Sep 2019 1st Edition

Know your NPO status

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The Department of Social Development has embarked on a nationwide roadshow campaign targeting all organisations registered in terms of the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) Act (Act No 71 of 1997).

The #KnowYourNPO Status campaign targets Non-Governmental Organisations, Community-Based Organisations and Faith-Based Organisations registered as NPOs to comply with the provisions of the Act.

According to Section 18 (1) (a) of the NPO Act, every registered organisation must, in writing, provide a report of its activities together with its financial statements and the accounting officer’s report within nine months after the end of its financial year.

Section 21 (1) of the Act makes provision for the cancellation or deregistration of an NPO that fails to comply with Section 18 (1) (a).

While the department is empowered by the Act to de-register NPOs that fail to comply with the Act, it has adopted a developmental approach that foster good relations with the sector towards the attainment of its strategic goals.

The campaign which started in July 2019 will run till 2021. It also forms part of the department’s initiative to improve transparency, good governance and accountability among organisations that render services to the most vulnerable groups in the country.

For this reason, the department urges registered NPOs to comply with laws governing their operations in the country.

"This in turn will ensure that NPOs are legitimate and viewed as such by government, donors and other stakeholders in the sector," said the department.

To date, there are over 200 000 organisations registered as NPOs. Of this number, 56 000 NPOs have failed to submit annual reports as required by the Act, with some of the organisations not submitting a single report since registration for years.

NPOs who wish to deregister can also do so voluntarily. A number of officials have been trained in each of the nine provinces to provide administrative assistance to NPOs that wish to comply with the Act or to deregister.

The campaign is implemented in partnership with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, National Lotteries Commission, Financial Intelligence Centre, South African Institute of Business Practitioners and the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners and SANGONET. 

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