Welfare NGOs say the KwaZulu-Natal Social Welfare budget is creating a widening gap between better-paid state social workers and those employed by nonprofit organisations.
Network of Welfare Organisation Directors chairperson, Shelagh Hurford, says the entry level for social workers in NGOs is about R8 270, while social workers employed by the state get about 17 percent more than this plus their occupational-specific dispensation (OSDs). NGOs with only a five percent increase in their subsidies cannot compete.
The NGOs say this is not acceptable because at the same time the department is instituting the occupational-specific dispensation (OSD) for state-employed social workers. This means the gap keeps widening as five percent nowhere near covers increased service costs within the NGOs.
They were reacting to MEC Meshack Radebe’s announcement in his budget speech that a five percent subsidy, backdated to April, will be paid to NGOs.
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