Challenges facing NGOs in the field in South Africa

Many NGOs use sport as a means of development in Africa, and especially South Africa. But what are the challenges facing these organisations and how can they be overcome?
There are many challenges facing sport in South African schools

Post-apartheid South Africa manifests poor social indicators with over half the population living below the poverty line and the worst levels of inequality in the world. Sport suffered in this system resulting in unequal access to sporting facilities and opportunities, meaning many South Africans cannot exercise their right to play.

The Case for Sport
Despite this legacy, sport can fulfil a vital developmental role. The state has a major role to play but it must be supported by civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who have the ability to deliver in situations where government has struggled.

This Masters thesis researches the opportunities and challenges NGOs encounter when using sport for development within the education system, in post-apartheid South Africa. This study used a qualitative approach to collect data on the opportunities and challenges encountered by two NGOs based in Cape Town that use sport as a means of development.

Challenges Facing NGOs
The study suggests that NGOs face a variety of conceptual, technical, logistical and organisational challenges using sport in schools. The interaction between NGOs, schools and the Department of Education is a complicated process that presents obstacles and opportunities.

Nevertheless, despite these challenges it is clear NGOs can support schools in South Africa to optimise their physical activity programmes in the backdrop of a stagnating education system and a lack of sporting support from the government. The observations in this study suggest that, particularly in the context of education, a partnership policy model of NGO work is preferred.
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