OMUTHIYA - The Executive Director in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Social Welfare, Welhencia Uiras, has refuted claims that the ministry is planning to suspend social grants offered to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) due to financial woes.
Some employees of the ministry claimed they have been informally informed about the said decision to suspend any new registrations of beneficiaries.
“We have heard of the news verbally but we are yet to see the directive in black and white in order to fully effect the call. Based on that we have been instructed to inform members coming to register that the programme has been temporarily halted,” a ministry official told New Era.
It is alleged the programme was placed on ice, as funds are not enough to keep it running.
But Uiras has dismissed the allegations, saying the programme has, in fact, been budgeted for.
“This is a continuous process and we are not suspending any programme. It is, in fact, budgeted for. We have over a billion (Namibian Dollars) meant for this programme. And this is a government project, thus there is no way it can be suspended,” countered Uiras.
The ministry has 360 000 beneficiaries under this programme.
“We review the programme at the end of each financial year, and that’s the period that we sometimes do not register as we are busy finalising the process of reviewing.
“But, the programme continues with those already registered. Another element for not taking in new beneficiaries would be if the targeted number has been exceeded,” she added.
Anxiety has been brewing among some community members who were informed that no new intakes were to take place.
Uiras further rubbished claims that the ministry owes Epupa Investment Technology, which distributes state grants, millions of dollars.
“The ministry does not owe anyone as of March , not the beneficiaries and not the service provider (Epupa). All payments are up to date,” she stressed.
The ministry offers various grants such as maintenance grant, foster grant as well as special maintenance grant, among others, of N$250 a month.
2019-04-09 08:31:37 4 months ago