Several Eastern Cape Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) have still not heard whether their applications for funding from the Department of Social Development (DSD) for the financial year have been successful.
The lack of certainty as to whether funding would be received has delayed the rollout of critical social welfare services to older persons, victims of Gender Based Violence, children, and families.
This is despite Social Development MEC Bukiwe Fanta categorically stating that all NPOs, except for 17 community-based programmes under programme 5, had been informed of their funding allocations by 1 April 2023.
The Democratic Alliance has, however, heard from several organisations that fall under other programmes within the Department that this is not the case. Some only received notifications that their applications were successful last week.
In response to a parliamentary question from the DA, MEC Fanta said that out of 1 254 NPOs being funded, 827 NPOs had not yet signed Transfer Payment Agreements because of delays by the Department.
This backlog is being addressed, but the implication for these NPOs is that there will most likely be payment delays, placing further strain on organisations battling to look after the province’s most vulnerable during a cost-of-living crisis.
Delays also place significant pressure on organisations that are then unable to pay staff, rent, water and electricity bills, fuel, and any associated costs in delivering services.
The DA has fought for these organisations to be treated fairly by the Department and successfully passed a motion in the Legislature last month requiring, amongst others, that the Department inform NPOs who will no longer be funded at least three months before funding is cut.
The Department must also ensure that where services to communities are impacted, alternatives must be made available.
I will be writing to the chairperson of the Social Development Portfolio Committee to request that the MEC provide a full report on the delays in funding allocation notifications and an update on all payments owed to NPOs across the province.
The DA will continue to fight for the people of this province and apply pressure to ensure that the resolutions of this motion are upheld and that our NPOs are treated fairly, so that they can continue to take care of our most vulnerable.