NPO’s and Corporate Governance Part II

In our previous blog, we enjoyed interviewing Elize Joubert – CEO of The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).


Elize, being one of the main contributors towards the development and growth of CANSA, has been nominated for multiple Honors and Awards that include:


  • Top Women Award (Standard Bank) 2016/2017 in Public Service Category.
  • One of five finalists for Corporate Top Performing SA Business Leader of the Year Award 2017 in the open category. Only CEO of a Non-Profit Organization to ever reach this position in the 13 years of this Award.
  • Finalist in Top Business Woman of the Year Award 2017 for Top Performing Public Service in SA.
  • Finalist in the Social Entrepreneurship category of the Business Woman of The Year Awards in 2018.
  • Was honoured with a Leadership Recognition Award by Mamello Trading and the University of Free State in 2019 as one of seven leading women in senior positions who continue to inspire confidence in other women in the rest of the country.


In today’s blog, we proceed with the second half of the interview, which focuses more on NPO’s and Corporate Governance.


The King IV™ code allows both for-profit and non-profit organizations to outline their leaders’ powers and responsibilities in the company’s charter. Once a company’s charter is established, boards and management must follow the governance and operational policies that they set forth.


NPO’s include a range of organizations that vary largely in size and incorporation, including an NPO, a charitable trust, voluntary association, club, or fund. NPO’s may also be referred to as Public Benefit Organisations (PBO’s) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s). King IV™ principles and practices apply to all NPO’s. Differences in corporate governance implementation are accomplished through proportionality, such as adapting the practices according to where the organization is in its growth cycle and its size, resources, and the complexity of strategic objectives and nature of operations. Good corporate governance will contribute to the success of an NPO as it enhances its leadership structures and provides the way to achieve strategic goals and overall positive outcomes.


As a seasoned veteran in running a successful business, we asked Elize corporate governance questions related to  CANSA.


What role does corporate governance play in your organization?


Per the King III recommendations, CANSA has adopted integrated reporting to reflect the business reality that strategy, risk, performance, and sustainability have become inseparable.


CANSA adheres to King IV principles of sound governance based on the following strategic objectives:


  • Implementing and practicing good governance, ensuring all documentation in respect of governance and policy are compliant with the Companies Act and aligned with the King IV report, to support transparency and accountability as we govern stakeholder relationships.

The Association applies these principles to implement and practice good governance, ethical leadership, and corporate citizenship.

  • The governing body leads ethically and effectively by governing ethics to support the establishment of an ethical culture.


What are the challenges that you face as an NPO that impacts corporate governance?


Legislative changes to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard poses a real challenge for CANSA since it cannot drive Supplier development due to limited financial resources.


How does corporate governance impact relationships with donors?


The corporate governance structure enhances the relationship with our valued donors and partners. We pride ourselves on our reputable brand and, in 2021, will celebrate CANSA’s 90th Birthday.


How do you ensure that you implement corporate governance in your organization?


The Articles of Association was replaced by the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) as per the Companies Act and approved by the members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September 2013.  A revised MOI was tabled in September 2018 at the AGM, which was approved. An updated MOI will be tabled on 10 October 2019 at the AGM with a few changes. As per the MOI and aligned charter, the Board of directors must convene a minimum of four times per year and ensure that the organisation survives and thrives.


CANSA has a strong and capable Board of Directors to which the CEO and Executive Committee (EXCO) report. In accordance with the identified risks within CANSA, the Board appoints Sub-Committees to assist the Board in reviewing and advising management within specific portfolios.

This structured system of organisational governance ensures proper checks and balances, appropriate experts’ input on decision-making, and strategic oversight of comprehensive nationwide operations.


As the highest decision-making body of CANSA, the Board is responsible for its strategic direction. It appoints the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Directors to maintain day-to-day management.


We hope that this blog has enlightened you and proved how embracing corporate governance has contributed to the success of a remarkable NPO, CANSA, ninety years later.  You can find more corporate governance information in the CANSA integrated report at


If you require assistance with corporate governance implementation in your NPO, contact Okina Company Secretarial Services at for board advisory services, board composition, administration, meeting management, board pack compilation, board evaluations, and new directors’ induction. For more services, visit our website at

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