Welfare bodies breathe again: Department makes u-turn on budget cuts

Christelike Maatskaplike Raad is one of the homes whose budgets will be re-adjusted Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA
Christelike Maatskaplike Raad is one of the homes whose budgets will be re-adjusted Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA
While an 11th-hour rescue plan by the department of social development helped save some jobs in non-profit organisations, whose budgets were cut, most of them still do not know how much more money they will be getting.

The South African Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) is one organisation still uncertain about what the future holds.

Social development significantly cut the budgets of a few NPOs in Buffalo City Metro, but this changed after a public uproar, with the department making a u-turn and promising to readjust the allocated funds.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Sanca director Rodger Wiemann said although they had managed to keep all their social workers, they still had not received their adjustment notice.

“As Sanca we have not received any adjustment notice, neither have we received any intentions to re-adjust our cut budget.

“To keep all our staff, we have decreased our area of reach in East London,” Wiemann said.

Sanca, which renders a range of treatment services such as brief or early intervention, detoxification, in- and out-patient services to aftercare, was servicing 28 areas in East London but the number will drop to 20 following the cuts.

Others organisations whose budgets were cut significantly include Die Christelik-Maatskaplike Raad (CMR) King William’s Town, Childline and Child Welfare East London.

CMR, whose budget was cut by half, is in a better position to continue its service to the community after the department reversed its decision.

CMR director Magda von Solms said after it was announced that the department would re-adjust the NPOs’ allocations, they had met with the portfolio committee on social development at the Eastern Cape legislature after which the committee had ordered the department to make the readjustment within 30 days.

“We appreciate the hand that has been extended to us by the department. However it is a pity that it came after a lot of harm had already been done.

“We are looking forward to working more with the department,” she said

The department could not be reached at the time of writing. — simthandilef@dispatch.co.za

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