State is failing to fulfill its obligation towards vulnerable members of society

Johann Krog, MPP

Democratic Alliance KZN Legislature

WHILE President Zuma may be pleased with government’s overall performance since 2009, the reality is that the state is failing to fulfil its obligations towards the most vulnerable members of society – the disabled and the elderly.

Despite government being constitutionally bound to provide essential services, non-profit organizations are being forced to fill the 70% gap left as a result of government’s indifference and inefficiency. The National Coalition for Social Services, responsible for 3 000 welfare organizations, is currently compelled to survive on only 10% of the national budget. As a result, many of these services are forced to close their doors.

The actual cost of keeping a child in an NGO is R6 000. The government only provides R1 800 of the amount. The rest of that funding comes from the hard work and dedication of managers and staff members of NGOs and the generosity of the public. The finalizing of a new funding model that would take inflation and general living costs into consideration is important but unless government pulls up its socks and start enforcing the timeous payout of funds, all the hard work put into the planning will be wasted.

With a government stumbling over its feet, Mother Theresa’s well-known quote: “do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person “has, to a large extent, become the only hope for those who face social exclusion and who are blocked from normal rights, opportunities and resources. Every socially integrated member of our society needs to take up the challenge to be “faithful in the small things” and shoulder the responsibility of alleviating the burden of those less fortunate.

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