Gains, but many challenges

Kgaugelo Lekgoro. © Unknown.
Kgaugelo Lekgoro. © Unknown.

Gauteng's MEC for Social Development, Kgaugelo Lekgoro, presented the department's budget vote and focused on the following:

Gauteng's MEC for Social Development, Kgaugelo Lekgoro, presented the department's budget vote and focused on the following:


"There are a little more than 90 old-age homes in the province. Only 10 of these are in predominantly African townships.

Of the 135 luncheon clubs in the province where the elderly can gather during the day for different activities such as recreation, physiotherapy, counselling services and provision of nutritionally balance meals, only 27 are in townships where the majority of the province's elderly people live.

The department will in this financial year extend the services of the 27 clubs to cover all services required by the Older Persons Act, namely, spiritual, cultural, medical, civic and social services.

We will also expand these services to Duduza, Wattville and Boipatong - where none exist. In the next financial year, we will start building old-age homes in the 20 poorest townships on an incremental basis from one financial year to the next.


We have 930264 children aged up to six in the province needing early childhood development programmes. However, we can trace only 23504 children currently under such programmes. Half of these are African children in backyards being offered nothing more than child-minding while their parents are at work.

"Government will establish one early childhood development site in each of the 20 townships. We will train practitioners from these communities. We will continue to support creches initiated by mothers. We will help them meet standards to register and fund them.

Orphaned and vulnerable children

We have 300000 orphaned children, a significant number as a result of HIV-Aids. We have made inroads through community home-based care programmes.

We will continue funding the 100 community home-based care sites and roll out 30 new sites.

To date, 47075 children have been placed in foster care. We have 9578 children in residential care.

We fund 58 non-governmental organisations catering for 5000 such children.

This financial year we will increase subsidies from R1300 to R1600 a child.

Bana Pele

We will continue child support grants under Bana Pele. We will roll out the single window system that will enable a child who receives a grant to access education and health services without having to go through another means test. This programme also benefited 688 unemployed women in sewing projects.

Substance Abuse

Our province is mainly an urban one with large townships and informal settlements continuing to attract migration.

Through this movement, we are recipients of younger people who settle alone in houses and face parenting challenges as they eke out a living. Single parenthood is on the ascendancy.

The high divorce rate continues to impact on children. All this weighs heavily on the family structure. Once the family collapses under these conditions, the old and young turn to substance abuse for relief.

Alcohol and dagga remain the dominant substances which are abused. Those who abuse substances in turn abuse the elderly, women and children at home.

Communities are also threatened as ordinary residents suffer assault, mugging, theft and rape.

It has been reported that some car hijackings and gruesome robberies were committed after the perpetrators used illegal drugs.

Our substance abuse programmes are still dominated by awareness content.

To promote our prevention programmes, we will in this financial year put together programmes on early detection and referral in schools.

We will also establish five local drug action committees in each region to coordinate prevention programmes within communities.

There are 19 fully-fledged treatment centres in Gauteng, but none in the townships. Since the advent of democracy, we have been able to establish 12 satellite centres in townships.

The challenge has been to develop programmes that are mainly preventative and to deliver treatment services to the doorsteps of where the majority of those who abuse substances live, namely the townships."