Historically the civil society movement, which was either represented by formalised or informal structures, played a central role in opposing injustice, discrimination and supporting development transformation and democratisation initiatives. Nowadays the voice of the non-profit sector seems to have dissipated into the background, mainly due to lack of funding. There are several organisations with very good programmes that have had to close their doors because of this. Kagiso Trust is one of the few surviving NGOs whose foresight in the establishment of a reliable own-funding mechanism, has managed to keep it afloat. It is for this reason that KT has taken the lead in helping to revitilise the non-profit sector.
In 2013 the Leverage Fund assisted the South African Council of Churches (SACC) in developing a turnaround-strategy that will assist them to become financially viable. Historically the SACC has played a significant driving force in the fight against injustice, discrimination, etc. There is a critical role for ecumenical structures like the SACC in entrenching democracy and moral regeneration programmes.
In addition, the Leverage Fund has, and continues to support, the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB). Playing a meaningful role in the delivery of quality education while working together with school governing bodies, is the Trust’s mandate for the NASGB. Lack of participation by parents, especially in public schools, echoes President Jacob Zuma’s sentiment that “education is a societal issue” and organisations such as the NASGB can go a long way in addressing and changing these issues. KT has observed with shock the deterioration of disciple in the public school system. This reality further highlights the importance of active and effective school governing bodies within public schools.
Over the next few years will see Kagiso Trust working with various organisations in the non-profit sector to look at ways in which the KT model of being financially viable can be emulated.