ChangeMakers Conference inspires active citizenship

The event has focused on a number of issues including some of the problems around funding NGOs.

Business, government and civil society came together at the University of Johannesburg on 15 August 2015 for the LeadSA Changemakers. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNEBSURG - The Lead SA ChangeMakers Conference kicked off at the Kingsway Campus at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

A network of businesses, NGO's and youths are working together to inspire active citizenship. The university was a hub of activity with nearly 1,000 people in attendance, mostly youths.

The event focused on a number of issues including some of the problems around funding non-profit organisations.

The National Lottery Commission's Charlotte Mampane says despite some of the challenges it's faced, the commission has managed to contribute nearly R20 billion to various projects since 1999.

"The budget we have per year is almost R2 billion, whereas we receive applications to the tune of R40 billions."

Wits University's Adam Habib and local musician Danny K are among some of the speakers who will drive discussions throughout the day.

At the same time, organisations gathered at the conference say there has been substantial support for South African non-profit organisations over the years but more can be done.

There has been discussion around civic engagement and the contributions toward improving education and high levels of unemployment in the country.

Gift of the Givers' Imtiaz Sooliman joined a panel discussion on the state of change in South Africa.

Sooliman says although there has been significant improvement in dealing with issues of unemployment and poverty - government, business and other organisations to need work together and set a better example for citizens.

"It's very important that government departments and NGOs to say yes we have gone wrong here, we've gone right here, what do we do as a country? Standing together to solve the problems of our country and if we don't do that we are heading for a major disaster."