Gauteng DSD underspends by over half a billion – Refiloe Nt’sekhe

DA MPL says this is even as province's residents are deprived of services

Residents deprived of services, while DSD underspends by over half a billion

11 June 2024

The Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD) has dismally failed to meet its expenditure targets by over half a billion rand, while vulnerable residents in the province continue to be deprived of social and welfare services.

According to the fourth quarter report for the 2023/2024 financial year, the department has underspent on its budget by R554,754,000. This includes unutilised funds amounting to:

R2,886,000 for non-profit institutions.
R50,924,000 for employee compensation.
R3,944,000 for goods and services.
R70,000,000 for buildings and other fixed structures.
R41,449,000 for social welfare services.
R159,624,000 for the children and families programme.
R184,528,000 for restorative services.
R169,103,000 for development and research.

The substantial underspending strongly suggests a lack of effective planning, budgeting, and project implementation, which is disappointing considering the competing demands on the department's budget.

These funds could have been better utilised by supporting projects such as non-profit organisations (NPOs), ensuring that they do not close their doors and leave the most vulnerable individuals destitute and starving.

Furthermore, the Democratic Alliance is taken aback by the department's disingenuous assertion on its social media pages that it is “Tracking its highest performance rating under the leadership of MEC Mbali Hlophe”.

This underspending is unacceptable and indicates that the department has failed in its duty to the people it serves, and this disqualifies any claim by MEC Mbali Hlophe of reaching peak performance.

The DA urges the government of the seventh administration to prioritise the interests of Gauteng residents and put in place leadership that can grasp its operations, effectively handle budgets, and achieve objectives that will benefit our people.

Issued by Refiloe Nt’sekhe, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development, 11 June 2024