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Wed Sep 17 21:34:50 SAST 2014

State fails to spend R54 million of welfare budget: report

Sapa | 02 November, 2012 09:42

Image by: Russell Roberts / Financial Mail

The Gauteng department of social development neglected to spend R54 million of its welfare budget in the past financial year, it was reported on Friday.

Beeld reported that R35m of the money had been budgeted for childcare services, and R13 million for old age homes, according to the annual report of what was still the department of health and social development.

The department has since merged with the department of agriculture.

According to the newspaper, R18.9 million of the money should have been spent on non-governmental organisations working in the field of Aids prevention, and R12.8 million on NGOs lending support to vulnerable families.

Departmental spokesman Sello Mokoena said the underspending had been caused by "cash flow problems" at the health department.

In response, Democratic Alliance social development spokeswoman Rika Kruger said underspending had placed essential welfare services under severe pressure and was forcing NGOs to shut their doors.

"A shortage of centres for the early childhood development, clinical psychologists and trauma counsellors are only a few of the services being affected... organisations providing services for the elderly and weak are being hit the hardest," she said.

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Wed Sep 17 21:34:50 SAST 2014 ::