On the 28th of May the National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices (Nadcao) hosted a scenario planning session, to discuss the future of Nadcao. The session was attended by delegates from government, civil society and funding organisations, as well as the Council of the Association of Community Advice offices South Africa (ACAOSA).
A 2014 organisational review of Nadcao came up with three possible trajectories for the organisation following the end of its current mandate at the end of 2016. The following three scenrios were tabled by the review:
- After the three-year transition period all key functions of Nadcao should be transferred to ACAOSA and Nadcao should cease to exist.
- ACAOSA should only be a co-ordinating body. All other functions should be done by Nadcao.
- Nadcao must continue but with a newly defined role, especially high end functions.
At the start of the session the Director of Nadcao, Nomboniso Nangu and Advocate Anil Naidoo of Indiba-Africa Group, made it clear that in the organizing of the conference it was important for them to hear the opinions of members of ACAOSA who were out on the field, as they had first-hand knowledge of what the sector needs and where it needs to be in the coming years.
Delegates that attended the conference were eager to engage one another to discover a way forward for both Nadcao and ACAOSA. The resounding consensus among all groups was that whatever immediate future holds, Nadcao could not die. In a discussion group, one participant said “It would be disastrous to think that Nadcao should cease to exist right now.” As a parent organization that paved the way for the birth of ACAOSA, it is widely believed that Nadcao is still a valuable resource, pillar and brand for ACAOSA.
Delegates also noted the work done by Nadaco over the years that has allowed for ACAOSA to focus on its main mandate of ensuring the functionality of community advice centres all over the country. Members of ACAOSA were adamant that despite what may come in the future it was of utmost importance that the association continue to make justice accessible to the people of South Africa.
After a successful planning session delegates and guests attended a cocktail party to celebrate Nadcao’s 10 years of existence. Chairperson of Nadcao, Mr Langa Mtshali shared a brief history of how far the organization had come over the ten years, highlighting the difficulties and success that the leadership had endured over the years. Mr Seth Mnguni,Chairperson of ACAOSA also shared a few remarks around the birth of ACAOSA and what a significant role Nadcao had played in its establishment.
At the end of the day it was clear that members from Nadcao and ACAOSA were all committed to their work. Despite the many challenges that the sector faces, both Nadcao and ACAOSA are determined to make it work in whichever scenario they may find themselves in the future.