South Africa's social welfare services are under threat - expert

In April The National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union signed a settlement agreement with the Department of Social Development suspending a month long social workers’ strike, but the problems facing social welfare in South Africa are never-ending.

Researcher and writer, Robyn Wolfson spoke to CapeTalk's Abongile Nzelenzele about what she says is a crisis that has mostly affected HIV/Aids programmes, child welfare, including early childhood development programmes.

Social welfare is funded through the department of social development and those are organised on an annual basis basically through service level agreements but what we are finding is that they are under huge amount of threat and it comes form two different aspects, the one is that we have seen irregular funding for a long time for those NGOs.

Robyn Wolfson, Social Welfare researcher

At the beginning of this financial year we hit a huge crisis with our NGOs and that was as a result of a strike which took place with social development social workers and so the service level agreements which basically organise and decide dhow much everybody will be getting were not signed as a result of the strike, and so in April this year a whole lot of NGO's did not get paid.

Robyn Wolfson, Social Welfare researcher

An issue that was masked by that crisis, and that is that those NGO's have had their funding cut substantially.

Robyn Wolfson, Social Welfare researcher

Child Welfare in East London is on such NGO that may have to close it's doors because of a subsidy cut of 90%.

They went from R 2.2 million in their subsidy to only R 200 000 according to this newspaper article that was out this week.

Robyn Wolfson, Social Welfare researcher

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....

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