SocDeV MEC and HOD must take responsibility for abandoning 2 000 children in East London

Eastern Cape Social Development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi and her HOD, Stanley Khanyile, must take full responsibility for the precarious plight of over 2 000 children who depend on the services of East London Child Welfare (ELCW).

A caring provincial government would never abandon the most vulnerable members of our society, namely our children.  The DA will continue to fight against the unnecessary difficulties these children and the ELCW has been put under, due to the department’s slack attitude.  The non-payment of subsidy payouts by the department to ELCW have resulted in the social workers being unable to complete the authentification process for the courts, so that the 2 000 children will receive their foster care grants.

After receiving several calls from the public and reading Monday’s front page report in the Daily Dispatch, I did an unannounced oversight visit at the ELCW office on Tuesday morning. (subs:  Tues, 11 April 2017).

On arrival, electricity was off and social workers and support staff were in a meeting with management discussing ways to overcome the difficult situation.  I was informed that the department is yet to respond to requests from the ELCW for assistance.

I have written to the chairperson of the legislature’s portfolio committee on social development, Christian Martin, to request a special meeting with MEC Sihlwayi and HOD Khanyile.  They must explain why there are still problems with the much-needed subsidy transfers to Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) that act as service providers to the department and who render core social services in the Eastern Cape.

As a member of the portfolio committee, I have time and again told the department to enhance and streamline processes when it comes to ensuring transfer subsidy payments to NPOs such as ELCW.

MEC Sihlwayi and HOD Khanyile have turned their backs on the vulnerable children, social workers, support staff and management of the institution. They have failed to put the needs of the affected children first.  Instead, they choose to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the public outcry for help. — Kobus Botha MPL, Shadow MEC for Social Development