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Foreign aid and NGO-state relations in South Africa : post-1994 development

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dc.contributor.advisor Leysens AJ, Dr en
dc.contributor.author Rammutle R en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T08:34:37Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T08:34:37Z
dc.date.submitted 2004 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/31156
dc.description.abstract This study investigates the impact of foreign aid on the relations between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the state in South Africa since 1994. There are three different ways in which NGOs can interact with the state and public policy: viz, they can support and help to implement policies, attempt to reform policies, or oppose them. During "apartheid", the nature of NGO-state relations was characterised by political confrontation and distrust. NGOs primarily served as organisations of opposition to the state's exclusivist and dehumanising policies. Many NGOs, however, also provided developmental and social services to communities who were neglected by the apartheid state. After the first democratic election in 1994, the role of NGOs underwent a significant process of change. Various factors contributed to this change. This study, however, primarily focuses on the role of foreign aid and its effect on NGO activities in South Africa, post-1994. This study relied on secondary data sources (both qualitative and quantitative) available in the area of NGO state relations. The study also focused on two major donor agencies in South Africa: European Union (EU) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Analysis of data reveals that, since 1994 much of the funding that was previously directly channeled to civil society now goes to the state, which distributes it to targeted NGOs. As a result many NGOs have collapsed because of a shortage of financial resources to sustain their work. Secondly, since 1994 the rationale and purpose behind international donor policies has been to advance the New Policy Agenda (NPA), which is aimed at promoting free market-orientated reforms and the consolidation of liberal democracy. As a result, foreign aid donors have endorsed the liberal economic policies, which are set out in the government's macroeconomic strategy, viz. Growth, Employment, and Redistribution (GEAR). Thus, both government and donors have prioritised NGOs who are involved in service delivery rather than those that are likely to challenge and oppose liberal market policies. They have also shown preference to NGOs that are more concerned with the norms and practices of procedural democracy as opposed to those that are concerned with issues of participatory and social democracy. This has resulted in constraining the overtly political and advocacy role, which characterised NGOs during the apartheid era. International donors, via government disbursement institutions such as the National Development Agency (NDA), have also constrained the work of NGOs by insisting on numerous managerial related requirements that have been made conditional for the receiving of financial support. Many small, informal, rural community based organisation that lack the required administrative capacity have, as a result, been facing serious financial crises. Subsequently, NGO-state relations, since 1994, have become less adversarial and confrontational. Most NGOs complement and support the state's social services delivery programmes and also serve as organisations which help shape the norms and practices of procedural democracy. The study concludes, that the persistent inequality, poverty and unemployment which is associated with the GEAR macroeconomic policy and endorsed by international donor agencies, will lead to the resurgence of advocacy NGOs. Furthermore, in order to resuscitate their role and to ensure their vitality as organisations, which promote participatory democracy, it is essential to focus on strategies, which can effectively challenge the current funding environment to NGOs. These include, building the administrative capacity of both the NDA and NGOs, ensuring NDA independence, and ensuring recognition by funding institutions of the importance of advocacy NGOs in the consolidation of economic democracy. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Politics in South Africa en
dc.title Foreign aid and NGO-state relations in South Africa : post-1994 development en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MA en


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