How Do I Register A Nonprofit In South Africa?

NPOs include trusts, companies or other associations of persons established for a public purpose.

Registering your NPO is beneficial because:

  • improves your credibility and funding opportunities
  • allows your organisation to open a bank account
  • helps your organisation with tax incentives.

To register, you must be one of the following:

  • non-governmental organisation (NGO)
  • community-based organisation (CBO)
  • faith-based organisation (FBO).

How to apply

  1. Submit the completed NPO application form at your nearest provincial social development office.together with two copies of the organisation’s founding documents:
    • Trust – Deeds of trust and letter of authorisation from the courts
    • Section 21 – Certificate of incorporation and memorandum and articles of association
    • Voluntary Association – Constitution
    • The founding documents of the NPO must meet the provisions of Section 12 (A-O) of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997 (Act 71 of 1997).  If you fail to do that, your application will be rejected.
      • You can submit your application at your nearest provincial Social Development office, post it to The Directorate, Non-profit organisations, Department of Social Development, Private Bag X901, Pretoria, 0001 or deliver it by hand to the Department of Social Development, 134 Pretorius Street, HSRC Building, Pretoria.
  2. If you are dissatisfied with the rejection or cancellation of your organisation’s certificate, you may launch an appeal to the panel arbitrators .
  3. Once it is registered, you  must submit the organisation’s annual report nine months after its financial year-end. The annual report should consist of a narrative report and a financial report.

It is a criminal offence for an organisation to operate under the pretence of a registered NPO. Various government departments offer funding for various services.

How long will the process take?

  • It may take approximately two months to process the entire registration.
  • Once your application has been received, the department will send you an acknowledgement letter. A registration certificate will be issued if your application meets the requirements of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997.

How much does it cost?

The service is free.

Forms to complete

(Forms are provided in PDF format. To open PDF documents, you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 or higher installed on your computer.)

Important Contacts and Links

Department of Social Development provincial offices contact list.

Department of Social DevelopmentNonprofit Organisation Act, 1997 (Act 71 of 1997

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