Training opens path to funding

Representatives from various organisations attended a four-day workshop on financial management and compliance, which was run by the National Development Agency.

Small businesses, schools and sports bodies were among the organisations trained in financial management and compliance at a four-day workshop run by the National Development Agency (NDA).

It was held at the Dulcie September minor hall and organisations from Athlone, Bonteheuwel, Heideveld and Langa, took part.

Ardiel Soeker, provincial manager of the NDA, said the workshops were held to ensure the civil society sector complied with laws giving them access grants – especially.

The NDA’s capacity Building programme provides structured modules for NPOs, cooperatives in the textile, food security, catering and event industry and advocacy groups.

“They gain skills that makes them more accountable and responsible for their work. They stand a better chance of being grant funded to unlock their potential and then linked to economic opportunities for their sustainability. The sewing Civil Society Organisations are linked to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for school uniform production and those in food security are linked to community nutrition development centres, while others are linked to chain supermarkets,” Mr Soeker said.

Sithembiso Zingelwa, one of the participants, said the workshop had helped him to understand how to handle the finances of his organisation, the Western Cape Foundation for the Promotion of Culture and Art (WECCA).

“We have to implement changes now. We need to be accountable to our sponsors. They need to know what the money was used for. In this way, we can ensure we get sponsorship again. We need to know the financial status of our organisation, because we need to avoid running out of funds and going back to the funders. I am grateful for this training. I can’t wait to implement it and share it with my colleagues,” Mr Zingelwa said.

Gay Abrahams, a small-business owner, said hoped to see more workshops like this one.

“It’s absolutely fantastic. What makes it easier is that the facilitator is good. She is such a people’s person. She makes you want to come to the workshops. Social development is doing fantastic work, but they must claim their victories. What I would like to see is older people twinning with younger people. This is so that older people can give them input and learn from one another. I found hope here,” Ms Abrahams said.

Veronica Witbooi, from the Little Legends Daycare in Heideveld, said she had gained “such a lot of knowledge” to manage her preschool’s finances.

Organisations are invited to be part of the workshops by either being referred, through community mobilisation, walk-ins or email and telephonic requests, Mr Soeker said.

“Interestedorganisations are assessed to determine their development needs and capabilities. Based on the assessment, a support package is developed for the organisation, which could includeassistancetoformalise the organisation, support to register the organisation with the relevant legislative authority, capacity building support to enhance organisational governance, financial management, accountability, reporting practices and compliance to legislation. Further support includes grant funding and linkages to qualifying organisations,” Mr Soeker added.

He said there were still many organisations not complying with legislation, hence the importance of the workshops.

“We promote advocacy on the importance of forming forums and encourage dialogues within communities especially in the rural areas and townships. Some newly established organisations sometimes struggle when it comes to compliance and the NDA mentorship offers support,” Mr Soeker said.

More information about the work of the NDA and how organisations can get in touch with it, can be found on its website: www.nda.org.za