DA REFERS UNPAID MENTAL HEALTH GRANTS TO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

Statement by Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

I have today referred the issue of unpaid mental health grants in Gauteng to the Human Rights Commission for urgent intervention (see letter below).

The Gauteng Health Department has not paid grants to about 97 mental health organisations that look after more than 10 000 mentally disabled people.

I estimate that more than R60 million is owing to them as payments are outstanding since December last year. The maintenance grant is R1908 per person.

Major homes like Little Eden (300 children and adults) and Vita Nova (115 severely mentally handicapped residents) face closure if these grants are not paid soon.

Last week I wrote to Gauteng Health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe about the dire situation caused by unpaid grants, but received no reply.

It is utterly appalling that the Department neglects the human rights of the mentally disabled who are utterly dependent on others for care.

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