KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has instituted a formal investigation into the failure of non-profit organisations (NPOs) to deliver social relief of distress (SRD) to communities around the province.
The NPOs tasked to deliver SRD to communities include Healing Peps - Midlands cluster; Widowed Women of South Africa (WWOSA) - Ulundi cluster, and Insikazi Foundation - Pietermaritzburg and eThekwini clusters.
According to the department, an amount of R25 million was allocated for SRD by the department this quarter.
However, during engagements between the MEC and departmental management, NPOs cited lack of capacity as one of the reasons they are unable to meet the demand.
In the interest of good and clean governance, Khoza has taken it upon herself to commission an investigation, which will commence shortly.
“The investigation will determine circumstances surrounding the payment to NPOs to render this critical service, but now claiming that their coffers have been depleted due to operational costs,” Khoza said.
The MEC warned that the department has taken a tough stance against corruption and demands clean governance.
“Our obligation as Members of the Executive is to ensure that public funds are managed properly. The time for people to just get away with mismanagement and abuse of public funds should come to an end.
“The department has used these NPOs, even allocated assets to them, such as bakkies, trucks, forklifts and petrol cards to deliver SRD,” Khoza said.
Khoza said she was concerned about the inconsistencies of officials tasked with the responsibility to work closely with the NPOs to provide such services to those in need.
“It is impossible that the department can pay such a huge amount of money to benefit the poor, but only to be told that the [money] was exhausted without producing any portfolio of evidence.
“We cannot accept that SRD only reached a few beneficiaries, but the funds have already been exhausted. These NPOs, together with officials responsible, should provide us with evidence as to where and when the food was delivered,” Khoza said.
She said the investigation should shed light on what is happening with respect to SRD.
“Any NPO that receives money from the department to serve the people should account for every cent used. We have since directed the Head of Department, Nelisiwe Vilakazi, to institute an investigation into the matter.
“We owe it to the people of KwaZulu-Natal to account for the funds that we are given a responsibility to manage. The investigation will get to the bottom of this matter, so that we can rid the department of maladministration and focus on service delivery to the people,” Khoza said. – SAnews.gov.za