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Comment Sought on Nonprofit Organization Amendment Bill

October 7, 2021

Department of Social Development

A draft bill designed to provide for the registration of nonprofit organisations (NPO) and the compulsory registration of foreign organisations has been drawn up.

The social development department published the Draft Nonprofit Organization Amendment Bill in Government Gazette 45244 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.

Cabinet approved the draft bill in August 2021 for publication for comment.

According to the cabinet statement, the act was meant to create an enabling environment in which NPOs could be formed and function optimally.

Overtime gaps have been identified in particular with regard to smaller NPOs and community-based organisations.

Cabinet pointed out that the proposed amendment addresses the challenges faced by smaller NPOs; deals with abuse of NPOs and simplifies accessibility procedures.

It also proposes the setting up of the NPO Registrar to strengthen the servicing, monitoring and promotion of transparency and accountability of NPOs.

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