Transparency & Accountability of NPO’s in South Africa

NPO’s register with NGO Advisor and submit compliance documents and proof of submission of the required documents to DSD. NGO Advisor then verifies the documents submitted by awarding a rating, we do not judge or audit the documents.

The Department of Social Services (DSD) register all NPO’s in SA.   Every year, each registered NPO is required to send a Narrative Report and a copy of their signed AFS to DSD.  Many thousands of NPO’s are not complying with this legal requirement in terms of the Non Profit Organisations Act, 1997 (Act No, 71 of 1977).

According to DSD, as at August 2019, there were over 217 000 registered NPO’s in SA. This figure does not include NPC’s which are registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission(CIPC) or Trusts which are registered by the Master of the High Court.

No current statistics are available from DSD as to the number of NPO’s who have completed and submitted narrative reports and/or have signed Annual Financial Statements.

As at 22 February 2018 the following statistics were made available by DSD:

These slides were submitted to the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the 22 August 2018.

Whichever way you read these slides, the non-compliant NPO’s remain a very high percentage.

No further statistics are available as to whether the NPO’s due for reporting actually did submit reports after 22 February 2018

Registered, Non-compliant & Compliant NPO’s have in their possession a registration document from DSD. This registration document does not expire, which means this document can be used repeatedly from year to year, regardless whether the NPO conforms to the legal requirements of DSD or not.

NGO Advisor has been endorsed by the Department of Social Development.

As can been seen by this slide, 93% of nonprofit organisations are managed by DSD.

One of the functions of DSD is to de-register non-compliant NPO’s, unfortunately this has not been a consistent practice which means that NPO’s could be submitting documents to donors, standing on street corners with a tin in hand fundraising from the public, collecting items from retailers, and the countless other ways of fundraising, all the while being legally non-compliant to DSD.

The aim of NGO Advisor is to mitigate this practice by creating a website platform where NPO’s can showcase their compliance (the most common documents requested by donors) and donors can see whether NPO’s have compliance documents in place and whether they are compliant to DSD, which is, in fact, a legal requirement for the continued operation of the NPO. Any donor can, by viewing the list of documents submitted by the NPO’s on the NGO Advisor website, decide whether or not to further explore certain NPO’s as viable recipients for funding.

How NGO Advisor works;

NPO’s register with NGO Advisor and submit compliance documents and proof of submission of the required documents to DSD. NGO Advisor then verifies the documents submitted by awarding a rating, we do not judge or audit the documents. We acknowledge that the documents submitted by the NPO speak to the scope of work of their organisation and that proof of documents submitted to DSD have indeed been sent and acknowledged as received by DSD. It must be noted that DSD can be somewhat tawdry in acknowledging receipt of documents.

NPO’s receive either an Ordinary, Bronze, Silver or Gold Certificate of Compliance (dependent on documents submitted) from NGO Advisor. We also offer advice on how to obtain certain documents, hold workshops on marketing and fundraising and generally assist NPO’s in any way we can. We make available to all our signed up NPO’s, a donor funding portal which lists current calls for proposals from national and international donors over all NPO Sectors.

We do charge a R350 p/a administration fee to the NPO’s for this service, a very affordable rate, less than R1 per day. The list of NPO compliance documents is available on our website

If you would like to view additional NPO information you as the donor can register with NGO Advisor for FREE.

As corruption is rife in this country and accountability and transparency is not seen as essential by many NPO’s, we encourage you to please ask any SA NPO’s soliciting funds from your organisation to first register with NGO Advisor so that they can be viewed as being compliant, accountable and transparent to anyone wishing to research the governance of any SA registered NPO. There is no list in SA that is currently available to donors, NPO’s or the public about the status of NPO’s registered with DSD.

We would like to register all DSD registered SA NPO’s on our website and in turn make this information freely available to any party researching SA NPO’s. We want to change the perception that non-compliant NPO’s are bad, so many are not, they just don’t know how to even start the process of becoming compliant. We want to give these organisations the help and encouragement in order for them to become better at what they do, which is to ultimately serve their beneficiaries to the best of their ability.