Bhisho’s nonpayment of NPOs is just not acceptable
The persistent delay by the provincial government in paying agreed subsidies to non-profit organisations is a downright disgrace.
This paper reported on Thursday that once more many NPOs have not been paid and have had to draw upon money earmarked for projects to pay salaries and bills.
That’s if they were lucky enough to have such cash in their coffers — some social workers have gone without their salaries.
It is far from the first time that the social development department has been tardy in coughing up.
According to NPOs, this sad state of affairs has been the pattern for the past decade for reasons that are unknown.
And that’s not all.
NPOs say they are waiting “with bated breath” to hear whether their applications for funding for the new financial year have been approved.
They also fear that funding cuts are highly likely in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adding to their worries is that the economic woes caused by the pandemic mean private sector donations have declined.
Delene Ritter of Child Welfare SA correctly describes the situation as a massive crisis.
The non-government sector plays a key role in building society by empowering youth and women and supporting the needs of some of the most vulnerable citizens — the impoverished, children at risk, the elderly, the disabled, refugees, recovering addicts, reformed criminals and victims of abuse.
The state’s social welfare workers are overextended and lack capacity.
The province’s NPOs — more than 1,000 of them — have an invaluable support role, working at grassroots level for minimal monetary rewards to ensure our often fragile society does not fall apart.
The very least they deserve is financial security, but it seems our bureaucrats are incapable of this much.
Truth be told, most South Africans would rather taxes were directed to those who do so much good work than wasted on corruption and incompetence by the state.
Bhisho needs to get its priorities straight and ensure this funding crunch does not recur. Ever.
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