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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:On the horns of a dilemma: non-profit organisations' relations with the State in post-apartheid South Africa
Author:De Wet, Jacques P.ISNI
Periodical:Africanus (ISSN 0304-615X)
Geographic term:South Africa
State-society relationship
civil society
Abstract:In post-apartheid South Africa, the government expects non-profit organizations (NPOs) to safeguard the interests of the poor and assist it with service delivery. A number of factors, the political environment in particular, make it difficult for NPOs to be critical of the State's public policy priorities and practices, and yet collaborate with the State. Do NPOs have to sacrifice their social watchdog role in order to collaborate with the State in delivering services? Or, is there 'sufficient courage, and tolerance for ambiguity within the South African culture and system to allow NPOs to remain perched on the horns of this dilemma?', as M. Swilling and B. Russell (2002) state. The present paper discusses these questions in the context of civil society's relations with the State and the role of civil society in a democratic South Africa. It draws on documentary research and in-depth interviews to briefly examine how the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the Surplus People Project (SPP) have succeeded in playing the dual roles. These two organizations also illustrate the difficulties that NPOs may experience in trying to balance these two roles. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]