Legal Considerations

Dispute resolution clauses in founding documents

| Nicole Copley | NGO Law | Legal Considerations
We quite often see standard ‘quick fix’ or arbitration dispute resolution clauses included in founding documents such as trust deeds, MOIs and constitutions. These dispute resolution clauses originate from contracts, and as a way to try to have people who have signed an agreement resolve matters faster and cheaper, before resorting to tedious and expensive legal process. Whether they are ‘independent expert’ or ‘quick arbitration’ clauses, the idea is that parties with competing views and in...

NPC Advice: What is a 'unique MOI' and do we need one?

| Nicole Copley | NGO Law | Legal Considerations
Many NPCs which are registered in a hurry or without any understanding of the importance of the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) of an NPC are often established with the CIPC standard form MOI as their founding document. At ngoLAW we only register with a standard CIPC MOI as a short-term emergency measure when the NPC needs to be registered fast and it is felt that there is not sufficient time for the board to engage with the process of drafting a “unique” MOI. (“Unique” is what the Companie...

What does 'ex-officio' mean?

| Nicole Copley | NGO Law | Legal Considerations
The widely misunderstood term 'ex-officio' means “by virtue of another office held” and simply means that the person automatically becomes a board member because of some other position they are in. Those who serve ‘ex officio’ are not voted on, do not resign and are not subject to terms of office, as they are in when they are in the (other) office, and out when they leave. Please note that the “ex officio” status does not mean that they are non-voting on the board. If anyone (the CEO, the C...

POPIA Compliance update: Resources and options

| Nicole Copley | NGO Law | Legal Considerations
The ‘D’ day for POPIA compliance has come and gone. Some of us have it all sussed and sorted, some had good intentions but have been diverted by other dramas, and some are still wondering whether they need to engage with POPIA (for the last lot, yes you do!) The good news is that the Information Regulator’s office seems to be as stuck as its website still is, with the Information Officer registration portal still not accessible due to technical difficulties. Our suspicion is that the technic...

Regulations relevant to NPOs

| Ricardo Wyngaard | The NPO Lawyer | Legal Considerations
The following two sets of Regulations have important implications for NPOs. Regulations relating to the Protection of Personal Information The Information Regulator has, under section 112 (2) of the Protection of Personal Information Act, Act No. 4 of 2013 (the Act) made regulations (the POPI Regulations), which were published on 14 December 2018. The POPI Regulations make, amongst other, provision for the responsibilities of an 'information officer' as referred to under section 55 of the ...

NPOs & Fixed Term Contracts

| Ricardo Wyngaard | The NPO Lawyer | Legal Considerations
In 2016 the Labour Court (the Court)  delivered a judgment in which it held that a non- profit organisation’s dismissal of an employee on the grounds of operational requirements was procedurally and substantively fair. The Court also provided some interesting findings on fixed term contracts within that context.  Runguma v Civicus: World Alliance for Citizen Participation Inc (JS100/2012B) [2016] ZALCJHB 178 (12 May 2016) Synopsis of facts Mr Sebastian Runguma was employed at Civ...

“Changing” the legal structure of your NPO

| Ziyo | Accountants with heart, and Nicole Copley | Legal Considerations
It has surprised us how often staff, or governing body, members of non-profit organisations (“NPO’s”) have not been able to tell us which legal structure their organisation is established as – “we are an NPO” they insist! The Nonprofit Organisations Act defines, in section 1, an NPO as a trust, company or other association of persons established for a public purpose, the income and property of which are not distributable to its members or office bearers, except as reasonable compensation for...

POPIA and fundraising

| Ricardo Wyngaard | The NPO Lawyer | Legal Considerations
The word ‘donation’ is contained once within the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). This will likely change the fundraising game for NPOs in South Africa. Section 1 of POPIA defines ‘direct marketing’ and provides that it means, amongst other, to approach a data subject, either in person or by mail or electronic communication, for the direct or indirect purpose of requesting the data subject to make a donation of any kind for any reason. Effectively, the solicitation of donatio...

'A disturbing picture'

| Ricardo Wyngaard | The NPO Lawyer | Legal Considerations
The Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, has on 03 November 2020 launched the Know Your NPO Status Campaign, which outlined ‘the process of deregistration of noncompliant NPOs’. The Department of Social Development (the Department) stated that: “As of September 2020, 233 180 NPOs were registered with the Department and only 30% of the registered NPOs were compliant.” This, according to the Department is: ‘a disturbing picture'. Large-scale non-compliance of the NPO Act has e...

Other Resources

Developing a basic comms plan

Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit
19 July 2021

Stop wasting your time on social media

Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit
19 July 2021

Acting outside your objects - Tax and other consequences

Nicole Copley | NGO Law
12 October 2021

Top 5 tax myths for non-profits

Ziyo | Accountants with heart
19 July 2021

How to banish burnout at NPOs

Feryal Domingo | Inyathelo, The South African Institute for Advancement
07 September 2021

To keep going or to close down?

Seelan Naidoo | Public Ethos Consulting
03 March 2021

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