ActionSA to Join as Amicus Curiae Against GP Department of Social Development Over Budget Cuts as Thousands of Kids Face Homelessness

ActionSA is set to join, as friends of the court (amicus curiae), in a court application against the Gauteng Department of Social Development as thousands of children stand to be homeless by the end of this month.

This follows the recent nationwide budget cuts in the department of social development, which have seen NPO budgets slashed in all provinces across the country. The department has also pulled or drastically reduced funding from NPO’s such as Epworth Children’s Home, Bethany House and Johannesburg Child Welfare.

Additionally, NPOs for which they have agreed to continue issuing funding have also received a 60% reduction in their budget. It must also be noted that the department has for many years suffered great financial loss through corruption in the form of ghost NPOs that received pay-outs from the department, without any consequences. The decrease in government support for organisations that service vulnerable minority groups in the communities is simply unacceptable, when lack of oversight to avoid financial losses comes from the side of the relevant department of social development.

Regrettably, this unfortunate event will see children becoming homeless, placed in government institutions far from their schools, and siblings being separated from each other. Children who have witnessed immense trauma are equally going to be placed in custody of this very government that has failed to provide trauma counselling and has shown no concern for these children until this point.

The department has since expressed that the fate of these children is not necessarily their problem.

This is why ActionSA will be joining these NPOs in court, represented by two firms of attorneys who will all be acting pro bono.

ActionSA believes in access to safe, clean, and inclusive living spaces where people can enjoy a proper quality of life. We also believe in access to adequate social support services that are critical to personal wellbeing. It is for this reason that we will be joining the court matter, to ensure justice for these children. We trust that as the upper guardian of children that the High Court will intervene to prevent the failure of the Department of Social Development from flouting their Constitutional and Statutory obligations. Our children are our future and deserve the same protection and care that our government officials afford themselves.