Multimillion-Rand Grants Under Investigation by Gauteng Department of Social Development
The Gauteng Department of Social Development is currently investigating grants totaling more than R63 million that were awarded over a period of two years to two organizations in Johannesburg. The grants, which were given to The Beauty Hub Academy and Daracorp, have come under scrutiny as part of a wider probe into the department’s funding of non-profit organizations.
Following the revelation of the multimillion-rand grants by GroundUp, the investigation has already resulted in the precautionary suspension of several department officials. The probe, which began in October and is set to conclude in March, is looking into more than just these two organizations, although further details have not been disclosed.
The grants to The Beauty Hub Academy and Daracorp, which provide training in hairdressing and beauty therapy, as well as training for small-scale rural and urban farmers, respectively, have raised concerns among other grantees. These grantees question why these two organizations received such large amounts of funding to subsidize the people they train, while other organizations received significantly less support.
In response to these concerns, the department has assured the public that an investigation is underway to ensure that funding is allocated correctly and to determine if value for money is being achieved. As part of this effort, the department has established an independent Non-Profit Organization Evaluation and Adjudication panel to evaluate and make recommendations on funding applications.
The investigation into these grants comes at a time when the department’s budget for grants to organizations working in various social support areas has been significantly reduced. Despite these budget cuts, the department awarded grants totaling over R2.13 billion to social service organizations in the current financial year.
Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Agriculture, and Rural Development, Mbali Hlophe, emphasized the department’s commitment to supporting non-profit organizations while also addressing maladministration and questionable funding practices.
The investigation into these grants is ongoing, and the department is determined to ensure transparency and accountability in its funding practices.