Organised civil society plays a critical role in building participatory democracy, in promoting a culture of human rights and in facilitating socio-economic development for millions of poor and disadvantaged people. The work of non-profit organisations (NPOs) within civil society is indispensable to the growth of democracy and socio-economic development.
Throughout the last 40 years, NPOs have played an important role in the downfall of apartheid and the transition to democracy. NPOs continue to contribute valuable resources, skills and expertise to the national building process in South Africa. Through the medium of NPOs, the State is able to implement important programmes that are vital to the development and well-being of the most marginalised and which require the flexibility of NPOs: for example, disaster intervention or home-based care which has taken on a critical role in relation to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. NPOs also facilitate the processes of consultation with larger communities, enabling an expansion of participation that various policies and legislation seek. There are examples of these around municipal planning processes and the development of water catchment management structures.
The LRC recognises that NPOs have to comply with various rigorous demands and seeks to assist these organisations to meet some of these new legal challenges. The LRC also seeks to promote good governance and accountability within the non-profit sector in order to strengthen civil society and contribute to socio-economic development in South Africa.
The specific objectives of our NPO support work are:
The LRC also provides specific advice and assistance to NPOs on request to the extent that it is able to do so.
Workshops have been conducted in Limpopo, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZuluNatal and Western Cape. The workshops have been hosted in partnership with the Non-Profit Partnership, Partners With After School Care Projects (PASCAP), Cape Child and Youth Development (CACYD) and Namakwa Katolieke Ontwikkeling (NAMCO). The objective is to strengthen the non-profit sector by holding workshops relevant to the needs of NPOs, of which at least some must be organised at venues that are more easily accessed by rural area-based organisations.
The LRC has produced information booklets that are distributed to NPOs free of charge. Please visit the ‘Documents’ section in our website to download these publications.