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Hello Fazila,

I wanted to ask if at any time in the interview with Sershan Naidoo he mentioned the fact that organisations which have already received a tranche of an allotted grant, can't receive the next tranche, which they had quite correctly budgeted for as income in the current financial year as had been promised by the NLTDF.

A point which he mentioned has never before seen the light of day, namely that applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. Quite frankly, I'm not at all sure I believe that, or why has it never been announced? If it had been, the NLTDF could have saved itself an avalanche of applications at deadline date each year, and charities would have had an incentive to get their applications in earlier.

I have asked our PHANGO members to let the PHANGO management committee know about how they have been affected by the NLTDF debacle, which should be quite revealing.

Thanks for putting this article out as the NLTDF has become most important to NGO's. I think if NGO's hadn't been prevented from running their own lottery-based competitions on the grounds that the national
lottery would take the place of those ones, the NGO sector wouldn't be so dependent on the smooth running of the NLDTF, or so resentful when it is poorly handled.

With best wishes,
Aletta
Aletta van der Watt
Chairman, PHANGO (Patient Health Alliance of NGOs)
P.S. Your article about PHANGO has brought us a lot of enquiries - you provide a very useful service!

From the Editor: I forwarded your query to the National Lotteries Development Trust Fund (NLDTF) and they have responded. Please see Mr. Naidoo's response below.

Sershan Naidoo from the NLDTF Responds

Dear Aletta,

Your correspondence to SANGONeT has reference.

We have received special authorisation to make second and third tranche payments to beneficiaries provided that the progress reports are satisfactory. The CAO is processing these documents and payments have already begun to be effected over a month ago. If you are awaiting a tranche payment(2nd, 3rd or 4th), please contact your contact person in the CAO.

With regards to your concerns about us not advertising that we make every effort to look at applications chronologically. Surely, it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that their applications are submitted
as soon as possible so that it can be addressed accordingly?

About the lottery-based competitions. You have not been stopped from these. We would like to know where you got this information from. The situation now is different to the past in that you now have to conduct these lotteries in a regulated environment. This has been done to protect the public who have been subject to some unscrupulous competitions. You have to register all competitions with the NLB. There might, however, be some restrictions if the game was similar to that of the National Lottery games. If you are referring to the scratchcard games run by Community Chest, Games Africa and the like, I would like to advise that these games collectively raised a maximum of R13 million per year for charities. The grants for Charities sector from the NLDTF (R600 million) more than compensates for the loss of income to those charities that previously benefited from scratchcards.

I trust that I have been able to address your concerns.

Kind regards

Sershan T Naidoo
Manager: Player Services & Media Liaison

Is Financial Record Keeping and Disclosure Enough?

Volumes have been written about the topic of non-profit accountability, yet it seems to be an issue always addressed with a degree of mystery as to what exactly it means and how exactly it is to be achieved.

I’ve been working in the NGO sector for many years and can’t remember a time, especially in the last decade or so, when the subject has not been topical. I was really surprised to find it still a dominating theme at a recent global civil society platform, the Civicus World Assembly (CWA).

The most unfortunate aspect of this focus on accountability of course is that the NGO sector appears to be singled out for culpability related to its non-achievement. At the same time, we know that many others take decisions and/or carry out actions that are totally unjustifiable. The so-called war on terror is a prime example. However, bringing the issue closer to actual stakeholders that NGOs engage with, in a discussion about philanthropy at the CWA it was pointed out that insufficient accountability is the source of much haphazard grantmaking in the world of international foundations.

Acknowledging that the questionable practices of some NGOs should never be downplayed, they do tend to excessively inform typical accountability debates, overshadowing the ethical efforts of the vast majority of NGOs that exist to respond to deep social problems and are staffed by truly honest folk simply striving for positive change.

This situation is somewhat unfair as most NGOs actually do invest much effort into professionalizing internal accounting and M&E procedures to improve reporting requirements. So I’m always disillusioned about the level at which discussions about accountability is pitched.

In the present day interpretation of accountability, there is definitely a tendency to attach a disproportionate bias for financial reporting and disclosure.

Ensuring that they remain in the funding loop, the non-profit feeder industry has also jumped onto the bandwagon to develop a range of solutions that create mechanisms for the easy access and dissemination of financial records. While they haven’t quite caught on yet in South Africa, one-stop web solutions that promise lofty accountability outcomes by creating platforms to store and publish NGO financial reports are extremely popular in the first world.

The problem is that keeping good books, does not necessarily translate into achieving social impact. Whether critiquing online databases or reflecting on local debates, the issue of governance, for example, is only peripherally addressed in many analyses of accountability. Fiduciary responsibility only becomes a problem in cases of outright corruption.

A Non Profit Ethics article correctly points out that accountability is about much more than record keeping and disclosure and that while transparency is a good starting point for accountability, it is not enough.  Let’s keep this in mind as we take the great accountability debate forward.

Of huge concern is the lack of attention given to non-financial values and impact. Governing bodies are rarely held accountable when core non-financial values are violated.

When it comes to answering the question, to whom are we accountable and for what? The issue of accountability appears irresolvable. It strikes me that too much attention is paid to processes as opposed to issues. Simultaneously, unbalanced attention is given to the needs and expectations of varied stakeholder constituencies. Money matters, so donors are always top of the pile.

Most people who work in the NGO sector are completely conversant with the nuanced reality of impact. What seems to be missing is a translation of these nuances into more comprehensive accountability indicators. Moreover, agreement on these indicators, which most like to refer to as soft issues, still evades us.

A valuable way forward would be for all development actors to achieve agreement on comprehensive accountability indicators, only then will be in a better position to influence contemporary discourse.

A final word on this matter, take our July poll and let us know whether you think the local NGO sector is meeting its accountability objectives.

Turning to internal SANGONeT matters, we recently reached the MILLION PAGE VIEWS milestone --- an outstanding achievement for our eight month old portal. We thank you for your support and promise our continued commitment to meeting your information needs concerning South African civil society and development issues.

Finally, I take this opportunity to thank you for your engagement with the critical issues we highlight. An encouraging 81 people participated in our June Poll which sought to determine perspectives about state/civil society engagement.

June Poll Results

  • NGOs should engage critically with government: 71 (87.7%)
  • NGOs should avoid government partnerships: 5 (6.2%) 
  • NGOs should be loyal and supportive partners of Government: 5 (6.2%)     

- Fazila Farouk, Deputy Director/Portal Editor, SANGONeT.

Listening to AIDS denialist/sangoma/state registered nurse (sic) left me with a knot in stomach last night. Unfortunately she has access to a medium that affords her the opportunity to speak to millions of South Africans VIA Khaya FM.

Two years ago i attended a traditional healers conference - which Ms Kanada also attended - at which it was supported that HIV is an invention created by Russian Jews (i kid you not) ROLLED OUT (no pun intended) alongside the condom industry to annihilate all things black.

Her close friend Professor (sad i know) Gundidza from UNISA (the man who is charged with giving education and guidance to this country's future medical staff) stated that HE has created green blood,  a mix of green vegies nogaal and this is a KEY weapon in the fight against the virus. I was then pointed out by the unstable Advocate Antony Brink as a "fox" among the sheep (thought it was meant to be wolf) who promotes TOXIC arvt.

Well, back to  the cause of last nights bout of depression, a caller came on air with a complaint about the Department of Health in the Free State and she asked him if he was serious that he was attacking the Department Of Health on HER show and called him "unfair" before disconnecting him and telling him to keep writing to them.

Makes me sick that such drivel is allowed on air. Freedom of speech is one thing, sickening the nation is another. This person certainly is not advancing the cause - anything but -  and civil society - as they did with RATH - should really take an active role in addressing challenges faced by the public as a result of HEALTH information given out by shady characters.

Kanada has long been a black sheep in the sector aligning herself to unproven treatments , green blood and denialism. One of the reasons i love this country is that there is at times GLARING - PUBLIC - examples of the species we evolved from. Darwin would be proud.

Kanada - having a mouth is not always the best excuse to use it.

- Tian Johnson, Youth Channel Group - Ekuruleni. 

TIAN IS LAUNCHING HIS BLOG IN FIVE DAYS TIME.........

Will we be there

Will we be there
would we have reached
our goals, even our (2015)
Millenium Development Goals

(Do you know these goals
Are they with you
in your every day life?)

Will we have eradicated
Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Will we have achieved
Universal Primary Education

Will we have promoted
Gender Equality and
Empowered Women

Will we have reduced
Child Mortality

Will we have improved
Maternal Health

Will we have combated
HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

Will we have ensured
Environmental Sustainability

Will we have developed
a Global Partnership for Development

Will we wait until then
Who will wait until then

Should we wait
until then

written Saturday, July 15, 2006, thinking of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in
South Africa, and whether we would be ready to host the tournament,
infrastructure in place or not.

__________________

Now he's gone

Now he's gone, too far,
our beloved uncle who
has done so much to
undo so much that
has been done
by so many
(and without any
fanfare or recognition)

Now he's gone, too far,
No, its not his
generally corrupt relationship(s)
No, its not his
shower after what
he alone called consensual
and delicious sex

This time it's his wanting
No, not his wanting to be
our next emperor
our next flavour
of the next 4 years

It's his wanting to sue
those who cartooned him
those who lampooned him
those who did not play nice
and behave accordingly,
toe the line,
turn the other cheek
know their place
in the political food chain

Now he's gone, too far,
I'd better watch my pen
and not go any further

July 05, 2006, lamenting our former vice-emperor's latest
headline; his wanting to sue the media

__________________

Yes, I understand

Yes, I understand
that you make
a positive contribution
to this country
which is more than
what I can say
about certain folk
around and about

Note, I say this
and not my country –
after all, what is
a country,
borders,
nationalities –
do they not
get in the way
of understanding things?

Yes, I understand
that you do not
come to steal
our jobs
our menfolk
our whatever
others here
assume,
presume,
conclude, thus

After all, imagine,
what would you want
with our jobs
when we
degrade ourselves
with standard grade
in standard grade
no maths and science

After all, imagine,
what would you want
with our menfolk
who, apparently,
misread signs
and can’t understand
that no is
a full sentence

Yes, I understand

written Thursday, May 25, 2006, in response to a Zambian
woman’s letter in the Cape Argus Cape Points.

From David Kapp of Resource Action Group.

Do you get to the point where you think - what the hell is going on in this sector? Last year a famous multi billionaire - yah billionaire - visited our project and after subjecting us to rigourous security checks proceeded to arrive in a convoy of vehicles - dish out some fancy uniforms - and then leave. Leaving us with, well dressed corpses, children are suffering, children are hungry and you get some superstar whizzing into the country and spending a few dollars on uniforms and leaving.
 
What the hell....our children need food dammit, now all we see is starving kids in bright and shiny uniforms, come on people. Donors, superstars, whoever need to know that when they engage us as civil society its not on thier terms its on OURS. It sickend me to the gut, sickens me so much that this week I resigned from that organsation who sees the glam of hollywood in the midst of suffering and dire poverty. It makes me sick I would rather be unemployed than back that kind of INTENSE hypocrisy, its time for a movement that FORCES out elememnts in civil society who are in it for OTHER reasons.

Makes me sick dammit it makes me sick. NGO propoerty registered in family members names, properties in the inner city, scandal, ,,,,,,,MAKES ME SICK.

Tian Johnson
UNEMPLOYED

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