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Comment Sought on Nonprofit Organisations Amendment Bill

May 12, 2022

Department of Social Development

A draft bill designed to provide for the office of the Registrar of Nonprofit Organisations (NPO) has been drawn up.

The social development department published the Draft Nonprofit Organisations Amendment Bill in Government Gazette 46349 for comment.

The draft bill aims to amend the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997, so as to:

  • amend and insert certain definitions;
  • provide for the office of the Registrar of nonprofit Organisations, to provide for the registration of nonprofit organisations and compulsory registration of foreign organisations, to provide for the Arbitration Tribunal for the disputes resolution; and
  • provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the explanatory memorandum, the aim of the proposed amendments to the act is to “strengthen regulatory mechanism and make it relevant to the current environment, without constraining its strategic intent, which is to “create an enabling environment for NPOs to flourish” in their endeavour to provide services to the most vulnerable in society and to advocate and be a voice to the voiceless”.

The proposed legislation also seeks to increase efficiencies within the NPO Regulatory Framework; reduce red tape in the administration of the NPO Regulation and to increase NPO’s access to information.

Factors that constrain NPOs in their efforts to promote social justice by providing services and performing advocacy and humanitarian functions, bringing citizens’ concerns to governments and monitoring service delivery include ineffectiveness due to an unfavourable operating environment and institutional inefficiencies.

The draft bill aims to reduce the cost of compliance for NPOs and to “tailor design compliance according to the size of the NPO, thus moving away from one size fits all approach”.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.