengthening of our democracy, fostering unity and social cohesion and the building of a non- racial, non-sexist prosperous South Africa, as outlined in the constitution of the country.

We further call for strengthening of civil society platforms relevant in promoting social transformation in the republic, and other platforms, we further call upon the leadership of the two institutions to lead this discourse. We urge the two institutions to have a close relationship, also on the ministerial level to harmonize civil society and over all NGO funding in the country based on the needs of funding for the sector as a whole.

Issued by: AYONGO Chairperson, Mr Kenneth Thlaka, on behalf of the National Committee of AYONGO and all its members.


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