NPOs accused of having an agenda
WHY is the Gauteng Department of Social Development paying three non-profit organisations (NPOs), R18 million a year – Footballers For Life (FFL), Tikani Development and the Morobi Foundation – to monitor others on its behalf ?
The trio were contracted for 2016/17 to monitor other NPOs and are paid on average R12 000 per group they evaluate to monitor 1 500 organisations.
Pastor Les Sanabria of the Gauteng Welfare Forum, an umbrella organisation of NPOs, alleged that the NPOs were hired as part of a “political agenda … An NGO is now doing state work for the state using NGO funding”.
He said NPOs “were far from impressed” by the evaluations. In a letter sent in 2013 to NPOs, Shirley Raman, the then-chief director for NPO development and research, wrote: “Should NPOs decide to not partake in this important process, the service provider (FFL) has been advised to report the infringing NPOs to the department. Such reporting will hold negative consequences for the infringing NPOs in future funding cycles.”
Sanabria said: “We’re being threatened to give information to an NGO, and if we don’t, we lose our subsidy. That’s blackmail.”
Dr Shaheda Omar, the director of clinical services at the Teddy Bear Clinic, which helps child abuse victims, said FFL showed up in September for an evaluation without prior notice and/or explanation. “What authority do (FFL) have to have access to our very confidential information?”
Ga u t e n g d e p a r t ment s p o ke s p e r s o n Mbangwa Xaba, said: “Over the past few years, the budget for NPOs has increased drastically. This development overstretched our internal monitoring capacity and, by implication, it compromised the department’s ability to deliver fully on its mandate of ensuring that NPOs are fully monitored.”
Robert Madubanya, the founder of Morobi Foundation, confirmed his NPO was asked to complete the monitoring and evaluation due to the department’s “capacity issue”. His outfit was a logical choice for the job because it specialised in skills development in accounting and financial management. FFL and Tikani declined to comment.