Knysna Executive Mayor, Mark Willemse handed over a total of R1.3 million in Grant-in-Aid (GIA) donations to 74 local charitable organisations on Wednesday, 13 March.
During the well-attended ceremony, with over 100 guests in attendance, Willemse said “The GIA handover is one of my favourite things to do as the Mayor. This is one of the programmes that our communities directly benefit from.”
Willemse explained the Grant-In-Aid awarding process. “When all the applications for the annual GIA programme have been received, a committee comprising of myself and four other councillors delegated by Council, evaluated each application.
“The Committee and I took some time to visit some of the organisations that applied. It was an emotional experience and heart-warming to see the hard work with very little resources that the people put in getting nothing in return accept knowing that they have made a difference in people lives.”
“Funds are allocated based on criteria such as the size and nature of the organisation, the purpose of funds, and whether the Non-Profit-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.”
Willemse said that a workshop is needed to explain prospective applicants how the process works. “I would like the Administration Department to offer a workshop to applicants to make the process easier. Going forward there should be an educational session to equip people with knowledge regarding the Grant-In-Aid policy and the application and awarding procedure, in so doing ensuring that their applications are correctly filled in.”
Willemse thanked the organisations and the Administration Department. “We thank these charitable organisations for the work they do. Many work on a voluntary basis without recognition for the important role they play in developing our communities. We commend and thank them all. Of course not forgetting the team that makes all of this possible, thank you to Sine and Carl for the work and effort you put to ensure that the GIA programme is a success”.