DA calls for urgent answers as DSD fails to pay KZN NPO subsidies

Issued by Mmabatho Tembe, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development
01 Feb 2023 in Press Statements

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has been reliably informed that NPO’s in the province – in particular Pietermaritzburg-based child and youth care centres – have not received their government subsidies for December and January.

Issues with the payments, by KZN’s Department of Social Development (DSD), began in November last year with NPO’s receiving payments very late that month.

The DA is deeply concerned by the allegations. Most NPO’s rely heavily on subsidies to pay salaries and buy food. Not all NPOs have external funding, a situation exacerbated after many donors pulled out as a result of the Covid-19 pandemics severe effect on the economy.

The outcome of this dire state of affairs is that staff will not be paid. Meanwhile, NPO’s will struggle to put food on the table for the vulnerable people that they serve, compounding an already difficult environment.

As a result of its own administrative bungling, DSD is now paying in subsidies in arrears. This is a big problem and the question is: How will they ever catch up and how will this affect future payments?

To make matters worse, NPO’s claim that DSD has failed to communicate adequately on the issue. They have not received any answers to their questions around when subsidies will be paid. Instead, they have been left in the dark with no one from the Department providing a plan of action.

The DA has today submitted a written parliamentary question to MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza in order to get proper answers. (view here) We have also called on her to urgently meet with provincial Treasury to find a solution.

Our NPO’s form the backbone of social services in the province. They must be given more help to perform their critical role. This must be prioritised by DSD during the next budget period.

The message from NPO’s is clear – they have lost hope in the DSD and this ANC-run government, which claim to care yet fail to address their most urgent needs.

The DA has consistently highlighted the many crises within our NPO’s and will continue to do so. This government must be held accountable.