APO News from Africa:
Each year the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) receives over 14 000 applications for funding. The Rand value of the requests exceeds R70 billion from a budget of R1.6 billion, showing that the need of the NGO sector far exceeds what the NLC has to make its contribution to changing lives.
In order to address this, the South African Government approved the amendment of the Lotteries Act and promulgated new regulations in 2013 and 2015.
Some of the changes include: proactive active funding based on NLC research; full-time Distributing Agencies to decide on applications within 150 days; funding is only for activities within South Africa; a cooling-off period between grants to prevent dependency on the NLC for funding; and applicants have to show proof of other funding and their sustainability plans.
Legislation has to be adhered to and any change to legislation is outside the control of the NLC. If any NGO finds the current regulations too prescriptive or restrictive, they need to lobby SA lawmakers through proper channels and not through media reports aimed at garnering sympathy.
Recent reports about the plight of SASCOC has brought the dependency of NGOs on one source of funding, and the cooling off period between grants, to the fore. Such dependency is exactly what the legislation was meant to prevent.
SACCOC has received over R300 million from the NLC since inception of lottery funding in 2000. The most recent grant of R70 million was paid in June 2016 and has to be reported on satisfactorily before any new funding can be considered. The NLC awaits this report. The cooling off period also comes into play because legislation dictates that NGOs can only apply for new funding 12 months after the last payment. The cooling off period ends in June 2017 and is also subject to SASCOC submitting its outstanding report. Any concerns of SASCOC is therefore unwarranted and premature.
The SASCOC CEO is also quoted as saying that his organisation is now relegated to that of a National Federation. This is untrue. The 2016 open call for applications targeted sports bodies from National Federations all the way down to Sports NGOs. There is only one Macro Body for Sports in SA and that is SASCOC. At the time of the advertisement in 2016, SASCOC was not eligible for funding because it had just been paid R70 million in June 2016. It would have been prudent of SASCOC to have asked for clarity from the funder that they are clearly dependent on before taking this to the media.
In previous years, SASCOC was funded for, amongst others, team preparation for international events. National Federations of Sport were also funded for international events. The new regulations do not make provision for activities outside the borders of SA. However, preparation and participation within SA would be available within the applications submitted.
The NLC is committed to meeting its mandate of changing lives in South Africa, within the stipulations of the Lotteries Act and Regulations. NGOs need to also look at how they design their budgets and to look at cutting costs given the limited funds available.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
- South Africa’s rate of real GDP growth is projected at 1 percent in 2017 thanks to a resumption of solid agricultural production as the drought abates, and an increase in mining output prompted by a moderate rebound in the prices of South Africa’s commodity exports.
- Headline inflation is expected to return below 6 percent in the second half of 2017 and in 2018, making it appropriate for policy rates to remain on hold, and for the central bank to stand ready to increase rates if inflation expectations were to rise.
- With limited room for stimulus through macroeconomic policies, the priority to stimulate economic growth and job creation rests with structural reforms, notably in product and service markets and in the labor market.
An International Monetary Fund staff team led by Mr. Paolo Mauro visited Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Durban from May 3 to May 16, to conduct the 2017 Article IV consultation discussions with South Africa.
At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Mauro made the following statement:
“Following last year’s near-stagnation, there are signs that a modest improvement in the pace of economic growth is underway. The rate of real GDP growth is projected at 1 percent in 2017. The main factors underlying the pickup in economic activity this year are a resumption of solid agricultural production as the drought abates, and an increase in mining output prompted by a moderate rebound in the prices of South Africa’s commodity exports. The pace of recovery this year and the next is unlikely to prevent a further increase in unemployment and a continued decline in per capita incomes.
“Against the background of declining business and consumer confidence and rising impatience with longstanding inequalities, the authorities face the dual challenge of reigniting growth and rendering it more inclusive. Addressing that challenge will require early action through an initial set of policy measures to foster entry of new firms in product and service markets and to enhance flexibility in the labor market, as well as clear and consistent communication of the strategy to be pursued. In this regard, staff welcomes the authorities’ recent reaffirmation of their budget objectives as approved by parliament. Implementation of the budget and of an initial set of reforms will be necessary to improve confidence in the next few months.
“In view of the rising public debt ratio, fiscal policy is appropriately focused on maintaining medium-term debt sustainability. To reduce the likelihood of a sizable increase in the cost of government borrowing, a mild but steady reduction in the fiscal deficit would be advisable during the next few years. In addition, reforms of public enterprises would reassure investors and the public at large, with associated benefits for public finances and economic efficiency. Such reforms should focus on stronger governance, enhanced transparency and imposition of penalties for failures to adhere to public procurement guidelines, and quantification of public service obligations.
“Under the current stance of monetary policy, headline inflation is expected to return only somewhat below 6 percent in the second half of 2017 and in 2018. In line with the inflation targeting framework, it would thus be appropriate for policy rates to remain on hold, and for the central bank to stand ready to increase rates if inflation expectations were to rise.
“With limited room for stimulus through macroeconomic policies, the priority to stimulate economic growth and job creation rests with structural reforms, notably in product and service markets and in the labor market. The focus should be on sectors that provide crucial inputs for most firms in the economy, such as power generation, telecommunications, transportation, and financial services for small-and medium-sized enterprises.”
The team met with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago; senior officials of the National Treasury, South African Reserve Bank, and other government departments; the Congress of South African Trade Unions; and financial market and business representatives.
Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa and The Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC) are pleased to announce the launch earlier this month of a Mentorship Program to help further foster entrepreneurship development in Ethiopia. The program connects successful Ethiopian aspiring entrepreneurs with experienced mentors. These mentors, entrepreneurs themselves, provide coaching and technical assistance on specific problems identified by their mentees, in order to help them grow their business and become competitive in the marketplace.
A total of fourteen companies seeking technical assistance were selected for the program on a competitive basis. The companies come from a variety of sectors including manufacturing, agro processing, construction, and service. Six seasoned entrepreneurs volunteered their valuable time to serve as mentors. Based on the identified needs of the mentees and their own area of interest, the mentors each selected one or more companies to support.
Over the next six months, the entrepreneurs and mentors will work together, identifying specific areas for improvement and establishing targets to measure progress.
Mentors and mentees will be honored during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017 (November 13-19, 2017), where the entrepreneur demonstrating the most improvement will receive special recognition.
Entrepreneurs create jobs and help fuel economic grown around the world. They embody and foster a culture of self-sufficiency, initiative and innovation. Countries with strong entrepreneurs tend to be strong trading partners. For these reasons, the United States has long fostered the growth and development of entrepreneurship around the globe. Through initiatives like this mentorship program and the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, U.S. Embassies around the world seek to encourage and recognize young entrepreneurs.
EDC is a quasi-government entity aims to enhance the skills and competencies of entrepreneurs through training and business development support in order for the businesses to be profitable, competitive and sustainable (www.edcethiopia.org).
Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.