Nonprofit organisations (NPOs) providing social welfare services to vulnerable and marginalised groups and impoverished communities in Gauteng are deeply disappointed at the lack of attention in the national budget to the crisis faced by their sector. A number of organisations have already implemented cutbacks in their services, and some are facing imminent closure, because of a lack of fair and realistic government funding combined with a fall in donor contributions and severe cutbacks in support from the National Lottery.
We appreciate the increase announced in contributions to early childhood development and the Isibindi programme for orphaned and vulnerable children, but these between them amount only to a fraction of the broader sector. The attention given to job creation and to health and education is also welcomed, but why are social welfare services, which have a crucial role to play in the development of our nation, continuing to be marginalised? If tax concessions for wealthier citizens are possible, why can additional support not be provided to the NPOs serving – for example - children and families in distress, older persons, those with disabilities, those affected by HIV/AIDS, victims of violence, homeless people and poverty-stricken communities?
It is also cause for concern that the increases announced in social grants and pensions are below inflation, meaning that the buying power of the poorest among us will in fact be reduced.
Gauteng Welfare, Social Service and Development Forum