Gauteng underspends as NGOs close down

2012-06-25 09:48

The Gauteng social development department underspent on its welfare budget by R90 million during the past financial year.

This, despite the fact that the welfare sector’s shortage of money had been so critical that various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had to scale back on services and retrench personnel, Beeld reported.

A few NGOs had to close down completely, Dr Jackie Loffell, the co-ordinator of the Gauteng forum for welfare, social services and development, told a mass meeting on Friday.

“What people are really unhappy about, is that so much was underspent, while we could really have done something with that money,” Loffell said.

The departments of health and social development were initially joined, with Ntombi Mekgwe as MEC, but Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane decided Mekgwe would, in future, focus only on health because of a large-scale crisis in the department.

The departments of social development and agriculture and rural development merged in April under MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza.

Social development department head Shoki Tshabalala said at Friday’s meeting that the process of merging departments had resulted in “a cash flow problem”, and that this was the main reason the R90 million had not been spent.

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