NonProfit Sector Legislation Overview

governance npos regulation
Wednesday, 17 January, 2007 - 11:39

Assisting NPOs Navigate the Legal System

The Nonprofit Consortium (NPC) has prepared a helpful resource entitled Legislation Relevant to the nonprofit Sector that can be used by nonprofit organisations to navigate the legal system and by government to streamline law as well as policy governing the nonprofit sector.

The legal system of a country can significantly impact on the vibrancy of its nonprofit sector. The South African legal system has rapidly developed since 1994 with a number of laws being relevant to the nonprofit sector.

The daily affairs of a nonprofit organisation often include interaction with the law at various levels. This can be an intimidating process as laws are in general fraught with complex terms and scattered throughout the legal system.

This NPC document identifies some of the most important legislation that came into effect since 1990, which directly and indirectly affects NPOs. On the whole, the document provides an overview of some important laws and also considers which laws may require further alignment or updating.

The purpose of this document is three-fold:

  • For NPOs to be aware of and understand how these laws will affect their organisation. This should accordingly serve as a helpful guideline for those involved with organisations to be aware of such legislation.
  • Section 3 of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, No. 71 of 1997 (the NPO Act) provides that within the limits prescribed by law, every organ of state must determine and coordinate the implementation of its policies and measures in a manner designed to promote, support and enhance the capacity of nonprofit organisations to perform their functions. It is anticipated that this will serve as a tool that will guide further policy development in line with this obligation.
  • To encourage synergy within the legal system that will promote and support the creation of an enabling environment for the nonprofit sector.

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