The City helps non-governmental organisations that assist Joburg’s needy, with a package of subsidies, such as office space.
THROUGH its Social Funding Policy, the City provides a basket of subsidies for non-profit organisations, helping them with funding, office space and other administrative logistics.
Jak Koseff, the City's director of social assistanceJak Koseff, the City's director of social assistanceJak Koseff, the director of social assistance in the department of health and social development, says the City has three funding categories for non-profit organisations: community-based organisations, partnerships and rates.
The community-based organisations stream allows for small disbursements needed to enhance small, ward-based programmes.
The partnership stream is intended to provide up to two annual funding payments to partner established non-profit organisations that deliver programmes that are dovetailed with the City’s service delivery priorities. “It is expected that such organisations focus their efforts at disadvantaged communities as laid out in the City’s [Integrated Development Plan], Human Development Strategy and Growth and Development Strategy,” he explains.
Through its Social Funding Policy, the City helps with training and development of NGOs and monitors how funds are channelled.
For organisations operating in the inner city, the City provides office or working space at Bram Fischer Towers in Albert Street and Nedbank Building in Commissioner Street. There are about 30 organisations at the former and 39 at the latter.
“The organisations based in these buildings render services to vulnerable groups of communities within the city. These services include, but are not limited to services for HIV and Aids, primary and home-based care, skills development for women and youth, and services to migrants and refugees.
“The benefit of the intervention to these organisations is that the City is providing the office space to these organisations at a highly subsidized rate of 80 percent towards the payable rate. The organisations are responsible for the payment of 20 percent of the rental amount,” he explains.
Koseff says NGOs are, however, not subsidised for municipal services such as water and electricity.
NGOs can register with the City to get funding assistanceNGOs can register with the City to get funding assistanceTo qualify for social funding, NGOs need to register with the City. “This process enables proper assessment prior to any intervention,” he says.
About 37 organisations registered on the City’s NGO database in the past fiscal year, bringing the total number of organisations registered to 445.
Koseff says these organisations are listed on the Expanded Social Package SAP system, which will enable social workers to electronically access and refer their clients to NGOs for the services they need.
Explaining why some organisations are not considered for funding, he says their application documents are either incomplete, they lack proper administration systems or operating venues, or they have unclear operational plans and activities.
About 14 service delivery categories are applied for regularly, ranging from services for orphans and vulnerable children, HIV and Aids, the youth, elderly and for skills development. “The top four categories were orphans and vulnerable children, HIV and Aids, skills development and provision of food.”
He notes that organisations that are funded by the City sign performance agreements and are obliged to comply with a scorecard agreement “articulating the time-bound deliverables”, which forms the basis of monitoring the partnership.
“The organisations are required to submit progress reports and comprehensive quarterly reports. The second phase of funding is determined by the achievement and satisfaction of the first year scorecard. The disbursement of funding in the second year will be implemented in quarterly tranches, also determined by the achievement of the deliverables agreed upon,” Koseff explains.
The rates subsidy for NGOs is implemented through the rates directorate within the department of finance. Organisations that are on the NGO rates database and the Rates Office database are automatically credited for applicable rates on a monthly basis. “Only new requests are considered through the NGO unit for assessment and verification.”
Organisations that are eligible for funding receive training to help them become sustainable.
He says one of the challenges is that NGOs lack capacity to develop and grow. Many of them are also located in deprived areas, and tend to focus more on meeting the needs of their beneficiaries than on organisational development.
The City’s training programme is implemented to help grow planning skills, resource mobilisation, good governance, management and leadership.
Social Funding Policy
Criteria used in considering not-for profit organisations for funding are set out in the Social Funding Policy, he says.
“The [member of the mayoral committee] for community development has the delegated power to make a grant to an organisation which contributes to the purposes and duties of local government, falling within the area of responsibility of the community development department to an amount not exceeding R5-million,” says Koseff.
It cost R2,352-million to implement social funding programmes in the year 2010-2011 and about R5,6-million for the provision of office space. Overall, about R7,952-million was spent in implementing the social funding programme in the past financial year.
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