Funding crisis as NGO tariffs are slashed by up to 30% - DA KZN

Party says NGOs perform essential services and govt has now failed them dismally

Funding crisis as NGO tariffs are slashed by up to 30%

22 July 2016

The DA is extremely concerned by reports that many KZN Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s), -especially those caring for women, children and the elderly - have had their budgets slashed by as much as 30%, wiping out the 6% tariff increase that both NGOs and the DA fought for in 2015.

The move comes despite assurances in their budget speeches by both the KZN MECs for Finance and Social Development that tariffs would not be reduced.

While rumours of budget cuts have been circulating for some time, the DA has now has confirmation following an email from Child Welfare in Margate which calls for our help as it faces closure due to a funding crisis.

This service office currently has 3 993 cases, supervises 991 children in foster placements and has had a permanent caseload of 1 047 over the last year.  In short, it provides a vital service to the KZN South Coast.

NGOs perform essential services such as protecting vulnerable members of society from abuse, providing the sick with care and feeding the hungry. This is most significant in areas where government services have failed. 

Child Welfare is one of the most hard-hit NGOs in KZN despite providing foster care services, social worker services and working hard to protects citizens from any form of abuse. 

Even before these latest cuts NGOs were under immense financial pressure to keep their doors open and continue to provide vital services to vulnerable communities. As a result of the further reduction in tariffs, many NGOs will have to reduce their services further or close permanently.

NGO tariff cuts are yet another sign of an uncaring ANC government - a government that is willing to spend billions on luxuries and overlook blatant corruption while the most defenceless citizens of our province continue to be ignored. 

Despite facing the same financial constraints, the Western Cape Department of Social Development allocated over R1billion to NGOs in the 2014/15 financial year.  This while having a smaller budget than KZN.  This shows that with proper financial planning and the right priorities it can be done.

The DA has already submitted written parliamentary questions to KZN Social Development MEC, Weziwe Thusi requesting an explanation for the current situation. To date there has been no response.

It is on this basis that I will today write to the Chairperson of the province’s Social Development portfolio committee to request than an urgent committee meeting is convened at which the department must account for the funding crisis.

On 3 August, the DA calls on the people of KZN to vote for a party that delivers for all, particularly for the poor and vulnerable and to turn their backs on politicians who make empty promises.

Issued by Rishigen Viranna, DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development, 22 July 2016