SANGOCO Constitution
Adopted by the National Assembly on the
21st of September 1997


Whereas we representatives of Provincial and Sectoral NGO Coalitions noting
  • That the positive political changes in South Africa have created new challenges for the NGO community;
  • That such challenges can be best addressed through a concerned effort of an organised NGO community;
  • That though not being a homogeneous community we are united in purpose;
  • That we have been mandated by our respective consortia to establish the South African National NGO Coalition


To establish a National NGO Coalition whose main purpose shall be to create and maintain an enabling environment for the NGO community; promote people-centred participatory development; influence national development policy; and promote participatory democracy.


The name of the organisation shall be the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), hereinafter referred to as "the Coalition".


The Coalition is an association not for gain, registered under Section 21 of the Companies Act of 1967, as amended. Registration No. 97/05123/08.


The Coalition shall be a body corporate with a personality of its own, separate from its members. Without derogating from the generality thereof, the Coalition shall have the following capacities"
  • To acquire rights and obligations in its own name
  • To enter into legal transactions and commercial traffics
  • To acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property
  • To sue and be sued in its own name
  • To have perpetual succession
  • To raise funds locally and abroad and spend the same, pursuant to its objectives


The objectives of the Coalition are as follows:

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(a)To work towards creating an enabling environment by influencing legislative framework in which NGOs operate.
(b) To identify development priorities and seek to influence donors, grant makers, organised business and other stakeholders to support the Coalitions' development agenda.
(c) To promote community participation in the conceptualisation, implementation and evaluation of the reconstruction and development of South Africa.
(d) To conceptualise and implement advocacy programmes aimed at lobbying for policies which advance the interests of marginalized (e.g. the poor women and rural) members of our society.
(e) To build the institutional capacity of sectoral and provincial networks to effectively meet the needs of their affiliates.
(f) To support sectoral and provincial networks in their endeavours to lobby for an enabling framework environment in their respective spheres of operation.
(g) To initiate discussion and stimulate debate amongst member organisations on strategic issues affecting the NGO sector.
(h) To assist member organisations to identify and address opportunities and threats in the socio-economic environment, which may advance or constraint the work of their respective organisations.
(i) To promote cross-border networking and cross pollination of information, knowledge and development experience in Southern Africa and other parts of the world.
(j) To address the NGO leadership crises by sponsoring management and leadership development programmes.
(k) To promote collaboration amongst NGOs working in the same geographical area or sector
(l) To affiliate to Southern African, African and International NGO structures and seek to influence socio-economic policies in the SADC community.
(m)To collaborate with other organs of civil society (for example, organised labour and religious organisations) in building a strong national as well as regional civil society.


6.1 Full Membership

Any indigenous NGO which subscribes to the aims, objectives and Code of Ethics shall be entitled to become a full member of the Coalition by joining that Coalition's Provincial and accredited sectoral structures and fulfilling its financial and other obligations commensurate with such membership.
6.1.1(a)Full members of the Coalition shall be entitled to elect their Provincial and Sectoral representatives, respectively, to the National Council of the Coalition.
6.1.1(b)Through their elected representatives full members shall be entitled to participate in the business of the National Assembly.

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6.1.1(c)Provinces may choose to nominate full time or part time employees of full member organisations to attend the National Council, but only full-time employees of such organisations shall be eligible for election as office bearers.
6.1.1(d)Member organisations shall be entitled to direct participation in the business of the Provincial or Sectoral structures through which they are affiliated to the National NGO Coalition.
6.1.1(f)Member organisations shall be obliged to meet financial and other obligations as shall be determined from time to time by the National Assembly or any of its competent organs.

6.2 Associate Membership

Associate Membership shall be available to:
  • Any foreign NGO that undertakes development work in South Africa
  • Any indigenous NGO that prefers not to, or is unwilling to take up full membership
  • Any local, national, international or foreign grant-maker, foundation or funding institution; which subscribes to the aims and objectives of the Coalition and agree to be bound by the clauses of the Code of Ethics applicable to such organisation or institution.

6.2.1 Rights and Obligations of Associate Members

6.2.1(a) Associate members shall be entitled to attend meetings and participate in all business transactions of the Coalition provided that they shall not have the right to vote; provided further that employees of associate member organisations, be they citizens of the Republic of South Africa or not, shall not be eligible to hold office in any of the structures of the Coalition.
6.2.1(b) Associate members shall be obliged to meet financial and any other obligations as the National Assembly or any of its designated organs shall from time to time determine.

6.3 Loss of Membership

6.3.1 A member organisation of the South African National NGO Coalition shall cease to be a member by giving notice to that effect, in writing, to its sectoral or provincial structure, as the case may be, at least one month prior to the effective date of the intended resignation.
6.3.2(a) A member organisation shall also cease to be a member if its membership is terminated by a relevant sectoral or provincial network for misconduct, failure to adhere to the Code of Ethics or for bringing the name of the South African National NGO Coalition into disrepute.
6.3.2(b) A member NGO against which a charge of misconduct is laid shall be entitled to a fair hearing before dismissal, provided that its membership shall be suspended for the duration of the investigation and the impending inquiry.
6.3.3 Membership of any organisation indebted to the Coalition for membership fee or any other financial obligation shall automatically

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  lapse if the organisation in question fails to meet such obligation notwithstanding a reminder giving such organisation no more than 30 days to fulfil the obligation.


7.1 National Assembly

The National Assembly shall be the highest decision-making organ of the Coalition.

7.1.1 Composition of the National Assembly

The National Assembly shall consist of the following voting delegates:

  • Three representatives of each of the Provincial Coalitions;
  • Three representatives of each accredited National Sectoral Coalitions;
  • Two representatives of each of the approved but unaccredited sectoral structures.
And the following non-voting delegates.-
  • A representative of each associate member,
  • Observers, provided they have been granted such status by the Assembly or its designated organs;
  • Individuals who represent NGOs with full membership status who come of their own accord provided they receive accreditation from their NGOs and the National Office to attend.
The National Assembly shall also consist of voting and non-voting delegates and National office-bearers.

7.1.2 Meetings of the National Assembly

The National Assembly shall meet once every year, at a time and place determined by the National Council. The business of the National Assembly shall be inter alia to:
  • Review the Coalition mandate,
  • Receive review and adopt a report of the National Council,
  • Review the strategic objectives of the Coalition,
  • Adopt the financial statement of the Coalition,
  • Ratify the members of the National Council,
  • Elect a new Executive Committee every two years,
  • Amend the Constitution, policies, procedures and standing orders of the Coalition.
Resolution at the National Assembly shall be adopted by a quorum of 50% plus 1 of the members present.

7.2 National Council

The National Council shall conduct the affairs of the Coalition, whilst the National Assembly is not in session.

7.2.1 Composition

The Council shall consist of one representative of each of the Provincial and Sectoral constituencies, elected by their respective sectoral and provincial structures prior to the National Assembly, and ratified by the Assembly, provided that such persons are full time employees of organisations with full membership status.

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7.2.2 Duties of the National Council

  (a)determine broad policy guidelines on behalf of the National Assembly
(b)decide on project priorities for the Coalition
(c)act on behalf of the Assembly, when the latter is not in session
(d)implement decisions taken by the National Assembly

7.2.3 Meetings of the National Council

The National Council shall meet twice per annum.

7.3 Executive Committee

7.3.1The Executive Committee shall be an implementing organ of the National Council
7.3.2The term of office of the Executive shall be two years,
7.3.3In electing the Executive Committee, the following procedure shall apply:
  a)The National Executive shall meet at least two months before the date of the National Assembly to appoint the Electoral Committee to oversee the election process.
b)The Electoral Committee shall upon being appointed call for nomination of candidates for each of the executive committee positions.
c)Only nominations which have been signed by the nominator, seconder and candidate proposed shall be considered for election.
d)Only nominations submitted by a representative of a Provincial Structure, accredited Sector or a full member organisation shall be considered by the Electoral Committee.
e)No nominations submitted after the deadline proposed and announced by the Electoral Committee shall be accepted.
f)Notwithstanding anything to the contrary no nominations submitted to the Electoral Committee at the commencement or during the sitting of the Assembly shall be considered.
g)Voting shall take place at the National Assembly by secret ballot.

7.3.1 Composition

The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, two Deputy Presidents, Treasurer, Secretary, Deputy Secretary and two additional members, as well as the Executive Director and his/her representative at his/her discretion.

7.3.2 Functions of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall function as de jure board of the Coalition, entrusted with the following duties:

  a) to ensure that the programmes of the Coalition are undertaken in the a manner consistent with the policy framework, approved by the National Council and National Assembly
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  b) to act as a custodian of the vision of the Coalition
c) to act on behalf of the National Council while the latter is not in session
d) to represent the Coalition in public (through the President, Deputy President or any nominee of the President)
e) to decide on priority projects
f) to carry out the decisions taken by the National Council
g) to supervise the Executive Director
h) to take and execute such decisions as necessary for the efficient and effective running of the Coalition -
i) to approve the budget of the Coalition
j) appoint senior staff of the Coalition
k) to undertake tasks delegated by the National Council.


8.1 Provincial and Sectoral Coalitions

All provincial and sectoral Coalitions shall synchronise their election of the Executive members with the National Assembly elections. To this end, elections of the National Sectoral Executives and Provincial Executives shall be held at least three months before the date of the succeeding National Assembly.

8.2 National Council

8.2.1 Notwithstanding the provision of clause 8.1 each Provincial Coalition and National Sectoral Coalition shall nominate a candidate to represent their sector or province in succeeding National Assembly.

8.3 The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be elected by the National Assembly, from amongst other members of the National Executive Council.

8.3.1 Dual Leadership Positions

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this constitution, no member of the executive committee of the National NGO Coalition shall, during his/her term of office as such, hold or continue to hold an executive position in a Provincial or Sectoral structure as the case may, on the understanding that every member of the executive committee shall remain a de facto ex officio member of his/her constituency.


Any member of the National Council will lose his/her position in the National Council if he/she:

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9.1ceases to be a member of an ex officio committee (provincial or sectoral) that elected him/her to the National Council,
9.2is withdrawn from the National Council by the constituency that elected him/her,
9.3ceases to be a full time employee of an NGO with full membership status,
9.4is expelled by a competent organ of the Coalition, for just cause.


Any member of the Executive shall cease to be such member if:
10.1he/she ceases to be full-time employee of an NGO with full membership status
10.2is expelled by a competent organ of the Coalition for just cause


11.1If a vacancy occurs in the National Council, the Provincial or Sectoral structure that loses its candidates by virtue thereof shall be entitled to elect a substitute.
11.2If a vacancy occurs in the Executive Committee in between National Assemblies, the National Council shall be entitled to elect, from amongst its members, a candidate to fill the vacancy.


The National Executive and the National Council will be assisted in its work by the National Office. This office of full-time staff will be responsible for implementing the mandated programmes of the Coalition as agreed at the NEC and NC meetings and for the day-to-day operations of the Coalition under the leadership of the Executive Director appointed by the NEC.


13.1The National NGO Council may be dissolved by resolution passed at a National Assembly, by at least two thirds majority of delegates eligible to vote, provided that notice of such resolution shall have been sent to all competent organs of the National Assembly at least 3 months prior to the proposed date of the meeting of the National Assembly.

In the event of the National NGO Coalition is dissolved in terms of article 9.1 or any other law of the land, all assets belonging to the National NGO Coalition at the material time, shall be transferred to another voluntary association not for gain, agreed to by the National Assembly, provided that the aims and objectives of such other association are not repugnant to the those of the National NGO Coalition.

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