By virtue of the passage of The Local Governance Act (2016), which states that the Social Development Commissions (SDC) is “To provide for the registration of community groups and civil society organisations, in accordance with such criteria as may be prescribed and to maintain a register of groups so registered, in such form as may be prescribed”, the SDC Registry of Community Groups & Civil Society Organisations was established.
The Registry’s main goal is to have a register of legally recognized Community Groups and Civil Society Organisations that are highly functional in governance, fiscal operations and addressing developmental challenges. The programme has two main objectives:
- To register Community Groups & Civil Society Organisations.
- To ensure that the operations of all registered community groups and CSOs, are in adherence to the Local Governance Act (2016).
There are four main functions of the Registry, namely:
- Issuance of registration status in keeping with the Local Governance Act (2016).
- Inspection of records, accounts, and securities and other assets of governance structures,
- Execution of Audits and Pre-audit checks to ensure audit readiness.
- Technical assistance at Annual General Meetings in respect of adherence to the Act and Regulations, Rules etc.
Although, initially slated to be open to the public in April 2020, due to delays with the development of the Regulations to support the Local Governance Act the Registry opening has been delayed. The Registry Team has been working with the Legal Department and the Local Government Reform Unit to address these issues as well as ones raised during our sensitization sessions with our stakeholders. Naturally, the response to COVID – 19 has delayed the swiftness of this process. None the less, we continue to develop our internal processes and documentation in anticipation of our opening.