regulation

NGOs Registration Period Extended

The Zambian government has extended the period for registration of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for another 90 days.

Community Development Mother and Child Health Minister, Joseph Katema, says that all NGOs that will not register at the end of the 90 days shall cease to operate in Zambia.

Katema says those wishing to register a new NGO can proceed to do so starting from 15 July 2013 as registration forms can be obtained from the Ministry’s department of registrar for NGOs.

New Companies Act: Does Your Section 21/NPC Have to Adopt a New MOI

The NGO sector loves a crisis, and fresh out of the mass nonprofit organisations (NPOs) deregistration and re-registration calamity, panic is spreading again, this time about the supposed ‘deadline’ of 30 April 2013 for former section 21 companies (now called Non Profit Companies) to adopt new Memoranda of Incorporation (what the new Companies Act now calls the founding documents of all companies).

It is not true that NPCs (or any companies) have to adopt a new MOI, and it is also not true that it has to be done by 30 April.
A bit of background, first:

The South African NPO Crisis - Time to Join Hands

More than 85 000 nonprofit organisations were registered in terms of the Nonprofit Organisations Act (NPO Act) at the end of March 2012. From October 2012 until January 2013 more than 23 000 organisations were de-registered by the Directorate for Nonprofit Organisations which falls under the auspices of the Department of Social Development. In addition, more than 35 000 organisations were marked as ‘non-compliant’.(2) In contrast, during the 2011 financial year only 468 organisations were de-registered.

NPOs and the Enemy Within

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini must wonder what has just hit her. There she is, happily de-registering nonprofit organisations (NPOs) by the tens of thousands, and suggesting innocuous amendments to laws governing their work - and all hell breaks loose. She will find answers in our history, her department’s incompetence, and a view of charity held by many South Africans. Then there is NPO suspicion of politicians even when real danger is coming not from them, but from the private sector.

Politician Puts Restrictions on 45 NGOs

Masvingo Resident Minister and Governor, Titus Maluleke, has summoned over 45 non-governmental organisations to a meeting at his offices during which he announced wide-ranging restrictions on their work.

In a press statement, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, says that, “NGO leaders who attended the meeting were reportedly subjected to a roll call where they were called one after another and coerced to reveal their work plans and partners.”

CiCZ says the NGO representatives were also told to work with government departments and the security sector in all their projects.

Fear Grips NGOs Over 'Apartheid Laws'

The government is planning to regulate thousands of nonprofit organisations with the imposition of ‘apartheid-era laws’ that would hobble them in fighting on critical human rights issues often ignored by the state.

A draft document titled ‘Policy Framework on the South African Nonprofit Organisations' Law’ is already on the table after what the Department of Social Development calls ‘widespread consultation’.

Community Radio Ordered to Submit Financial Reports

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has given Radio Teemaneng, a community station, seven working days to submit its financial reports.

The station, which broadcasts from Kimberly in the Northern Cape, has not been submitting its audited financial reports to the broadcasting regulating authorities for past three years.

ICASA spokesperson, Paseka Maleka, points out that the station will present its case to the compliance committee for determination and recommendation to the authority on what sanction to be imposed on that particular licensee.

Cell C Cuts Prepaid Rates

Mobile operator, Cell C, has cut prepaid call tariffs by more than 34 percent, bringing them lower than contract call rates for the first time in 18 years.

Cell C CEO, Alan Knott-Craig, who promised to shake up the cellphone industry when he joined Cell C last month, introduced a new prepaid package with prices reduced by 34 percent to an all-day rate of 99c a minute, with per-second billing from the first second.

SA Media in Uncertain Position

Khulekani Magubane, in an article titled ‘SA’s low press freedom rank ‘unfair’, says that on World Press Freedom Day, celebrated globally on 3 May, South African media remain in an uncertain position.

Magubane argues that although the African National Congress (ANC) gave a warm reception to the Press Freedom Commission (PFC) report on media regulation released last week, the proposed Media Appeals Tribunal and the Protection of State Information Bill remain contentious issues.

New Report Focuses on Press Freedom

The Press Freedom Commission has recommended a new regulatory regime for newspapers involving more public participation and a hierarchy of increasingly stringent penalties for ‘journalistic infractions’ culminating in space-related and monetary fines.

Print Media South Africa (PMSA) and the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF), which mandated the research, are expected to accept most of its recommendations.

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