23 March 2021 - NW602
van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Social Development:
Whether she has found that she has been able to strengthen relationships and support to (a) nongovernmental organisations and (b) non-profit organisations that provide vital services on behalf of the State; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The Department of Social Development is mandated by the NPO Act 71 of 1997 to create an enabling environment that create opportunities for the NPOs to thrive.
Note that the country was ravaged by Covid -19 pandemic, the NPO sector could not spared either. During the Covid -19 Pandemic, the Department took major strides in ensuring that the sector is taken care of. The Department has been able to strengthen and provide necessary support to non-profit organisations rendering vital services to vulnerable South African citizens.
In relation to funding of non-profit organisations (NPOs), several interventions were made by the National Department including issuing a circular that was sent to all Provinces in May 2020.
The Circular outlined the measures to be taken in order to avert the delayed non-payment and to speed-up processing of claims and allocation of funds to the Non-profit organizations (NPOs) for the 2020/21 financial year. As part of our support to Provinces, Provinces were advised to use the 2020/21 Service Level Agreements (SLA) and extend them for six months to enable them to pay first trenches.
The Department encouraged provinces to consider a two-tranche payment method, with guidance sought from the National Treasury as a way to speed the transfer of funds to deserving NPOs. The proposed tranche payment significantly reduced the administrative burden associated with processing the transfer payments.
This is considered in the light that most of the NPOs funded by the Department are rendering on-going vital services and as such have a good compliance record with the Department.
Towards executing the function of administering the Non-Profit organisation Act 71 of 1997, the Department ensured that there is continued provision of registration and report submission by NPOs. Due to limitations posed by different Levels of National Lockdown in terms of gatherings and face to face interaction, the Department initiated and strengthened online platforms to ensure continued support for non-profit organisations in the country.
A social media platform was also created to provide NPO related information and to respond to immediate queries posed by organisations. The Department also supported the NPO sector through a social media platform wherein “Know Your NPO Status Campaign” was launched by the Minister in November 2020.
The Campaign was launched through a Webinar and attended by the NPO Sector. The online interaction provided an opportunity for the Minister to engage with the Sector on pertinent issues affecting NPOs including mechanisms to improve compliance with NPO’s related legislations.
In addition; the Department also ensured that prioritisation for registration and issuing of compliant letters was given to organisations that intended to provide COVID related services to communities. Prioritisation of support to such organisations ensured that communities under distress due to COVID 19 pandemic were provided with required services.
National Assembly written Reply: (Question 83 for oral reply converted to written Question 602) of 2021
Approved by the Minister of Social Development