Johannesburg – Civil society organisations have bemoaned a lack of financial support from the government as they try and provide much-needed resources to various communities as the country battles the spread of the coronavirus.
An umbrella group Community Constituency Covid-19 Front, which was formed just before the pandemic was declared, said its members have been struggling to assist the government in providing community work during the pandemic because they lack financial support.
The organisations said it represents about 100 non-government organisations in the country said it has been doing all it can but wants the government to cushion its financial capacity. It said it had written to the Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu asking for support but no response has been received.
The organisation said it had alerted the minister of its applications to access funding from the Solidarity Fund. The fund was established by the government as vehicle for collecting funds which would be used to beef-up the health care system and provide support to the community through the provision of food parcels.
The Community Constituency Covid-19 Front said it would use Friday’s meeting at Nedlac which will be attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa to reiterate calls for financial support for NGOs.
Ramaphosa had previously promised that he would look into the matter.
“The many NGOs have had to stop delivering services due to lack of funding while some had to make do with no funding to ensure they support the government’s efforts. The Community Constituency Covid-19 Front is running a nerve centre in Pretoria to coordinate and support the work of civic organisations with no support or funding,” the organisation said.
“In our meeting with the president this afternoon, we will use the opportunity to sharply raise the detriment of the minister’s attitude to the dignity of citizens and her contribution to the collective anxiety of South Africans. Most importantly, we intend to leave the meeting with a resolution to our funding needs from the Solidarity Fund.
The world is not ready for pandemic flu, says WHO director
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told Euronews it would make Ebola look ‘lousy’
“It is no secret that the DSD has many challenges, however – now more than ever, the Minister and her officials need all the support they can get in particular from Civil Society. This support and comprehensive response to the pandemic can only be offered when the Minister demonstrates accessibility and openness to collaboration.”
Ramaphosa is meeting labour and other social partners at Nedlac on Friday to discuss the country moving into level 3 of the national lockdown.
* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL’s #Coronavirus trend page
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the government’s 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or go to SA Coronavirus for more information.
By Zintle Mahlati