Elderly and frail on the street as Department shuts NGOs

Hendrika Kruger MPL

Spokesperson on Social Development

The Gauteng Department of Social Development failed to spend R54 million of its Social Welfare budget putting serious strain on critical social welfare programmes and shutting many NGOs in the province.

According to Department’s latest Annual Report, its failure to spend its budget properly had a drastic impact on critical services that it is meant to provide to the most vulnerable citizens of Gauteng. This includes a lack of Early Childhood Development Centres, Clinical Psychologists and Trauma Councillors.

The hardest hit are NGOs offering support to the elderly and frail. The Department provisions these NGOs with R1 200 per person within its care, yet without funding many of these have had to shut their doors and turn the frail out on the streets.

The Department claims that many of these homes do not comply with the required laws and regulations. However, there is no indication that steps were taken to assist these homes in meeting the minimum standards required, and the Department has made no alternative arrangements to accommodate the frail and elderly under their care.

Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza must ensure that her Department undertakes a serious campaign to communicate and assist NGOss in meeting the required regulations and provide alternative care for the elderly and frail now negatively affected by NGO closures.

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