The South African National NGO Coalition, SANGOCO, has traditionally built up a public and political profile as a civil society movement that champions the interests of the poor. The Speak Out on Poverty Hearings, and the pro-poor critiques and engagements with government have solidified this profile. Direct pro-poor political movements are restricted to the civil society arena, with the trade union movement, church organizations, community based initiatives and NGOs providing the political thrust for greater anti-poverty effort on the part of government. In this arena, SANGOCO continued promotion of the interests of the poor remains a critical pressure for addressing structural poverty. Increasing unemployment, inappropriate and faulty delivery frameworks, and an increasingly intransigent government on economic policy issues all contribute to an environment that is critical for organized pro-poor activity.
However, it is important to mention that the non-profit, non-governmental sector has faced a number of challenges that have redefined its role and capacity since 1994. Rapid political change and policy development placed a great emphasis on engagement with government, and pressure to engage with intensive political transformation processes. Consequently, senior and experienced NGO staffs have been drafted into the ranks of the newly formed government and the transforming private sector, leading to a situation of extreme flux within organisations. SANGOCO as the custodian of CBOs and NGOs in South Africa has to grapple with these challenges and ensure future existence and continued support for these organisations.