The Knysna Municipality recently (13 March 2013) handed over cheques to the value of R630 000 to 40 charities, schools, sport clubs and non-profitable organisations that operate in its municipal area.
Knysna Executive Mayor Georlene Wolmarans said the municipality’s Grant in Aid Programme had been donating funds to worthy, registered organisations since the 2007/8 financial year. “One of the best things about being mayor is to be part of programmes such as these in which the community directly benefits from the processes of local government.”
Ms Wolmarans said hundreds of local organisations applied for the funding, which was advertised in the local media last year. “When all the applications for the annual GIA programme have been received, a committee comprising the Municipal Manager and the Directors of Community Services, Finance and Corporate Services, evaluated each application.
“Funds are allocated based on criteria such as the size and nature of the organisation, the purpose of funds, and whether the organisation is legally registered with the correct and relevant department and/or association. The final list of beneficiaries is submitted to, and approved by Council,” said Ms Wolmarans.
“In addition to these hand-overs, the municipality also assists organisations throughout the year on an ad hoc basis as more immediate needs arise. However, even emergency applications are first evaluated by the GIA committee according to the same criteria as annual applications,” said Wolmarans.
The municipality’s GIA programme budget for donations will total at R747 000 for the 2012/2013 financial year.
Grants handed over in March ranged in value from R5 000 to R40 000, depending on the above-mentioned criteria, and were mostly directed towards specific projects. Funds this year will go towards projects such as crèches, soup kitchens, victim support programmes, care of the elderly and disabled, sports development, cancer awareness, music lessons, pre-school education, sea rescue equipment and training, youth development and more.
Beneficiaries are required to keep record of how they spend the funds, and may stand a chance to benefit again in future should they prove good management of previously allocated funds.
“The Knysna Municipality looks forward to seeing how funds translate into the support and development of our communities. I thank and commend every person working or volunteering for non-profit and charity organisations in the Knysna municipal area. Your selfless commitment is touching and inspiring. May your efforts be blessed and may you reap many benefits for yourselves and the people you serve,” said Wolmarans.
Knysna Executive Mayor Georlene Wolmarans (right) with Grant in Aid beneficiary, Helen Thomas of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).
Knysna Executive Mayor Georlene Wolmarans (second row middle in white) with Grant in Aid beneficiaries at the handover ceremony on 13 March 2013.