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FF Plus doubts that all social aid organisations in Gauteng are once again fully funded after Lesufi’s turnabout

The FF Plus doubts that all social non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Gauteng whose funding was previously reduced by the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, are once again being fully funded by the Gauteng government.

At the beginning of the year, Lesufi channelled the funding which traditionally went to NGOs to drug rehabilitation, training and job-creation programmes. Lesufi abandoned this plan after severe public outcry and opposition.

The FF Plus is, however, concerned that not all NGOs are receiving funding again and has, therefore, sent questions about it to the provincial MEC for Social Development, Ms Mbali Hlope.

Hlope confirmed via a written reply to the FF Plus that all social aid organisations are now once again being funded, on condition that they have been approved and meet the Department’s requirements.

These requirements are also determined through legislation, like the Older Persons Act 13 of 2006 and the Children Act 38 of 2005.

It is possible, though, that organisations which received funding in the past have since lost the ability to qualify precisely because of the earlier funding cuts imposed by Lesufi. The MEC did not indicate which NGOs were negatively affected.

The FF Plus will request a list of NGOs that no longer qualify in order to determine the extent of the damage that Lesufi’s actions caused among essential NGOs.

In a follow-up question, the FF Plus asked whether the Department also provides funding for support personnel in addition to social workers and Hlope replied that the salaries of all personnel of qualifying NGOs are also funded.

That is good news seeing as there were certain NGOs which complained that they are no longer receiving funding for all their personnel. The FF Plus will also attempt to find out from various NGOs whether they are indeed receiving such funding.

The FF Plus is, naturally, concerned about the number of NGOs that had to close their doors due to Lesufi’s rash plans to impose funding cuts.

The FF Plus, therefore, also asked Hlope which steps her Department will take to rectify the damage caused by the funding cuts.

Her response was basically a shrug of the shoulders as she replied that the Department will simply support new NGOs and if there are not enough of them, the Department itself will get involved.

It is abundantly clear that the ANC government in Gauteng caused severe damage to the social system, but refuses to accept responsibility for it.

Consequently, the FF Plus will try to determine the real extent of the damage in order to assist NGOs that are denied funding.

It is time to replace the callous and reckless ANC government in Gauteng with a responsible coalition government, of which the FF Plus will be part, in the 2024 elections.

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