Ministry of Social Development presented the overall performance for the year 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 as well as the way-forward for the ministryâ€™s performance in Maseru earlier this week.
According to the ministryâ€™s Principal Secretary, Mantsenki Mphalane, soon the ministry will launch the website which will enable ease of accessibility to the public and the beneficiaries of the ministries. Moreover, she stated that their vision as a ministry is for a nation where everyone enjoys acceptable basic standards of living and in which there are equal opportunities for people to realise their full potential through participatory approaches. She further said that they are going to lead and facilitate the provision of sustainable social development services that are universally accessible to all vulnerable groups in Lesotho in collaboration with other key stakeholders.
Meanwhile, for her part Director of Social Development â€˜Mankhatho Linko said that the departments of the ministry are administration, child protection services, elderly care services, disability services, social assistance, operations and community development, districts and community councils. Also the plans for 2021/2022 financial year focused on the disability, children, social assistance, children and community development. She further stated that the implementation progress since April 2020 to March 2021 includes the policy strategies and legal frameworks, systems, social care disability, social care children, social care elderly, community development, payment of social grants, covid response and budget execution.
â€œThe Ministry of Social Development although affected by Covid-19 was one of the essential ministries that continued to serve Basotho even during lockdown. For some of the activities, authorisation was needed from NACOSEC. Moreover, the Ministry of Social Development together with Ministry of Foreign Affairs managed to relocate the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) from Ethiopia to Maseru and the office is currently operational in Maseru,â€ said Linko.
The ministry used only 80% of the allocated budget for the previous year 2020/2021 and also used only 45% of allocated budget for covid-19 contingency fund from the previous year 2020/2021.
She further said that the European Union allocated the ministry M92 704 804.00 which funds they are still using to date. The recurrent budget for the year 2021/2022 grant is M999 905 056.61, the increment on the budget is because of the relocation of the office of pensions fund department to the Ministry of Development Planning. She said that the ministryâ€™s plans and priorities for 2021 are challenges, opportunities, disabilities, social assistance, elderly care services, child protection, community development and support.
â€œThe Ministry managed to provide food packagesto all 76 councils selecting 300 beneficiaries per council amounting to M15 000 000.00. MOSD facilitated the provision of food vouchersto 12 000 Basotho living in South Africa amounting to M4 000 000.00. About 11,627 food vouchers amounting to M350.00 each have been redeemed to date about 373 coupons have not been redeemed,â€ Linko said.
Linko explained that the public assistancebeneficiaries received top ups as response to covid/19 and each household was supposed to receive additional M870.00 for two quarters but funds were returned to the consolidated fund due to time constraints.
In terms of the selection of beneficiaries of grants, the District Manager of Mafeteng â€˜Matebello Marite mentioned that the public through their community leaders select the needy and the vulnerable then bring the lists to the ministry.