46 years on: SANZAF scoops prestigious international award

The 2020 annual Global Good Governance Awards (3G Awards) ceremony which was originally scheduled to take place in Jakarta, Indonesia, was instead held online due to COVID-19, writes Shafiq Morton.

Founded over 40 years ago by a group of activists, concerned about social welfare during the darkest days of apartheid, the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) has risen to become a household name across the country.

Fulfilling the third pillar of Islam, wealth purification through compulsory alms giving, SANZAF has become a national organisation with branches in all the major centres. Today it has the responsibility of meeting a litany of socio-economic challenges from creating job skills to hunger alleviation, education and health.

For example, in the extraordinary and challenging times of COVID-19 the organisation was able to feed nearly half a million people this past Ramadan. And this year alone, SANZAF disbursed nearly R30 million in bursaries as part of its socially empowering SEED programme.

Over the decades, SANZAF has like so many humanitarian organisations, realized the pressing need to move away from “band-aid” to sustainable alternatives in combating poverty, and to engender community building as the viable dignified alternative.

It is to this end that SANZAF was recently recognised by the highly esteemed Global Good Governance Awards (3G Awards) spearheaded by Cambridge IFA. On 8 June via livestream, before a staggering 160, 000 international viewers, SANZAF received the prestigious Capacity Building Award.

The 2020 annual 3G Awards ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in Jakarta, Indonesia, but was instead held online due to the global impact of COVID-19.

The 3G Awards celebrate individuals, governments, public and private institutions and NGOs that demonstrate effective good governance, sustainability and social welfare in three major streams: government and politics, the corporate sector and in philanthropy.

SANZAF CEO, Yasmina Francke, commented that the award reflects the organisation’s 46-year commitment to changing lives and to making a positive impact in the fight against poverty.

She said “Through our various outreach initiatives we aim to provide the enablers to economic self-sufficiency, this in order to transform lives and to make a meaningful impact. Our focus is on skills development, education and capacity building. We have to ensure long-term sustainable solutions that give rise to dignified solutions for those whom we serve.”

Professor Humayon Dar, Chairperson of the Global Good Governance Awards, commended SANZAF on its achievement. He said that since its debut, over 150 3G awards had been presented to exceptional individuals and institutions drawn from more than 25 countries in seven different continents.

“We congratulate SANZAF for having been recognised with this year’s 3G Capacity Building Award. This category has been extremely competitive over the past five years, and only the best institutions in their class have won this award. SANZAF’s comprehensive range of activities contributed to this success, for which I congratulate the whole team, especially the top management”, said Dar.

SANZAF National Chairperson, Fayruz Mohamed said: “The work we do at SANZAF is driven by our passion to assist those in need. We deliver projects and programmes that offer long-term sustainable solutions to the extremely high levels of poverty and unemployment in South Africa.”

She added that this had always been done in a manner that was transparent and accountable.

“We are humbled to receive this prestigious 3G award for Capacity Building and thank the team at 3G Awards for their efforts in delivering on these awards, amidst the current challenges of the global pandemic that is affecting the world right now,” she said.

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