Gauteng Department of Social Development must assist NPOs in becoming compliant

The Gauteng Department of Social Development has not allocated R258 million to NPOs because they are non-compliant; however, the department is not doing enough to ensure that NPOs comply so they can continue rendering critical services to their beneficiaries.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is demanding that the Department of Social Development explain what will happen to the beneficiaries of the NPOs that will not receive funding because of non-compliance. Furthermore, the department must explain which sectors are affected and the number of beneficiaries in each sector.

Some NPOs who provide critical services to communities often discover that they are non-compliant, leading to them losing out on funding from the Gauteng Department of Social Development. This means that the vulnerable in our communities will not be able to access the services they need.

This information was revealed during a recent Portfolio Committee meeting held last week at which the department and NPOs were present.

In addition, the DA demands that the MEC for Social Development, Mbali Hlophe, explain exactly what the department means when they say that NPOs are non-compliant. The NPOs who attended this meeting indicated that they are worried about the term non-compliant as they are threatened with this term. In addition, it is also used as a weapon by the department to terminate funding.

According to the department, non-compliance means not complying with the following legislations:

  • NPO Act
  • Municipal By-Laws
  • Public Finance Management Act (PFMA)

There are also additional Acts depending on the sector the NPO operates in Acts depending on the sector the NPO operates in:

  • Children Act
  • Older Person’s Act

Disability policy noting that there is no act in this sector

Whilst this makes sense and is a legal requirement for the department, the department is also supposed to assist NPOs by capacitating them to ensure that they are compliant.

The department states that they have negotiated with municipalities to assist with conditional registration for some NPOs. This was always one area that contributed to NPOs being non-compliant.

For years, the department failed to capacitate all NPOs that they were funding to become compliant and failed to reach a consensus with municipalities around the impact of by-laws.

The DA will continue to fight for the NPOs to be assisted to be compliant as it is risky to have beneficiaries in non-compliant NPOs. The department needs to improve its capacitation of NPOs through their monitoring and evaluation unit.