'Post-1994 challenges facing South African NGOs : a case study of six Western Cape Non-Governmental Organizations that have a development focus'

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study examines post-1994 challenges facing six Western Cape NGOs with a development focus in South Africa. It is an exploratory qualitative study that aims to understand the challenges NGOs are facing as they try to promote development strategies in a cash strapped environment. The objectives of the study are to explore: regulatory frameworks such as the Non-Profit Organizations Act (Act 71 of 1997), the National Development Agency Act (Act 108 of 1998), and the Taxation Laws Amendment Act (Act 30 of 2000) that impact on NGOs; the nature and impact of services; the nature of the funding environment; networking, policy and advocacy initiatives; and other challenges that these NGOs identify.Face-to-face, in-depth interviews were carried out on a non-probability sample of 12 participants from six NGOs. Data was analysed using Tesch's approach to data analysis (De Vos, 2002). The main findings were: Despite not having an in depth knowledge of the NPO Act 71 of 1997, the Taxation Laws Amendment Act 30 of 2000 and the NDA Act 30 of 3000, all participants identified the benefits of the regulatory frameworks but noted the challenges with the NDA. All NGOs provided services that promoted development. Although all participants identified that the NGOs were making an impact, they did not have proper monitoring and evaluation systems in their organisations. All but one of the NGOs identified funding as a challenge. Funding remains one of the main problems that NGOs are facing. All NGOs were networked into a broader coalition and identified challenges and benefits from networking with government and civil society. The main recommendations were for: Findings to be made to the participating NGOs to put in place proper monitoring and evaluation tools Government to rethink strategies for a more effective NGO-government partnership and to rethink the criteria for allocating much needed funds to NGOs. Further research regarding the nature and impact of services should be made.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 92-104).