EC DSD leave money unspent while families starve

Issued by Kobus Botha, MPL
Shadow MEC for Social Development

The Department of Social Development could not spend R121 million of its allocated R3,3 billion budget in the previous financial year. Monies lie unspent while people of the Eastern Cape face high rates of unemployment, rising food costs, and increased poverty.

Our province is facing a growing pandemic of homelessness. No provincial or national government department seems to be taking the lead to tackle this issue that strips people of their dignity.

With the R121 million that went unspent by EC DSD, the Department could have provided an additional 67 222 food parcels to the people living in poverty in our province.

The DA previously reported that services to victims of GBV in the province have decreased over the past few years, with a mere R7,1 million allocated to rendering shelter services for GBV victims. With the R121 million that went unspent, the Department of Social Development could have increased the number of shelters for victims of GBV.

The DA tabled a motion for debate to request DSD to conduct needs assessments in the various districts in the province where no shelters are available to those affected by GBV.

In the Western Cape, R34 million was allocated to rendering services to victims of GBV, 26 shelters for GBV victims were funded, and 1903 women accessed these services. Not a single cent was wasted or unspent.

In response to a written question, Premier Oscar Mabuyane confirmed that no provincial or national policies stipulate how government aids the homeless. This shows how uncaring the ANC government truly is to those from whom they cannot benefit.

In contrast, the Western Cape government funded 2208 bed spaces for homeless adults and allocated R31,7 million to provide services to and restore the dignity of these individuals. Again, not a single cent was not spent.

The DA will continue to fight for the dignity of the people of the Eastern Cape. The corruption-driven ANC government has forgotten the poor, abused and impoverished.