DGMT NGO Commons - A Resource for Enhancing Good Governance and Accountability

A Resource for Enhancing Good Governance and Accountability

Registering as a Nonprofit Organisation (NPO) – the role of the NPO Directorate?

The Nonprofit Organisations Directorate is housed within the South African Department of Social Development. The Directorate was established in terms of the NPO Act, primarily to administer a Register of Nonprofit Organisations in South Africa.

It is important to understand that the Register of Nonprofit Organisations is a voluntary registration facility. Organisations are, therefore, not obliged to register with this facility.

However, the Register is widely accepted as a public record of NGOs in South Africa and registration does imply that organisations have been able to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the NPO Act, particularly with respect to regulatory laws and governance structures. Registered organisations are also required to regularly report to the Directorate.

It is worth remembering that a willingness on the part of organisations to show this level of transparency and accountability is often the reason why funders ask to see – and place high value on – a NPO registration certificate and registration number which is issued by the Directorate on registration.

The Directorate has an online NPO registration process.