6 August 2018 by and Pro Bono and Human Rights Alert

NGO pro bono workshop

On 24 July 2018, CDH’s Pro Bono & Human Rights, Tax & Exchange Control, Employment, Dispute Resolution and Corporate & Commercial practices collaborated with ProBono.Org to host a day-long NGO workshop at our Sandton offices. The objective was to provide participants with some basic knowledge to empower and equip them to run legally compliant entities.

A group of approximately 50 individuals representing an array of NGO’s from different sectors namely legal, education, child care and health, attended the workshop, with some travelling from as far as Orange Farm, Dobsonville and Tembisa to participate in the activities.

Director, Yaniv Kleitman from our Corporate and Commercial Practice, commenced the workshop with a discussion on the different types of legal vehicles that NGO’s can utilise, their pros and cons, general compliance issues, MOIs, registration of entities and boards of directors. He finished off with a basic introduction to trusts. Engaged and eager to participate, attendees fired various questions at Yaniv, all of which were answered by him in great detail and with such skill that some of the attendees jokingly expressed a desire to employ him as their in-house counsel.

Associate, Louis Botha from our Tax & Exchange Control Practice, began the afternoon sessions with a discussion on a basic guide to tax compliance for NGOs focussing in particular on PBOs, tax benefits to donors, 18A certificates and a general discussion on VAT, transfer duty and dividend tax. Attendees were so eager for further information that Louis had to promise to circulate additional tax guides to try and assist with their tax-related questions, going forward.

One of the highlights of the workshop was the presentation by Director, Michael Yeates and Associate, Bheki Nhlapho from our Employment Practice, who dealt in great detail with the importance of employment contracts, basic conditions of employment, obligations towards voluntary, part time and full-time employees along with independent contractors. The attendees entered into lively debates with the speakers around the terms of employment contracts and whether someone was indeed a fixed term or a permanent employee - demonstrating that employment issues affect all entities and NGOs alike.

The workshop ended on a high note with a presentation by Director, Burton Meyer and Senior Associate, Nicole Meyer from our Dispute Resolution Practice on delinquent directors and the processes involved to remove such directors.

The attendees found the workshop extremely informative and thoroughly enjoyed the day as demonstrated by their engagement throughout the programme and the many requests that the NGO workshop become an annual event.

Thank you to all the presenters for your enthusiasm, professionalism and willingness to partner with us in rolling out this truly meaningful event.

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