Home » The facts of the reprioritisation of the Gauteng Department of Social Development budget 2023/24

The facts of the reprioritisation of the Gauteng Department of Social Development budget 2023/24

Issued by the Gauteng Care Crisis Committee, April 2023

by Media Xpose

All information presented in this fact sheet has been taken from Vote 6, Social Development, set out on pages 223 – 260 of the Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure for Gauteng 2023. As the final audited figures for expenditure in 2022/23 are not yet available our analysis is based on the revised estimates for the year.

Of key concern is the cut of R417.6 million to the NPO budget for social care services and services to children and families. Inflicted without consultation or prior warning, it has created a crisis in care services. The full scope of the crisis is not yet visible, but worrying signs of its impact are already evident in the numbers of services that have been terminated, or whose survival now hangs in the balance.

  1. Summary of overall expenditure

In 2022/23, the Gauteng DSD was allocated a budget of R5.538 billion, with this being nominally increased in 2023/24 to R5.550 billion. Table 1 shows how this total was then allocated between the DSD’s five programme areas.

Table 1: Allocation of Gauteng DSD budget, by programme for 2022/23 and 2023/24

Gauteng DSD overall programme summary
2022/23% of total2023/24% of totalDifference%  difference between 2 years
Administration785 44914.2%718 40912.9%-67 040-8.5%
Social welfare services1 009 19918.2%692 60412.5%-316 595-31.4%
Children and Families1 930 63834.9%1 965 54335.4%34 9051.8%
Restorative services955 85917.2%959 90417.3%4 0450.4%
Development and research856 89215.4%1 214 34621.9%358 45441.8%
TOTAL5 538 0375 550 806

(Source: p235)

According to this summary, two programmes received less funding than they had in the previous financial year: the administration budget was reduced by approximately R67 million (a reduction of 8.5%) and the budget for social welfare service decreased R316.5 million (a reduction of 31.4%). The budget allocated to development and research, by contrast, increased by R358 million, or 41.8%.

  1. Where are NPOs in the budget?

In a long-standing arrangement that goes back over decades, NPOs provide social care services in partnership with the DSD. In 2022/23 the budget allocated towards the funding of NPO services was approximately R2.366 billion, with this decreasing by R62.1 million (or 2.6%) to R2.304 billion in 2023/24. Table 2 presents the total amount transferred to NPOs in four of the DSD’s five programme areas (NPOs, for obvious reasons, are not subsidised to undertake the DSD’s administration).

Table 2 indicates clearly the extent to which NPOs’ social care services and services to families and children have been defunded. In 2022/23 the budget available to NPOs to provide care services in these two programmes was R1. 373 billion. This amount was reduced by R417.6 million in 2023/24 to R956 million, with most of the R417.6 million used to increase the transfers to NPOs falling within the development and research programme.

Table 2: Transfers and subsidies to NPOs for 2022/23 and 2023/24, by programme

Social welfare services841 467           518 974           -322 493 (-38.3%)
Children and families531 910 437 043           -94 867 (-17.8%)
Restorative services667 324           673 966           6 642 (1%)
Development and research326 124           674 666           348 542 (106.7%)
TOTAL2 366 8252 304 649 
  1. How the NPO budget is split between different services and projects

Each DSD programme area makes funding available to the different kinds of services and projects offered by NPOs, set out in Table 3. From these calculations it is possible to see how funding to NPOs has been shifted around over the last two years, and thus what has been deprioritised in 2023/24 financial year.

Table 3: Subsidy transfers to NPOs for 2022/23 and 2023/24, by sector

Transfers to NPOs2022/23% of total2023/24% of totalDifference% difference between 2 years
Older Persons276 0668.9%219 4939.5%-56 573-20.5%
People with disabilities129 2555.5%91 9643.9%-37 291-28.9%
HIV services436 14618.4%207 5179.0%-228 629-52.4%
Families252 37810.7%199 0458.6%-53 333-21.1%
Child Protection organisations 
CYCCs210 9328.9%172 5858.6%-38 347-18.2%
Community care68 6002.9%65 4132.8%-3 187-4.6%
Crime prevention23 9221.0%10 2910.4%-13 631-57%
Victim Empowerment Programme159 4146.7%161 9007.0%2 4861.6%
Substance abuse483 98820.4%501 77521.8%17 7873.7%
Poverty264 62811.2%613 17026.6%348 542131.7%
Youth36 5951.5%36 5951.6%0 
Women24 9011.0%24 9011.0%0 
TOTALSR2 366 825R2 304 649-R62 176-2.6%

(Source: p236-237).

With the exception of three programmes – VEP, substance abuse, and poverty – the amounts allocated to all other programmes either declined or remained stagnant. However, at 1.6% and 3.7% respectively, the increases to VEP and substance abuse are relatively small. The very significant increase is to poverty alleviation programmes whose budget more than doubled after being increased by approximately 132%.

According to the Budget Vote, these programmes include, among others, waste management initiatives; cooperatives; the sewing of school uniforms; the creation of dignity packs; and food security initiatives.

Assessing the budget made available for NPOs child protection services is not possible. For reasons we cannot explain, the Budget Vote has left this field blank. The budgets for both crime prevention and HIV programmes were more than halved, while those to people with disabilities sustained a cut of more than 25%.

Some limited indication of these reductions in services to people with disabilities and older persons is evident form the DSD’s performance targets for 2023/24.

Older persons: residential facilities65266 148        -378
Older persons: community care and support23 55919 675-3 884
PWD: residential facilities19231 703-220
PWD: protective workshops4 3654 265-100

(Source: p240)

  1. How have these cuts affected NPOs?

The budget adjustments authorised by the reprioritisation have led either to services being terminated or being offered significantly reduced funding. Child protection organisations, for example, have received 61% cuts to their subsidies, with the result that a social worker who earned R14 538/month now receives a subsidy of R5 669.83/month while a social auxiliary worker who received R11 674/month now earns R4 588.00/month. Both subsidies are less than the entry level salary paid to a public sector employee at salary level 1.

No less concerning is the way DSD has cut the subsidies of child and youth care workers from R6 497/month to R2 924/month, while subsidies for care givers have been reduced from R2 785/month to R1 253/month. Both subsidies are below the national minimum wage.

Astonishingly, despite providing NPOs with 39% of the funding they received in 2022/23, the Gauteng DSD contracts stipulate that NPOs meet the same performance targets set for 2022/23.

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