Globally the NGO network is suffering, as the economic downturn has led to Corporates and Governments alike reducing funding support. International funders such as the World Bank, USAID and LHL have slashed their budgets and the impact on the social support sector everywhere is dire.
Yet here in South Africa, we have gone beyond the simple matter of lack of money due to a reduced economy, to what appears almost to be a deliberate strategy to pull funding from civil society and divert it elsewhere. In South Africa, we have discovered Enterprise as the new utopia, and if not enterprise, its dreamy cousin, Social Enterprise.
In practice, this means that traditional funding from sources such as the Lotto is now being denied to reputable organisations like the Highway Hospice in KZN, who provide essential support to hundreds of dying patients annually, on the basis that they “should be sustainable by now”. In other words, the Lotto has decided that the Hospice should be a Social Enterprise – an organisation that makes money while it helps people to die with dignity? Possible perhaps in affluent populations, but completely unreasonable in the poor communities in which it operates. Read More