Budget VOTE 7 Social Development speech 2021/2022
It is important that we recognize the impact of Covid 19 on our country and Province. The first and second wave required that we dig deep as a Province to combat the consequences of Covid 19 in the Social Sector. A sector that has been pushed to the brink due to some irrational regulations imposed as part of the Disaster Management Act, amongst others.
It is important to acknowledge the contribution of Civil society, the NPO, CBO and Faith Based sector, amongst others as well as the many individual South Africans who have stepped up to assist with Humanitarian aid throughout the pandemic.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the failure of SASSA to deliver on their mandate as specified in the Social Assistance Act. We have seen court challenges on hot food, non-payment of funds to NPO’s and ECDs and the water-bombing of the most vulnerable in wheelchairs in Bellville, whilst awaiting the processing of Temporary Disabilities Grants.
I must also alert this august house, to the termination of the SRD R350 grant, that will be terminated at the end of April, leaving some 400 000 beneficiaries in this Province without any source of income.
It is within this context that I rise to table the 2021/ 2022 Budget for Social Development. For the 2021/22 financial year the department received a budget of 2 billion, 663 million Rand. This is R29 million, 237 thousand rand less than the current financial years revised estimates. Whilst the year on year comparison reflects a decrease in the 2021/22 budget it is important for the House to note the once off expenditure received late in the current financial year such as the ECD Stimulus grant of R53 million rand and, the once off allocation of R51 million rand for food relief. This is not provided for in the new budget.
With this as a backdrop and taking its lead from the Western Cape Recovery Plan, specifically, the Wellbeing and Safety priorities, the Department’s focus during the 2021/22 financial year will be:
To maintain the delivery of statutory and court-ordered interventions. We will continue to work on the institutionalisation of the integrated Isibindi programme. As such, 14.375 million Rand is allocated to the expansion of the Isibindi programme.
We remain aware of the food crisis that we are facing in the City, Province and country as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic and the economic impact thereof.
Providing Humanitarian relief support to communities remains a key priority for the department as we continue to mitigate the impact of the ongoing COVID pandemic. As such, a further R 25 million has been allocated by the Department for social distress to vulnerable families that includes amongst others, allocations towards food distribution centres and community nutrition development centres.
The support we are providing to homeless citizens will grow. We have already funded 500-bed spaces, with plans to fund 500 additional bed spaces, as well as the accompanying reintegration services. These 500 additional bed-spaces will be in homeless shelters that are situated outside of Cape Town Metropolitan areas, to assist those homeless citizens who require accommodation and psychosocial support and are residing in rural areas.
We prioritize the homeless by providing R35 million to 27 shelters, which will now be providing 2 499 beds spaces each day.
We are cognizant of the crucial role that these shelters play in ensuring that this vulnerable grouping is treated with respect and dignity and having all their basics needs met. DSD assists the homeless by fully or partially funding NPOs that work directly to get people off the streets and empower them with skills-training, uniting them back with their families and integrating them into our communities.
R23m towards combatting GBV: Just last week Friday, I launched the Marigold Safehouse in the Central-Karoo, which is the first of six shelters that the provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) with the support of its Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) partners, plans on opening throughout the year.
I am also pleased to alert the House today, that the Marigold Safehouse is also the first to be opened in the country, following all the respective properties made available, by DPWI for gender-based violence safe houses in all the Provinces.
The Department with the support of a government’s GBV transversal committee established to work towards addressing GBV, is in the process of finalizing the province’s first-ever GBV implementation plan which is guided by the National Strategic Plan on GBV and femicide.
Addressing violence- in particular, gender-based-violence, requires a set of clearly defined strategies that mobilise the resources, knowledge, creativity, and concerns of various stakeholders in society. Therefore, if we are going to be successful in our efforts to address this ‘shadow pandemic’, all spheres of society must come together!
Provision of PPE to both funded and unfunded NGO’s
The department has reprioritised funding to ensure that all our services and facilities (both funded and unfunded) are equipped with the necessary resources, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. As such, R11.6 million has been made available towards the Provision of PPE to NGO’s working in the older persons sector, persons with disabilities and child protection sectors for COVID related matters/assistance.
Many businesses, NGOs, faith-based organisations and international government entities have made donations to the Western Cape Government as a whole, and in particular, to DSD. Donations have included personal protective gear as well as decontamination services. These have been distributed among vulnerable groups, particularly in Covid-19 hotspot areas. The donations have supplemented the extra support given by the Department of Social Development to facilities, showcasing the difference a whole of society approach can make in addressing Covid-19.
Sanitary Dignity Project: R10. 509 million
The provision of sanitary products to female learners willcontinue. We remain aware that more work is needed to fully understand the stigma associated with menstruation, to effectively break the silence, and to advance work towards the realisation of women’s rights and an understanding of gender equality that enables women to succeed.
As of February 2021, 554 508 packets of sanitary pads have been distributed amongst up to 90 000 female learners.
We will continue to honour the dignity and wellbeing of as many female learners as we can through this great initiative.
I would like to thank the many individuals and organisations, who continue to donate essential sanitary resources to those in need, and in doing so, helping us in our fight to address the plight of female learners who are poor and cannot properly manage their menses every month whilst attending school
Provision of R20 910 million social worker graduate programme towards funding a maximum of 143 social work graduates.
As a Department, we know how important this opportunity is for ensuring that these graduates are provided with experience in the field.