File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng social development department has once again underspent on its budget for the fourth quarter, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

According to the department’s quarterly report for the 2018/19 financial year, they had underspent by R400 million and failed to reach their set targets, DA spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe said.

The under-expenditure occurred in development and research, children and families, and restorative services, she said.

In development and research, the department underspent by R116.7 million, in the children and families category by R240.9 million, and in restorative services by R39.3 million.

"This money could have been used to fund NGOs and NPOs, who do much needed upliftment work in our communities, to employ more social workers and to purchase more resources like vehicles to aid department officials with their work," Nt’sekhe said.

This was not the first time that the department had underspent its budget. Last year the department surrendered R347 million, while NGOs and NPOs were struggling to stay afloat.

"I will be tabling questions to the MEC for social development in the Gauteng provincial legislature to ascertain what measures are being put in place to deal with the under-expenditure of the department so as to ensure that our people get the services they deserve," Nt’sekhe said.

African News Agency (ANA)