The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has written to the Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Morakane Mosupyoe requesting her department to speed-up the process of making subsidy payments to the social welfare Non-Profit Organization (NGOs) in the province. She needs to urgently investigate what is causing the delays and to provide us with an exact date as to when these payments will be made.
The NGOs assist government in taking care of the most vulnerable members of the society ; the elderly, persons with disabilities, orphans and vulnerable children, victims of abuse and substance abuse , feeds the poor and empower the youth and women to be independent.
I have received numerous phone calls and text messages from various NGOs across the province complaining that they have not yet received their first tranche of the subsidy payment from the department.
The Gauteng Department of Social Development has not yet paid NGOs subsidy for the first quarter of the new financial year, despite the fact that they signed the Service Level Agreements (SLA) on the 15th of April 2021.
The NGOs claim that they were promised that the subsidy will be paid 15 days after the signing of the SLA but to date they have not yet received any payment. They have also written to the department officials who promised them that the payment will be expedited, however, to date the payments have not yet been paid to their bank accounts.
Considering the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the sustainability of NGOs is solely dependent on the department subsidy.
Delays in processing subsidy payments has a negative impact on NGOs in terms of rendering much needed social welfare services to our people who are in dire need of such services.
Furthermore, NGOs are dependent on this subsidy to pay salaries of their employees.
Late payment of NGO subsidies is a result of poor planning from the department because the new financial year began in April. The SLAs should have been signed a long time ago as payments can only be done two weeks after signing.
We will continue to put pressure on the MEC to speed-up the process of making payments as many lives are dependent on that money for their day-to-day survival.
The DA will also be tabling a motion in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL)to resolve the late payment of NGO subsidies by the department and to enforce that all SLAs are signed by last working day of February each year to avoid late payments.