When you want to register a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) you have a number of options:

  1. Register with CIPC as a Non-Profit Company (NPC) registration:
    You can register as an NPC with CIPC with their standard Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) or create a customised MOI in conjunction with your attorney or auditors.
  2. Create a Voluntary Association (VA):
    You will create a constitution for the Association reflecting all the relevant information and aligning with all legislation and requirements for your type of entity.
  3. Register as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) with the Directorate of Non-Profits:
    You can also visit the Directorate of NPOs website and download their documentation to register with them as an NPO.
  4. Create a Trust:
    Through your attorneys, you can also create a non-profit trust to achieve the philanthropical goals of your organisation.

Irrespective of your organisational type, you also have to register with SARS for different types of taxes depending on the size and goals of your organisation. It is advisable to register as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) with the SARS Tax Exemption Unit (TEU) within the requirements of the PBO Registrations and PBO Activities that you want to deliver. If you comply with certain PBO Activities, you can also apply for a Section 18A status with the TEU, whereafter you will be able to issue Section 18A Certificates for income tax deductions to your donors.

The General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Act, 2022

This act effected changes to the Non-profit Organisations Act that will impact all Non-Profit entities, irrespective of how you are constituted.

Previously, registration by a non-profit entity with the NPO Directorate within the Department of Social Development was voluntary. You were only required to register with them if you wanted to receive Government funding.

However, with effect from 1 April 2023, non-profit entities that make donations to individuals or organisations outside South Africa or provide humanitarian, charitable, religious, educational or cultural services outside South Africa, and which are not already registered with the Directorate of Non-Profits, will be required to do so.

If, as of 1 April 2023, such a non-profit is not registered, it will be afforded a limited amount of time (still to be advised in a Government Gazette) within which to register. Applications can however be made immediately if you are doing the above activities outside of the borders of South Africa.

The NPO Directorate, as a public office, holds information about registered NPOs for the public to access. This thus increases the transparency and accountability of the organisations beyond its immediate role-players.

It is important to act on this as soon as possible since failure to register by the end of the gazetted period will amount to a contravention of the NPO Act and the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Act, 2022, which will be subject to serious administrative sanctions.