Gauteng Welfare, Social Service and Development Forum Comments on the 2011/12 Budget

NGO Budget 2011
Thursday, 24 February, 2011 - 10:30

Welfare organisations in Gauteng are disappointed at the lack of any reference in Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech to measures that would bring relief to our struggling social welfare service system

Welfare organisations in Gauteng are disappointed at the lack of any reference in Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech to measures that would bring relief to our struggling social welfare service system. While such provision may yet - and we sincerely hope it will - appear in the Gauteng provincial budget, there is an urgent need for a ring-fenced allocation from the National Treasury to assist each province to properly finance core services delivered by non-profit organisations. These services are carried out in fulfilment of the Bill of Rights and a range of laws, policies and international agreements to which our country is committed.
 
We welcome the measures announced by the Minister to tackle unemployment, and to bring about improvements in health, education and the supply of water and electricity to poor communities, as well as the attention given in the budget to human settlements and environmental issues. All these will help promote the wellbeing of our nation.  Also, the modest increases to social security grants will to some extent counter the impact of inflation on recipients.
 
But urgent attention must also be paid to the chronically underfinanced service system that engages with South Africa’s county’s most vulnerable and marginalised people. These include orphaned and vulnerable children, and those who have been abused, abandoned or neglected; people with disabilities; frail older persons; victims of domestic violence and other forms of trauma; those in need of mental health services, and many other categories. The services provided are aimed at preventing social problems, as well as assisting those who are affected by them to remain - or become - fully integrated and contributing members of society. They are an essential aspect of national development.
 
We remind government that non-profit organisations are also a major source of employment in our country, and could provide a great many additional jobs if they were properly provided for in the national and provincial budgets. Minister Gordhan, we appeal to you to urgently address the needs of South Africa’s neglected social welfare service system!
 
Jackie Loffell
Provincial Coordinator
Gauteng Welfare, Social Service and Development Forum

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