We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu's budget vote speech - here's what you need to know

25 July 2019 - 12:27 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Department of social development minister Lindiwe Zulu.
Department of social development minister Lindiwe Zulu.
Image: Linda Mthombeni

Minister of social development Lindiwe Zulu on Wednesday delivered her department's budget vote speech before the National Council of Provinces. The address was delivered under the theme "Working together to empower communities for sustainable communities",  and followed the department's delivery of its budget vote to parliament last week. 

Here's everything you need to know:

Budget allocation

An amount of R184bn has been set aside for social development for the 2019/20 financial year. Of this, R175bn will go towards government social grants beneficiaries, R7.6bn towards the administration of social grants assistance and R212m will go to the National Development Agency.

Youth and women-owned businesses

Zulu said the department was working towards ensuring that young women of working age are supported in their business pursuits and, because some of these are social grant recipients, the department has been tasked with ensuring their survival, beyond government grants.

"We will spend R124m to procure directly from women-owned and youth-owned co-operatives, and small business enterprises, especially those that have been supported by government, and indeed through our NDA."

Sassa corruption

A sum of R68m has been set aside for the investigation of corruption and fraud at Sassa, and 2,800 Sassa accounts suspected of such have so far been suspended, the majority in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Social work graduates absorption

About 740 social work graduates have been absorbed into the department, through the social work scholarship fund programme. Zulu said more are needed, as social work skills are scarce and in demand. Because of this, 595 more graduates were appointed on contract basis, and their services will be used in the implementation of HIV/Aids social behaviour change intervention.

ECD suport

Also at the top of the department's priorities are children who attend early childhood development centres. The minister said more than 60,000 children who attend ECDs have received government support in the past financial year, and in an effort to speed up the department's progress, even more money will be invested to ensure sustainable progress.

Shelters, victims of crime and violence 

Zulu said the submissions made by the Commission on Gender Equality, which supports organisations which provide assistance to victims of abuse and crime, has prompted action by the department. "We have started implementing some of its recommendations, including those of the presidential summit on gender-based violence and femicide."