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NPOs frustrated by delay of funds

Commissioner Street in Johannesburg was closed down by non-profit organisations as they did not receive any funds from the social development department for two months.

NPOs in Gauteng gathered to voice their disapproval of the provincial social development department’s funding delays, despite a meeting with Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi where he intended to address the problems.

This comes as some NPOs retrenched staff and closed their doors because of delays in receiving funding, while the Department of Social Development (DSD) scrambles to finalise the signing of service level agreements (SLAs).

In March, the department’s budget was slashed by R233m. This caused frustration in the different NPOs, as they had to keep their services running to the general public, even though DSD did not provide them with much-needed funds for two months.

According to the director of one of the affected NPOs, Aileen Langley of Epilepsy South Africa Gauteng Branch, this has inconvenienced them because they have 172 permanent residents on their premises and have to make sure they take care of all their needs.

She said that what pains them the most as an organisation, is that DSD promised to resolve the issues as soon as possible, but to date they have not yet received anything.

“We are a 24-hour and seven-day entity that needs to make sure that our residents who have critical epilepsy conditions are taken care of. Our available funds will last the week we are about to enter, and yet DSD hasn’t resolved this issue,” Langley said.

Furthermore, Langley said most of the individuals in their centre no longer have families and they solely depend on them as an organisation.

Lesufi announced that the budget will be reinstated, and they have prioritised immediate payments to the NPOs on May 14, in a meeting that was held with two members of his executive, social development MEC Mbali Hlophe and her finance counterpart Jacob Mamabolo, and members of NPOs.

However, to date, the stakeholders from the various NPOs that were protesting confirmed that they did not receive any funds.

Acting director of the stakeholder relations of DSD, Khosi Radebe, said Lesufi was in a meeting with relevant stakeholders as the protesters were protesting to resolve the matter.

“The reason behind the delayed payments is that we have launched a new system for payments and we are still verifying that all NPOs that we have listed still exist and abide by our rules and regulations,” Radebe said.

The Alberton Record will provide more details regarding the story as soon as they become available.

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