Gauteng DSD constantly underspends while the vulnerable members of this province suffer

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that the Gauteng Department of Social Development constantly underspends on its budget.

This was revealed in the department’s third quarterly report for the 2019/20 financial year.

According to the report, the department has underspent by R552,8 million.

The department has underspent across all its programmes, yet they are unable to provide funding to NGOs who are in desperate need of funds.

The department underspent R 189,8 million in Programme Three: Children and Families.  In Programme Five: Development and Research, they underspent by R174,1 million and R109,5 million on Programme One: Administration. The department also underspent R56,7 million on Programme Four: Restorative Services and R24,4 million on Programme Two: Social Welfare Services.

Under expenditure of the allocated budget has become a norm for this department and can no longer be tolerated.

In the 2017/18 financial the department underspent by R104,4 million and in 2018/19 financial year, the under expenditure increased to R419,1 million.

Despite the department’s under expenditure and underperformance the Head of Department’s contract has been renewed. This clearly indicates a lack of consequence management.

This department lacks a political captain to lead and oversee the functions of this department because the current Acting MEC Panyaza Lesufi has a lot on his plate.

We will continue to put pressure on Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to appoint a full time MEC for the department to ensure that social services are delivered to our people.

Gauteng DSD underspends on its budget, while food banks suffer

The Gauteng Department of Social Development has once again underspent on its budget. This was revealed in the department’s first quarter report for the 2019/2020 financial year.

According to the report the department underspent by nearly R200 million, yet they are unable to fund Gauteng food banks. Food banks play a critical role in alleviating poverty in our underprivileged townships.

This has prompted GP2 Power Foods to take the department to court after the department stopped all payments to service providers in 2018.

GP2 Power Foods was contracted by the department as part of the group of Food Bank Service providers.

The court has now ordered the attachment of the department’s assets to the value of R236 million.

The R200 million that was not spent by the department could have been used to pay the contracted service providers but instead the department will now have their assets attached.

This is going to cost the department more money, including the payment of legal fees.

Some Food Banks last distributed food parcels in February and March, which means that some residents who are solely dependent on this programme go to bed hungry.

This department constantly underspends on its budget and fails to meets its set targets. Furthermore, it is worrying that the department has no set targets as to how many food parcels need to be distributed per year.

I will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain what measures the department is putting in place to ensure that their allocated budget is spent and by when payments to food banks will resume.

Gauteng Department of Social Development underspends by R400 million

The Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD) has once again underspent on its budget for the fourth quarter.

According to the department’s quarterly report for 2018/19 financial year, they have underspent by R400 million and have failed to reach their set targets.

The under-expenditure occurred in Development and Research, Children and Families and Restorative Services.

In Development and Research, the department underspent by R116.7 million, in the Children and Families category by R240.9 million and in Restorative Services by R39.3 million.

This money could have been used to fund NGOs and NPOs who do much needed upliftment work in our communities, to employ more social workers and to purchase more resources like vehicles to aid department officials with their work.

This is not the first time that the department has underspent its budget. Last year the department surrendered R347 million to the department, while NGOs and NPOs were struggling to stay afloat.

I will be tabling questions to the MEC for Social Development in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain what measures are being put in place to deal with the under-expenditure of the department so as to ensure that our people get the services they deserve.

Another Esidimeni looming: Gauteng Department of Social Development fails to pay NGOs

Gauteng NGOs which signed Service Level Agreements (SLA) have still not been paid by the same failing and uncaring ANC government, which still has blood-stained hands following the avoidable Esidimeni tragedy. . These agreements were signed before the Easter Weekend but to date NGOs have still not been paid.

It would appear that the late signing of SLAs is becoming the norm for the Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD). This is indicative of poor planning which is becoming detrimental to service providers and beneficiaries alike.

Despite the late signing of the SLA, NGOS are still expected to pay salaries. According to some of the NGOs I have engaged with, officials at the GDSD told the affected NGOs that they will have to wait 30 days for payment.

While this might be contractually correct, the department is not taking into consideration that it is their fault that SLAs were signed late.

Last year, the uncaring ANC-led provincial government also paid NGOs late and the excuse cited was the national social worker strike. The department has had a year to get their house in order, yet they have failed again.

This is unacceptable as during the 2018/2019 financial year, the GDSD surrendered R347 million back to treasury for failing to use its budget.

NGOs play a pivotal role in helping the most vulnerable in society who are in need of care.

I will continue to engage with the affected NGOs and will continue to put pressure on GDSD to pay NGOS on time.

Gauteng Social Development MEC sits on critical posts

The Gauteng Department of Social Development has failed to fill vacancies within the department for two consecutive quarters. The department’s first and second quarterly reports show a clear lack of political will to fill these vacancies.

MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza appears to be sitting on her hands while she is also sitting on jobs which could benefit young professionals.

She is at the helm of this department, yet cannot seem to get the basics in order. Her piecemeal approach to rolling out jobs will never solve our unemployment crisis.

It is alarming that MEC Mayathula-Khoza has had the opportunity for over six months to ensure that various vacancies within her department are filled.

There are far too many of our young graduates in Gauteng yearning to take up employment opportunities and gain the necessary on-the-job skills.

In terms of critical occupation, of the 14 Occupational Therapist posts, her department only managed to fill one vacancy resulting in a vacancy rate of 92.8%.

There was an 82% vacancy rate for Psychologists as the department could not fill all 11 posts during the quarter under review. Social work and related professionals had a vacancy rate of 10%.

MEC Mayathula-Khoza must ensure that these posts are advertised as a matter of urgency and afford these opportunities to the many young people who feel locked out of the economy.

The DA’s vision of a new beginning for Gauteng and the country is centred around a radical expansion of employment opportunities for the many who are left behind and struggling to put food on the table.

It is high time that these vacancies are filled as they have been budgeted for. The DA will submit questions to MEC Mayathula-Khoza to ascertain why her department has been filling vacancies at such a sluggish rate.

416 elderly denied access to funded residential facilities

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.

Gauteng Department of Social Development fails to tackle drugs in Eldorado Park

The Gauteng Department of Social Development is failing to assist the community of Eldorado Park, which is severely affected by substance abuse, despite the availability of resources at the Department’s disposal.

The media has reported that a community organization took this fight against drugs into their own hands by raiding a suspected drug den over the weekend.

During the raid residents rescued five children from the house, the youngest being a one month old baby. Residents claim that officials from Social Development refused to help them and they were not treated according to Batho Pele principles.

This is an example of the uncaring nature of this ANC–led Gauteng Provincial government by its refusal to respond to the needs of our people.

The Department must ensure that these rescued children are taken to a place of safety.

Without partnerships with communities, the Provincial government will not be able to fight the scourge of substance abuse.

The Department must heed the call of distressed communities before innocent lives are placed in danger by vigilante groups who resort, out of desperation, to taking the law into their own hands.

We call upon both the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, and the Gauteng Social Development MEC, Nandi Manyathula-Khoza, to intervene as a matter of urgency to work with the community of Eldorado Park in fighting drug abuse in their area.

In the DA-led City of Johannesburg coalition, the Anti-Drug Summit was recently launched focusing on building an integrated strategy‚ aimed at supply reduction‚ demand reduction and harm reduction.

This integrated strategy will inform‚ strengthen and improve programme development and implementation as guided by the National Drug Master Plan 2013-2017.

The DA will also be conducting oversight visits in Eldorado Park to engage with the community on ways of bringing a sustainable solution to substance abuse problems.

Calls For SANDF In Wake Of Baby Singalakha’s Death An Indictment Of MEC Mayathula-Khoza

The death of six month old baby Singalakha Sonamazi, an avoidable tragedy, highlights the inability of Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to do her job.

The strike emphasised that MEC Mayathula-Khoza had not adequately prepared to ensure that the elderly, disabled and young placed in her care would be looked after while social workers were not on hand.

Calls by the MEC to resort to deploying the South African Defence Force to mitigate the damage caused by the strike shows that the MEC is completely out of touch with the needs of those who are in the care of her department. The department has the budget and the resources to deal with a crisis of this nature – calls for the SANDF to be deployed are beyond ludicrous.

Reports that children had been hurriedly moved to NGO’s from Child and Youth Care Centre’s is reminiscent of the Esidimeni tragedy which cost more than 100 patients their lives.

The death of baby Singalakha is the result of such a rushed decision by the MEC who must be held accountable for this needless loss of life.

The DA will visit Bethany Trust Home in Krugersdorp to ascertain what happened to baby Singalakha and her siblings, and to gauge what assistance the home received from the Department of Social Development.

 

 

 

Media Enquiries

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297
 
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

[Image source]

Nandi Mayathula-Khoza Must Be Held Accountable For Baby’s Death

Gauteng Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza must take decisive action to ensure that there are no more fatalities during the strike by social development workers.

The death of a baby who was transferred to an NGO from a state facility in the wake of the strike speaks volumes to the lack of concern that this ANC-led administration has for those that are at the mercy of its care.

The DA would like to pass on its condolences to the family who lost their child, in a similar manner to those who lost loved ones during the Esidimeni tragedy.

MEC Mayathula-Khoza must shoulder the blame for this death, as it is her responsibility to ensure that contingency measures are put in place during a period of dispute by workers.

The DA will question the MEC to understand how this tragedy was allowed to take place and what measures have been put in place to ensure that an incident such as this never takes place again.

 

 

Media Enquiries

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297
 
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

Social Workers Strike Must Not Jeopardise Most Vulnerable In Society

The Democratic Alliance is shocked by reports that some striking social development workers in Gauteng are placing the neediest and most vulnerable members of society at risk.

According to reports, children at the Rearabilwe Centre in Ga-Rankuwa have been barricaded inside the centre for four days without access to food, denying them the ability to take their HIV-medication. There have been reports of instances of such maltreatment at other centres across Gauteng.

This inhumane treatment must be condemned in the strongest sense.

While the DA supports the rights of social workers to protest for better wages, the ill-treatment of those that are placed in their care cannot be condoned.

The DA will question Gauteng Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza as to what steps her department has taken to address the current strike, and what emergency plans are in place to assist those who require the assistance of social workers.

 

 

Media Enquiries

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297
Warren Gwilt
Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144
 [Image source]