Humanitarian crisis brewing: Thousands of vulnerable children, adults affected by Gauteng budget cuts

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
18 Apr 2023 in News

The DA will write to the Minister for Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, to urgently intervene before the Gauteng Department for Social Development plunges the province into a humanitarian crisis.

The DA has been inundated with desperate calls from Gauteng-based NGOs pleading for help after the Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Mbali Hlophe, announced that the budget would be reprioritised to better align with Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi’s identified priorities, which include substance abuse.

This means that programmes and NGOs that serve the elderly, children, people with disabilities and individuals living with HIV/Aids had their budgets slashed to such an extent that many would have to close their doors, while others are forced to cut vital programmes and services. This was seemingly done without consulting the NGOs, stakeholders or beneficiaries and without assessing the devastating impact this might have on thousands of vulnerable people that have come to rely on the NGOs.

Some NGOs are also being forced to sign new service level agreements that comply with their reduced funding.

The DA will also request the MEC be brought before Parliament to account for this ill-conceived decision.

Thousands of vulnerable individuals cannot be allowed to suffer on the whim of a premier and an MEC, and the DA will do everything in our power to prevent a second Life Esidimeni tragedy in the making.