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Free State department of social development must empower community – not keep them dependent

Here follow excerpts from the speech delivered by FF Plus MPL, Tammy Wessels, in the Free State Legislature earlier today during the budget vote debate of the Free State Department of Social Development.

The Department of Social Development is supposed to fulfil the significant role of uplifting and supporting the community. However, under the leadership of MEC Limakatso Mahasa, the Free State Department of Social Development is failing miserably.

The Department’s budget for the upcoming medium term has been cut and that means that the Department will have to pinch its pennies. Despite this, the blatant squandering of tax payers’ money is still at the order of the day due to mismanagement, poor planning and incorrect priorities.

One of the most important functions of the Department is early childhood development.

The MEC for education and his department can do everything in their power to improve the flow-through rate in secondary schools, but if the most important formative years, between 0 and 4, are not properly utilised, the children will not be able to do well later in school.

It is a shame that the Department still only spends a mere R15 per child per day for 264 days in the year on early childhood development, while money is squandered on failing projects that are allowed to continue year after year.

Social grants should not be the Department’s first priority, but rather the upliftment and empowerment of the community so as to make it self-sufficient.

South Africa is busy turning into a charity state. The ruling ANC prefers to keep the voters dependent on them so that they can threaten the most vulnerable members of our society with social grants when election time comes around – the ANC is more interested in this than in creating a self-sufficient, independent and prosperous community.

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