Non-Profit Organizations Act

For optimal readability, we highly recommend downloading the document PDF, which you can do below.

Document Information:

  • Year:
  • Country: South Africa
  • Language: English
  • Document Type: Domestic Law or Regulation
  • Topic:

The objects of this Act are to encourage and support nonprofit organisations in their contribution to meeting the diverse needs of the population of the Republic by-
(a) creating an environment in which nonprofit organisations can flourish;
(b) establishing an administrative and regulatory framework within which nonprofit organisations can conduct their affairs;
(c) encouraging nonprofit organisations to maintain adequate standards of governance, transparency and accountability and to improve those standards;
(d) creating an environment within which the public may have access to information concerning registered nonprofit organisations, and
(e) promoting a spirit of co-operation and shared responsibility within government, donors and amongst other interested persons in their dealings with nonprofit organisations.
Within the limits prescribed by law, every organ of state must determine and co-ordinate the implementation of its policies and measures in a manner designed to promote, support and enhance the capacity of nonprofit organisations to perform their functions.
The Minister may prescribe benefits or allowances applicable to registered nonprofit organisations, after consultation with the committees of the two Houses of Parliament responsible for welfare and with the concurrence of every Minister whose department is affected by a particular benefit or allowance.
Requirements for registration
Any nonprofit organisation that is not an organ of state may apply to the director for registration.
Unless the laws in terms of which a nonprofit organisation is established or incorporated make provisions for the matters in this subsection, the constitution of a nonprofit organisation that intends to register must-
(a) state the organisation’s name;
(b) state the organisation’s main and ancillary objectives;
(c) state that the organisation’s income and property are not distributable 
to its members or office-bearers, except as reasonable compensation for 
services rendered;
(d) make provision for the organisation to be a body corporate and have 
an identity and existence distinct from its members or office-bearers;
(e) make provision for the organisations continued existence 
notwithstanding changes in the composition of its membership or office- 
(f) ensure that the members or office-bearers have no rights in the 
property or other assets of the organisation solely by virtue of their being 
members or office-bearers;
(g) specify the powers of the organisation;
(h) specify the organisational structures and mechanisms for its 
(i) set out the rules for convening and conducting meetings, including 
quorums required for and the minutes to be kept of those meetings;
(j) determine the manner in which decisions are to be made;
(k) (provide that the organisation’s financial transactions must be 
conducted by means of a banking account:
(l) determine a date for the end of the organisation’s financial year;
(m) set out a procedure for changing the constitution;
(n) set out a procedure by which the organisation may be wound up or 
dissolved; and
(o) provide that, when the organisation is being wound up or dissolved, 
any asset remaining after all its liabilities have been met, must be transferred to another nonprofit organisation having similar objectives.
The constitution of a nonprofit organisation that intends to register, may
(a) specify qualifications for and admission to membership of the organisation;
(b) determine the circumstances in which a member will no longer be entitled to the benefits of membership;
(c) provide for termination of membership
(d) provide for appeals against loss of the benefits of membership or 
against termination of membership and specify the procedure for those appeals and determine the body to which those appeals may be made:
(e) provide for membership fees and matters determining membership fees and other payments by members;
(f) provide that members or office-bearers do not become liable for any of the obligations and liabilities of the organisation solely by virtue of their status as members or office-bearers of the organisation;
(g) provide for the appointment of office-bearers and define their respective functions;
(h) set out a procedure for nominating, electing or appointing office- bearers;
(i) determine the circumstances and manner in which office-bearers may be removed from office and provide for appeals against such removal and specify procedures for those appeals and determine a body to which those appeals can be made:
(j) provide that its office-bearers are not personally liable for any loss suffered by any person as a result of an act or omission which occurs in good faith while the office-bearer is performing functions for or on behalf of the organisation;
(k) provide for making investments;
(l) determine the purposes for which the funds of the organisation 
may be used; and
(m) provide for acquiring and controlling assets