MothibiNorth West MEC for Social Development, Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Mme Mosetsanagape Mokomele-Mothibi has tabled the 2013/2014 Department’s Budget Vote before the North West Provincial Legislature today totalling R1.082 billion.

She told Members of the Provincial Legislature that the budget is an increase of R118.8 million from the previous financial year and that increased funding will be directed to the following:

i)                    An amount of R18 million will be allocation for the absorption of Social Work Graduates into the Department’s Staff complement

ii)                  Early Childhood Development Massification Programme, which will receive an allocation R9.3 million – R7 million of which will be for equipment to be bought for Early Childhood Development Centres in the North West

iii)                A further R4 million has been set aside for maintenance of departmental facilities

iv)                An amount of R6.2 million will be allocated to Learnerships and Internships to ensure that government’s programme of providing graduates with workplace experience continues

v)                  An additional R6.7 million will be allocated to ensure all the support is provided to the NGO sector while the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) in the Social Sector will get amount of R16.4 million.

MEC Mokomele-Mothibi added that, in total the 2013/2014 Departmental Budget will be divided as follows, totalling R1.082 million:

i)                    Administration                                                                  R154.8 million

ii)                  Social Welfare and Social Specialist Services                  R786.5 million

iii)                Community Development                                                 R132 million

iv)                Special Programmes                                                         R8.6 million

She further announced that the Department has appointed an extra 105 newly qualified Social Workers who are products of the Department’s Social Work Scholarship Programme and they will be deployed accordingly throughout the North West Province to curb the shortage of Social Work professional in most parts of the province.

“The National Development Plan indicates that there is a serious shortage of social services professionals including social workers and community development practitioners”, MEC Mokomele-Mothibi said.

She added that 90 Community Development Practitioners received customised accredited training on community development planning, integrated planning and project management.

MEC Mokomele-Mothibi added that for the current financial year, the Department will fund the establishment of 16 Youth Development Structures, link 26 unemployed young people to entrepreneurship development programmes and 200 unemployed youth to the National Youth Service programme.

About 20 Women Income Generation Projects in the North West will receive financial and technical funding, she said.

MEC Mokomele-Mothibi added that the Department will prioritise the strengthening of in-patient and out-patient centres for this financial year through funding of existing and new community based organisations and one in-patient treatment centre at a cost of R7.7 million targeting over 500 000 people using and abusing drugs and related substances.

She said the department will ensure that this year the Witrand Hospital In-Patient Treatment Centre in Potchefstroom will be fully operational and that the Taung Hospital In-Patient Treatment Centre for Substance Abuse is completed.

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