KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza, has expressed shock and concern at the collapse of operations at the Durban and Coastal Mental Health Society (DCMH).
Operations have collapsed due to the mismanagement of funds.
In an unannounced visit to the facility on Wednesday, Khoza and Head of Department Nelisiwe Vilakazi, found that residents were fed poor quality food.
Khoza’s visit follows a public outcry that people residing in the facility were not given food.
Following a meeting with the board of directors and management of the organisation, Khoza expressed concern that the DCMH is not in compliance with the service level agreement. This as the Social Development and Health Departments has a service level agreement with the institution.
“It is shocking to see how the board has run the affairs in that institution. The appointment of service providers who have no contracts is one of the concerns. The institution is currently unable to perform its responsibility very well. It is clear that there has been mismanagement and misappropriation of funds in the institution,” she said.
The MEC noted that the department is funding the institution with a lot of money, and the service it renders should reflect the amount of money allocated.
“This institution is expected to render services to the most vulnerable groups in our society. Our service users can never be treated like this. We were very disappointed by the food given to the end users in the facility.
“The food given to them is not healthy. No person can eat sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. We give funding to this organisation to take care of our people. We want to ensure that their dignity is restored,” she said.
She warned that the Non-Profit Organisations Act (NPO Act) governs the board of directors, and should be compliant with the act and all other laws of the country.
“We need to see this board having a turnaround strategy. There are unforgivable things that are taking place in this institution. We are not going to leave this matter unattended to because the end users are going to suffer,” Khoza said.
She said inefficiencies of a bloated management structure have also brought the institution to its knees.
“The department will be working with the board to fix the problems facing this institution. We will get to the bottom of this and ensure whoever is responsible for such maladministration and corruption embezzled faces the law,” she said.
The MEC who has appointed a team to help deal with problems at the institution, said the department will continue providing funding to the institution.