Outcry over reduced child care budget

2012-06-07 00:00

A REDUCTION of R56 million for child care and protection services in the Social Development Department’s R2,047 billion budget raised concern in the opposition benches at the KZN Legislature yesterday

Inkatha Fereedom Party spokesperson Les Govender questioned why this amount had decreased since last year.

He said the province should be more serious about protecting children in view of the high rate of child abuse in the country.

Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi said the the amount had been reduced because the government had not given KZN the money.

Thusi said she was confident that having less money would not affect the quality of the service to children.

She pointed out that the budget demonstrated an optimal allocation of resources to direct service delivery, with only 19% allocated towards administration.

The department, which over the years has relied on non-profit organisations (NPOs) to pick up some of its case work, has increased the subsidy to this sector by six percent from R731 million to R774 million.

Thusi warned that NPOs must be accountable for the funding they receive and that the department would be carrying out compliance audits.

“The department will not hesitate to take appropriate steps against those NPOs that are found not to have used the money for the intended purpose,” Thusi said.

She added that NPOs should invest in income-generating projects and become more business-orientated in order to avoid funding-related challenges.

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