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Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1997
Length: 21 pages

Abstract

The end of the apartheid government in South Africa signals myriad changes in that society -- including a basic examination of how government should regulate philanthropic and nonprofit, non-governmental organizations. Such groups fell into two major categories -- traditional charities, most of which were formally organized, and community-based organizations, some of them informal, which had been part of the vanguard of apartheid opposition. When the post-apartheid government drafts legislation to oversee NGOs, controversy erupts. What proponents view as necessary financial safeguards, some NGO leaders view as potential government interference. The case allows for discussion of basic issues about the relationship between the public and non-governmental sectors -- and the contours of civil society.

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Abstract

The end of the apartheid government in South Africa signals myriad changes in that society -- including a basic examination of how government should regulate philanthropic and nonprofit, non-governmental organizations. Such groups fell into two major categories -- traditional charities, most of which were formally organized, and community-based organizations, some of them informal, which had been part of the vanguard of apartheid opposition. When the post-apartheid government drafts legislation to oversee NGOs, controversy erupts. What proponents view as necessary financial safeguards, some NGO leaders view as potential government interference. The case allows for discussion of basic issues about the relationship between the public and non-governmental sectors -- and the contours of civil society.

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