State fails to spend R54m of welfare budget
The Gauteng department of social development neglected to spend R54 million of its welfare budget in the past financial year, it was reported.
R35m of the money had been budgeted for childcare services, and R13m for old age homes, according to the annual report of what was still the department of health and social development.
The department has since merged with the department of agriculture.
According to the newspaper, R18.9m of the money should have been spent on non-governmental organisations working in the field of Aids prevention, and R12.8m on NGOs lending support to vulnerable families.
Departmental spokesman Sello Mokoena said the underspending had been caused by "cash flow problems" at the health department.
In response, Democratic Alliance social development spokeswoman Rika Kruger said underspending had placed essential welfare services under severe pressure and was forcing NGOs to shut their doors.
"A shortage of centres for the early childhood development, clinical psychologists and trauma counsellors are only a few of the services being affected... organisations providing services for the elderly and weak are being hit the hardest," she said.