2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


DEPARTMENT OF WELFARE SPENDS LESS THAN 1% 
OF ITS POVERTY RELIEF FUND

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY MALIZOLE DIKO,
UDM NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON

The UDM is disgusted to learn that the Department of Welfare spent less than 1% of its poverty relief fund.

Given the well-known speech of President Mbeki, on his government’s commitment to fight poverty, one wonders whether this is the best way to demonstrate that commitment?

Hundreds of NGO’s, who’s main focus is to eradicate poverty, walk from this Department’s door with answers like: “We have a shortage of funds.” The very same Department seems proud that it has a budget surplus amounting to millions of Rands.

This is an insult to the poverty stricken communities and shows that Mbeki’s government does not view this as a problem.

The Minister of Welfare owes an explanation to the NGO’s, Parliament and the communities who could have been helped with this money.

It is time that the President and his government stop giving statements of intent without positive action, words do not feed people or alleviate poverty. “The people have spoken”, Mr President. They need action not good speeches.

The UDM calls on the Department and Government to put into place a good monitoring system to ensure that this does not happen again. The government cannot afford to save money to buy votes before elections, if this is the aim. People’s poverty cannot and should not be used for election fodder. Rollovers are not acceptable, this shows a lack of commitment to service delivery.

Enquiries:
Malizole Diko
UDM National Spokesperson

28 February 2000