The approaching months, typically known as the 'silly season,' mark a crucial time when the hustle and bustle of meetings and engagements escalate. It's a time when society gears up for the summer break, but the backdrop is one of heightened anxiety and stress across all sectors of society, driven by a challenging economic climate and faltering municipalities.

For those of us entrenched in civil activism, this period isn't just a flurry of activity. It's also a time to keep a vigilant eye on those inconvenient government gazettes that call for public engagement, conveniently released during the holiday season.

The past month has unveiled a cascade of crises reported in the media, spotlighting numerous public service failures at both national and local government levels. This is primarily attributed to a ruling party that seems overwhelmed and incapable of holding itself accountable. This turmoil fuels the vigour of numerous civil society initiatives, all gearing up to elevate public participation in the upcoming 2024 National and Provincial Elections (NPE-2024).

Amidst the impending election frenzy filled with predictions, exposés of unethical conduct, slander, and fake news, one essential message should resonate: the urgency of encouraging as many people as possible to vote in 2024. Businesses are encouraged to facilitate conversations among staff, emphasizing the need to actively participate in our hard-won democracy by voting, rather than abstaining due to party misalignment.

Mantashe's Call for NGO Funding Disclosure

Recently, Minister Gwede Mantashe called for NGOs to disclose their funding sources. This has raised questions about its intent. Some see it as an attempt to undermine civil society's vital work and a diversion from South Africa's pressing governance challenges.

Rather than focusing on funding, it's crucial to understand why NGOs often resort to legal action. They do so to uphold the Constitution and protect citizens from the abuse of power and government malpractice.

Mantashe's fixation on exposing NGO funders may divert from the real issues. Instead of scrutinizing funding, we should be collaborating to address the root causes of concerns. This partnership is essential for South Africa's transformation and growth.


We are a diverse nation, each of us holding our heritage close to heart. Emerging from Heritage Month, I am inspired by the facets within our heritage that unite rather than divide us as a nation. Despite the efforts of populist political forces to portray division, research and a steadfast belief affirm that we are more united than we think. 

Resilience is a quality that permeates our nation, both a strength and a challenge. While it fortifies us, enabling us to endure issues like load shedding, water shortages, and corruption, it also inadvertently fosters complacency and acceptance of mediocrity. We cannot allow ourselves to lower our standards. The poorest in our society bear the brunt of corruption and mismanagement. We must not become desensitized to this scourge; South Africa deserves better. 

The current financial constraints and the crisis experienced by our municipalities and national government departments are politically induced, not the fault of citizens. However, it is our collective power and potential that we haven't fully harnessed. Our failure to actively participate in council meetings and town-hall sessions, choosing instead to isolate ourselves from the decay of local government, needs to change. 


In every community, there is a residents' association, a business chamber, or a similar entity to which we can belong. If you haven't joined one, I urge you to consider it, paying the minimal fees if possible, contingent on the association proving its constructive influence and commitment to holding the city accountable. If your community association isn't already engaging in this capacity, question why and challenge them to get involved. 

September and the beginning of October have witnessed significant activity from OUTA’s WaterCAN team. Our drive for greater citizen participation in our “water quality testing week” has gained momentum. Citizen scientists across the country, mobilized through our active citizen and networking program, have received over 600 water test kits. The results so far underscore the deteriorating water infrastructure that citizens contend with. Water is life, and this crucial data will instigate new initiatives to address this dire situation. 

Additionally, we recently released our 5th Annual Parliamentary Oversight Report, titled “The Fairytale that became a Nightmare.” This report, focusing on the National Assembly and 11 portfolio committees responsible for overseeing the Executive and government, has been disseminated to every member of parliament to foster closer collaboration between civil society and parliament.

As we head toward a well-deserved year-end break, we anticipate numerous challenges, including the Mid-Term Budget Policy Statements to be released on November 1st. We'll also grapple with the government's struggle to appoint competent CEOs and leadership for our crucial State-Owned Entities. The journey won't be easy, but together we can make a difference.

My sincere gratitude to all our supporters who fuel our work and special thanks to those who've generously increased their donations, helping us keep pace with inflation. Your support is our driving force.

Stay focused, stay motivated, and above all, stay resilient and determined - together, we can overcome any obstacle!

Best regards

OUTA fights for YOU!

We are currently in court with Government on Concessionaires and the Karpowership deal. Please donate to us and spread the word about our work.