Saturday Star

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.

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