The delays by the Gauteng Department of Social Development (DSD) in advertising requests for proposals and business plans for funding from the NPO sector for the 2024/25 financial year will affect the delivery of social welfare and social services to the most vulnerable residents of Gauteng.
Based on previous experience, the advertisements are issued around September each year to allow the NPOs to submit all the necessary documents and the department to process the applications within the stipulated timeframes.
This year, they only advertised the request last week. The DA is concerned that this might result in delays in completing the process and affect the first payments to NPOs: the well-being of the most vulnerable residents, who are solely dependent on NPOs for survival.
The process consists of a tender briefing session, site visits, and adjudications, among others. Once appointed, NPOs need to sign service-level agreements with the DSD before they receive any funding. This poor planning of Gauteng Social Development disorganises Gauteng NPOs: noting that NPOs that are rejected will have a very small window to seek alternative funding and in some cases may be too late to apply. This is simply not fair.
The National Department of Social Development released its request for proposals from NPOs on the 15th of August, and the Western Cape government released theirs on the 13th of September 2023.
The DA proposes that Gauteng DSD should in the future refrain from late advertising and follow the National Department of Social Development and the Western Cape to ensure that the most vulnerable residents of Gauteng are well taken care of. We will be monitoring the progress of this process to ensure that NPO payments for approved NPOs next year are not delayed.
In addition, the DA has tabled questions to the MEC for Social Development, Mbali Hlophe, to ascertain why there have been delays in advertising the requests for proposals.