Twenty Years of OSF-SA!

The year 2013 saw a period of intense change at OSF and OSF-SA. A new President also meant that locally, new Board members, an Interim Director and a new Executive Director had been appointed to lead the Foundation by the end of 2013.

A leadership, operational, and strategic transition process was completed, including a new system of grant making. Strategic focus areas were consolidated, and new programme teams were appointed. A new strategy was also developed with the Board and staff.

OSF-SA began to expand its work within the OSF network. In 2013, OSF set up its first Africa Regional Office (AfRO) that was responsible for guiding OSF’s strategic direction, operational support, and advocacy work in Africa. OSF President Chris Stone visited OSF-SA in 2013, along with the Africa Regional Director, and the Executive Directors of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

Zyda Rylands stepped down as OSF-SA Chairperson in July 2013 and Isaac Shongwe was appointed the 6th Board Chairperson.

Barbara Hogan took over as Interim Director, and, in June 2013, Fatima Hassan was appointed as the new Executive Director.

During 2013, grants were issued to organisations that built, supported and defended the institutions that safeguard democracy, that were rooted in constitutionalism, and that aimed to check the exercise of all forms of power.

Politically, 2013 was a year that brought violence against women in South Africa into the global spotlight again.

Two new political parties were formed – Agang and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

In December 2013, former political prisoner, global icon, and President, Nelson Mandela (Madiba) passed away, and was buried in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

The key achievements in 2013 included support for work that exposed the use of public funds to upgrade the President’s home at Nkandla, support for legal representation of workers and families affected by the Marikana Massacre, support for civil society organisations’ work on challenging the Traditional Courts Bill, as well as support for the national campaign for the decriminalisation of sex work.

In 2013, OSF-SA launched the OSF-SA Open Dialogue Series to foster constructive, informed dialogue between multiple actors and stakeholders, to debate critical issues, and to listen to divergent opinions.

2013 grants: 102