Children risk going hungry, thanks to Gauteng government



The Life Esidimeni scandal – in which 144 psychiatric patients in Gauteng died – was eloquent proof that many “civil servants” are incompetent, or callous … or both.

Now, there is the chilling prospect of history repeating itself because some of society’s most vulnerable individuals – children – are once again being abandoned by a couldn’t-care-less Gauteng government.

The provincial department of social development has failed to pay grants to a number of children’s homes around the province. This means cupboards and fridges are bare and their young charges risk going hungry.

This would be tragic at any time of the year, but the fact that the supposed servants of the people are doing this at Christmas, when many other families are celebrating, makes the situation so much more appalling.

ALSO READ: Life Esidimeni inquest: Ex-Gauteng Health official denies misleading Qedani Mahlangu

The department seems to be concocting all sorts of excuses to avoid paying the institutions – from making them adhere to compliance standards that are onerous and costly, to suddenly insisting on requirements which were never part of the original agreements.

These places, let us be crystal clear, are taking the burden off government services and doing invaluable work for our community.

This was much the same as was happening in the case of Life Esidimeni, when government employees decided to move patients to unsuitable facilities and then couldn’t be bothered to monitor what was happening to them.

This should not be allowed to happen again – but, sadly, it appears the cadres running Gauteng’s social development department don’t care. We couldn’t raise them for comment. Perhaps they’ve gone home already to their own festive feasts, while the children they are responsible for have empty tummies.

ALSO READ: Former senior health official admits Life Esidimeni project was ‘rushed’

We hope that people who read our story today will reach out and help those poor innocent kids, who do not deserve to be treated this way


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