NPO’s and Corporate Governance Part I

October is breast cancer awareness month. As avid supporters of such initiatives and campaigns, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to shed some light on Non-Profit Organizations (NPO’s) inner workings and how they implement Corporate Governance structures. As you may know, good corporate governance principles apply equally to nonprofit entities, public and private entities and begin with a high-quality board of directors and an ethical foundation.


We have partnered up with The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), interviewing the phenomenal Elize Joubert – CEO of CANSA.


Elize matriculated in 1980, obtaining her BA in Social Work and MA in Social Work in Community Work at the University of Pretoria with a Diploma in Management at the University of the Free State. Joining CANSA in 1990, the Board of Directors renewed her five-year contract as CEO in May 2020 as a confirmation of her vision and expertise. She has contributed significantly to the development and growth of CANSA by:


  • Writing and composing various National Policy Documents.
  • Designing strategic CANSA business and operating models to take CANSA into the future with in-depth knowledge of CANSA and the cancer control and NPO industries.
  • Developing numerous manuals and modules regarding CANSA service delivery, volunteer program, and human resources management.


As an expert in her field, we asked her a couple of questions relating to CANSA and her views on the inner workings of an NPO.

Tell us about your organization and what you do?


A leader in the fight against cancer in SA, since 1931, the purpose of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is to offer a unique, integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer.


Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit leader that enables research regarding lowering cancer risk, educating the public regarding symptoms, screening and risk reduction, and providing care and support to all people affected by cancer.


Furthermore, our Advocacy team performs a Watchdog Role striving to ensure that South African policymakers are influenced with regards to important cancer control issues, and patients’ right to healthcare is protected.


CANSA is committed to connecting people facing cancer with information, day-to-day help, and emotional support they need in the communities where they live. We aim to ensure that cancer survivors and their loved ones don’t have to face cancer alone; we’re here to support them through every step of their cancer journey.


What are your biggest challenges in the organization?


The ever-changing economic climate in South Africa impacts the annual income as we rely on donors and the public who participate in our fundraising activities.


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought an additional challenge to CANSA, however we have continued to provide the care and support to cancer patients at the 11 CANSA Care Homes across the country.


CANSA’s staff are committed and worked virtually throughout the lockdown period, with all our CANSA Care Centers re-opening gradually as the lockdown levels moved from level 5 to level 1.


CANSA has also ensured that there are on-line support services available to cancer patients and their families since the start of the Lockdown period


How can people get more involved?


There are various ways people can get involved, and it is outlined on our website. We value our volunteers, especially who give up their time to assist us with our service delivery and fundraising programmes and are always recruiting volunteers


You can also become a lifetime or annual member of CANSA, make a monthly or personal once-off donation or partner with CANSA on a project.


How can people reach the organisation?


We have many ways that you can contact CANSA.


All the information is on our website


You can contact your nearest CANSA Care Centre


Email, Phone, or WhatsApp Us:

  • Email:
  • Help Desk: 0800 22 66 22 (toll free)
  • WhatsApp: 072 197 9305 (English and Afrikaans)
  • WhatsApp: 071 867 3530 (isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho, and Setswana)


At Okina Company Secretarial Services, we support NPO’s and offer guidance and assistance through our board advisory services, board composition, administration, meeting management, board pack compilation, board evaluations, and new directors’ induction.


We hope that this blog has inspired you to support CANSA in its mission to provide care and support to all people affected by cancer. Please feel free to assist in whichever way possible – every small act makes a difference!


Do not forget to check back for part II of the interview.

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