The Code of Good Practice
Section 6(1)b of the NPO Act also tasks the NPO Directorate (housed within the Department of Social Development) with the preparation and issue of Codes of Good Practice for NGOs.
The first draft of the Code was published in 2001. But, the Act did not (and this is still the case) regulate government responsibility for implementing the Code. What this means, is that government provides no support, in terms of its statutory mandate, to strengthen regulatory mechanisms within organisations. Across the sector, therefore, the Code of Good Practice for NGOs is largely regarded merely as an effort to encourage registered organisations to ensure that their founding documents comply with the basic requirements of good governance, in terms of the NPO Act.
In a 2009 benchmark study commissioned by the Department of Social Development, 82% of NGOs were found to be unaware of the existence of the DSD Code of Good Practice for NPOs, although an increasing amount of work was being done across the non-profit sector to develop an independent code of conduct as a means to enhance and strengthen good governance practice. The Independent Code of Governance for Non-Profit Organisations in South Africa which was developed collectively by organisations in the non-profit sector (and published in July 2012), emerged out of a process of consultation with civil society organisations and other key stakeholders.