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Nationalisation of South Mines and the Npo Sector

  • Date Submitted: 03/30/2011 02:09 PM
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Nationalisation of SA Mines and the Nonprofit Sector?
Or While Nero Fiddles, Rome Burns.

By Ann Bown, Charisma Communications.   www.charisma.za.org.  

Ms Bown is a consultant to the nonprofit sector on matters of sustainability, fundraising and public relations.

The Freedom Charter signed and sealed in June 1955 stated that the people shall share in the country’s wealth and more importantly ‘the mineral wealth below the soil, the banks, and monopoly industries shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole”. There has been   rekindled talk for the nationalisation of South African mines by elements of the ruling party who believe that the time is now ripe to put this item onto the African National Congress’s agenda for the 2012 Centenary Conference   and for this ultimately to become government policy

What could such a move mean to nonprofit organisations (NPOs) in South Africa?
As things are today it is not government policy nor is it, according to various reports, the ANC’s national executive committee’s immediate concern. Yet, should this proposal be taken to the next level of debate we need to ask what would be the deal for the nonprofit sector and how will the ruling party engage with the sector on this vital issue?

There are an estimated 160 000 nonprofit organisations operating in South Africa comprising of non-government organizations, community based organisations, faith based organisations, education institutions, sports clubs, etc that employ more than 1 million people.   A further 5 million citizens volunteer their talents and energy towards the implementation of good works in communities through these structures.   Collectively they can stimulate the economy in raising funds and self-generated income by R18 billion per annum.   There is no doubt that this is a powerful and important force for the fulfillment of social justice and the safe-keeping of democracy.

Nonprofit organisations play a crucial role in society. These...

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