The Dikeletsong Citizens' Advice Bureau (DCAB) of Pretoria was established in 1967 by the Anglican, Presbyterian and Catholic Churches, to help the poor and the needy of Pretoria. The organization is run by volunteers and operated out of the offices in the St Albans Cathedral continuously after its establishment until December 2007 when it moved to the current premises.
Registration and Good Governance
DCAB is registered with the Department of Social Development as a Non-Profit Organization and with SARS as a Public Benefit Organisation with the associated tax exemptions, including Section 18A. DCAB practises good governance and is managed by an Executive Committee. The books are audited and presented at an Annual General Meeting. They are published Financial Statements along with our Annual Report.
CAB offers services, free of charge, to anyone who needs advice, help (non financial), or information. The volunteer counsellors are supported by other volunteers who maintain the information database and documents, and a volunteer who does quality control.
Kgothatso Motsogi Law Student, DIkelstong Citizens` Adavice Bureau Dr Marlise Richter, SONKE Gender Justice Justice Edwin Cameron, Constitutional Court of South Africa Daan Schoeman, Schoeman and Associates Peter Skelton, Lawyers for Human Rights
The clients are almost all socially disadvantaged - poor, educationally disadvantaged and unemployed persons, as well as non-South Africans and former prisoners. Most are from the Tshwane Metro but clients also come from elsewhere in Gauteng and from Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo. During the course of a year, over 4000 client contacts are made in person, by telephone or by letter
The process followed
The Volunteer counsellors either interview clients or respond to phone calls or letters. Problems are discussed in confidence and researched using the substantial database that the organization has built up over the years. Where relevant, contact is made by telephone, letter, fax or e-mail with, for example, the client's employer or pension fund, or the Department of Labour. Possible solutions are then offered to the client. Clients are also assisted in completing various application forms. Follow-ups may continue over weeks, months or even longer until an acceptable solution to the problem is achieved. Where possible, problems are solved by negotiation, as neither DCAB nor its clients have the funds to resort to the law.
We have our in-house attorney to advise on legal matters. However, should it be necessary, clients are referred to various legal aid clinics such as Lawyers for Human Rights, Legal Aid, Wits Law Clinic or the Pro-Bono Scheme of the Law Society.
Dikeletsong Citizens' Advice Bureau is indebted to a group of funders whose donations cover a very significant portion of DCAB's expenses. We are also indebted to our members, individuals and churches, who continue to support us with their donations.
Volunteer interviewing clients
Student Volunteer writing case notes