EMPOWERING OUR NPOS TO BE COMPLIANT

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By Cuma Pantshwa

  • The Department of Social Development, along with SASSA and NDA, hosted an informative “KNOW YOUR NPO STATUS” engagement in Cape Town on May 8th as part of their educational roadshows supporting NPOs, focusing on new NPO amendments under the GLAA Act No. 22 of 2022.
  • Deputy Minister Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu emphasized the importance of understanding the NPO ACT and encouraged responsible and accountable practices among NPO founders, highlighting the need for compliance to prevent deregistration.
  • The session covered various topics on NPO risk assessment, including tax compliance requirements for PBOs, vulnerability to terrorist financing abuse, and practical measures NPOs can take to protect themselves, with attendees appreciating the value gained and commitment to responsible action expressed by participants.

The Department of Social Development, along with the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency (NDA), held another informative “KNOW YOUR NPO STATUS” engagement on May 8th in Cape Town as part of their educational roadshows to support NPOs. The Deputy Minister, along with the speakers, shed light on the new NPO amendments contained in the General Laws Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Amendment Act (GLAA), Act No. 22 of 202. The theme for the day was “Understanding NPO Risks.”

The Deputy Minister, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, kicked off the session with encouraging words to the NPO Founders, explaining the importance of understanding the NPO ACT, and praising the excellent work carried out by NPOs as an integral part of building a caring society. The tone and purpose of the day were clearly in her opening message, “We have to serve with honour and dignity and be trustworthy. We are convening these sessions to actually talk you through the NPO act and create a space for you to ask questions, to engage with us because we do not want to deregister you.”

The informative session covered and unpacked several topics on NPO risk assessment, and speakers highlighted the importance of staying informed about the new amendments, and what the NPOs should do to prevent their organisations from being targets of criminal activities. Matters covered included tax compliance requirements for public benefit organisations (PBO) speakers included South African Revenue Services (SARS); Identifying the subset of NPOs that are vulnerable to terrorist financing abuse and most importantly what the NPOs can do to protect themselves. 

Gail Jacobs who runs her own Non-Profit Company (NPC), Free To Grow, expressed her gratitude to the Minister and congratulated her by saying, “The value gained here today from all the speakers was so amazing! Thank you to the Deputy Minister for imprinting on us that we are South Africa and that even in our space we have to be responsible and act in an accountable manner, so I really valued the information that was shared. I have never heard of some of the things spoken about here today like FATF (Financial Action Task Force), I also went and spoke to the lady from SARS and it’s good to know that they too will be sharing the educational clips for people to access and learn more, so today it was great to know how to stay complaint.”

FATF is an inter-governmental organisation whose goals are to create standards and promote the effective enforcement of legal, regulatory, and operational measures against money laundering and terrorist financing. NPOs were given handy tips such as getting to know their donors, and their board members and how they can put proper structures in place to not make them vulnerable against such criminal activities. 

“Combating acts of criminality and other financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing is a responsibility of everyone. We need to join hands to protect the NPO sector from being abused for such acts of crime,” expressed Ms Lindi Madlala, Director of Programme Management and Institutional Support, from the Department of Social Development.

 

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