By Katlego Suzan Phala (MPL), DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Social Development:
The DA notes that since first uncovering a tragedy of unfunded NGOs in Limpopo, even more centres across the province have now not been paid their monthly subsidies for more than three months.
During an oversight visit at Huis Talje and Huis Tekna Children’s Home centres in and around Waterburg district, the DA discovered that these centres have been struggling financially due to late or non-payment from the department with no explanation.
These social welfare centres cater for homeless, orphans, sexually abused, severely physically and mentally handicapped children but are now facing closure due to the department’s failure to pay their subsidies. The Department pays a monthly subsidy, which is disbursed quarterly and amounts to between R75 000 and R142 000 – but recently these payments have stopped or are hopelessly delayed.
Since April 2013 to date, the department owes these centres more than R629 375 including arrears and a new quarter’s payment is now due as well. The local municipality has also stopped collecting the disposable nappies and are now forced to pay private companies to collect them.
Failure to pay subsidies on time, particularly to these kind of centres where vulnerable children are involved, is both a contravention of the children’s Act and the Constitution, which both state that children have the right to dignity and the right to shelter.
This is proof that the ANC government has turned its back on this crisis of late or non payments.
The DA will write to the MEC for Social Development, Joyce Mashamba to urgently investigate the delay and ensure that these centres receives their monthly subsidies with immediate effect