Home News Dept calls for probe into Covid-19 funding for NPO

Dept calls for probe into Covid-19 funding for NPO

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The Department of Social Development requested the Hawks to investigate an application that was submitted by the Thabang non-profit organisation (NPO) for Covid-19 relief.

THE DEPARTMENT of Social Development requested the Hawks to investigate an application that was submitted by the Thabang non-profit organisation (NPO) for Covid-19 relief. 

Spokesperson for the Department of Social Development, Gamiem Abrahams, indicated that the R4 million that was allocated for food parcels, was never earmarked for vulnerable households in Hartswater as alleged. 

“This is because they were already receiving social relief from the department through a distress programme.” 

He explained that the R4 million Covid-19 allocation was diverted to a NPO in Rustenburg as Thabang NPO had approached national for a bid, as they were the implementing agent for the Northern Cape National Food Security programme.

“Thabang NPO was hoping to extend the existing contract to include the Covid-19 food relief programme.

“The department conducted a risk assessment and due diligence and became uncomfortable with Thabang NPO because of their existing internal controls which the department felt would not be sufficient to administer additional funding, as they were already implementing other departmental programmes.” 

Abrahams added that the department referred the matter to the Hawks for investigation as a precautionary measure, after a board member allegedly misappropriated public funds.

“The departmental funding agreement dictates that any alleged or suspicion of fraud or mismanagement of funds by an NPO must be referred to the police/Hawks for investigation.” 

He indicated that they were not able to comment further on the case as the matter was subjudice. 

“The department would like to express its firm support for the legal principle of innocence until proven otherwise.

“Consequently, this disqualified Thabang NGO as the implementing agent for the Covid-19 food relief programme and because of the urgency of the matter, the Department agreed with National Department of Social Development to appoint the Rustenburg NPO as it is the existing implementing agent for the North West, to administer the funds for the Northern Cape Covid-19 food security programme.” 

Abrahams added that all staff appointed had to be Northern Cape residents. 

“To this end, five people have been appointed from Hartswater by the Rustenburg-based NPO to coordinate the Covid-19 food security programme in partnership with the department.”

He said 5 500 food parcels had been distributed with the funding, across the Province as follows: 

District 

Food Parcel Allocation

Number of food parcels received 

Number of food parcels distributed to date

Frances Baard district

750 food parcels

750 food parcels

295

John Taolo Gaetsewe district

1 750 food parcels

1 750 food parcels

1140

Pixley ka Seme district  

750 food parcels

750 food parcels

750

Namakwa district

1 000 food parcels

1 000 food parcels

727

Zwelintlanga Fatman Mgcawu district

1 250 food parcels

1 250 food parcels

869