The Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal is deeply disturbed that the provincial Department of Social Development has underspent its 2019/20 Budget by R33.37 million, which will have to be returned to National Treasury.
This is totally unacceptable since the people of KZN are in desperate need of social services, yet we find that money that was budgeted for specific service delivery programmes has not been spent. As a result of the underspending and poor planning the Department has not achieved close to thirty of its own performance targets in the past financial year.
Whilst we commend the Department on some of its achievements during these trying times, we cannot overlook the fact that this department has a history of underspending on its Budget and underperforming with regard to its annual targets. Programmes such as Services to Older Persons, HIV/Aids, Persons with Disabilities and Child Care and Protection have all not met their performance targets. These are critical programmes that affect the very core of our peoples’ lives, but they are not being rolled out as expected. It is obvious that there is a lack of commitment and dedication to duty on the part of some officials who simply do not care about the wellbeing of our people. There is evidence of increasing social ills and poverty in communities across KZN, and this calls for creative thinking on the part of those employed to deliver services for which there is funding. We cannot condone apathy on the part of officials who are entrusted with improving the lives of those who are less fortunate.
Whilst the IFP welcomes the new Head of Department, Ms Nelisiwe Vilakazi, we hope that she comes with the necessary expertise and skills to be able to turn this Department around for the benefit of the people of the province. The IFP is still seeking answers as to what has happened to the former HOD of this Department, Ms Khanile. Why was she suddenly and without explanation removed and where is she now? We call upon the MEC, Hon. Nonhlanhla Khoza, to play an effective leadership role in ensuring that our citizens receive the services that are due to them. There can be no excuse for underperformance on the part of her Department.
Hon. Les Govender, MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Social Development
Date:13 July 2020
083 9744894 / 082 488787