Gauteng NGOs which signed Service Level Agreements (SLA) have still not been paid by the same failing and uncaring ANC government, which still has blood-stained hands following the avoidable Esidimeni tragedy. . These agreements were signed before the Easter Weekend but to date NGOs have still not been paid.
It would appear that the late signing of SLAs is becoming the norm for the Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD). This is indicative of poor planning which is becoming detrimental to service providers and beneficiaries alike.
Despite the late signing of the SLA, NGOS are still expected to pay salaries. According to some of the NGOs I have engaged with, officials at the GDSD told the affected NGOs that they will have to wait 30 days for payment.
While this might be contractually correct, the department is not taking into consideration that it is their fault that SLAs were signed late.
Last year, the uncaring ANC-led provincial government also paid NGOs late and the excuse cited was the national social worker strike. The department has had a year to get their house in order, yet they have failed again.
This is unacceptable as during the 2018/2019 financial year, the GDSD surrendered R347 million back to treasury for failing to use its budget.
NGOs play a pivotal role in helping the most vulnerable in society who are in need of care.
I will continue to engage with the affected NGOs and will continue to put pressure on GDSD to pay NGOS on time.