The Gauteng Department of Social Development has denied 416 elderly people access to funded residential facilities due to the department’s failure to spend the allocated budget for this service to older persons for the second quarter of the 2017/18 financial year.
Failure of this department to spend its allocated budget has had a severe impact on service delivery to these most vulnerable members of society.
According to the Development’s second quarter report for the current financial year, over 400 older persons were unable to access funded residential facilities.
The DA is dismayed that is a huge blow to many elderly people in the province who are living in appalling conditions, often abused at home and are in desperate need of subsidised residential facilities.
During the DA’s oversight visits to several elderly care facilities across the province last year, it was observed that fees are high, depending on the level of specialised care services required.
Most elderly residential care institutions charge fees of between R4000 to R9000 per resident per month, way out of reach to the vast majority of senior citizens.
In addition, the department failed to reach its target of older persons participating in active aging programs and, worse still, thousands of elderly people meant to access community-based care and support facilities (services centres and luncheon clubs) managed by funded NPOs, were left behind.
We can no longer allow the Gauteng Department of Social Development’s incompetence to affect service delivery for our elderly.
The DA will hold the MEC, Nandi Manyathula-Khoza, accountable for ensuring that the department improves on underspending on its allocated budget.
When the DA takes over Gauteng after 2019, competent administration will prioritise the needs of all its residents, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable in society.