Briefing by the Minister of Performance and Monitoring Evaluation
11 Feb 2010
The Minister of Performance and Monitoring Evaluation briefed the media on the service delivery strategy that government would be embarking on to improve service delivery.
Q: What effects will the work that you are doing have on the budget that is due to be presented by the Minister of Finance next week.
A: The Minister replied that the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordan, would clarify that issue in detail when he delivered his budget speech next week. Nevertheless, he added that the work that they were doing would have an effect on the budget.
Q: In terms of the proposed plans to bring in Independent Power Producers (IPPs), do our electricity tariffs allow for such a move to take place considering that our electricity here in South Africa is considered as one of the cheapest in the world and hence perhaps not attractive to would-be investors? Will the tariffs go up in order to make it more attractive for IPPs to come invest?
Q: With regard to the 10% target of IPPs, is there a specific deadline by which this should happen?
A: On the subject of the 10% target, the Minister replied that there had been no policy framework on the issue before. This issue was still at discussion level and chances were that it would take a little bit longer before it materialised but that did is not to mean to say the process was not moving fast. On the issue of tariffs, one should understand that the production of electricity did not get cheaper because it was produced by the State. The reason for the provision of electricity at current rates was because it was heavily subsidised by the state in order to cushion the poor of the poorest. The government must find a solution to balancing the two competing demands.
Q: Is it possible for IPPs to be up and running before the end of the year?
Q: To what extent do we already have IPPs in South Africa?
A: The Minister replied that he did not think that it would be realistic to expect the IPPs to be up and running before the end of the year. At the very least, the government was working towards putting in place a policy framework that would facilitate the establishment of IPPs before the end of the year.
Q: The Government promised to review the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Mr Johnny de Lange, while he was the deputy minister of Justice was very vocal about the issue. What is the situation now with regard to the revamping of the CJS or is it that the initiative was put to rest when Mr de Lange left office?
A: The Minister replied that the issue of overhauling the CJS was not a Johnny de Lange project but rather a government one which fell under Mr De Lange’s responsibility while he was the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. The criminal justice cluster was working day and night to come up with a comprehensive framework that would address the subject matter directly and at some point this cluster would brief the media on the progress made. Work was being done and it was moving very fast.
Q: Three important promises were made in the State of Nation Address with regard to improving and monitoring education. Who will do the moderation and monitoring of over 27 000 schools and how will that be done. What kind of sanctions would be given to schools which fail to meet the targets?
A: Mr Harold Maloka, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Performance and Monitoring Evaluation, reminded everyone that some questions could best be answered by individual departments. The Department of Basic Education was currently busy with the issue of moderation of the measures and it was them who could answer the questions pertaining to school management issues.
A: The Minister replied that he could not comment on the issue of sanctions, as it depended largely on many factors such as what caused the failure and what was the severity of the deviation from meeting the targets. The whole system was not based on sanctions. The aim was to improve service delivery and better the lives of the people, therefore punitive measures would come when all other alternatives have been exhausted or in a case where it was not prudent to use other forms of corrective measures. Individual schools would be submitting performance reports to the ministry which would be audited for authenticity.
Q: What would you do to teachers who do not abide by the guidelines or who do not meet the targets?
A: The Minister replied that what would happen to performance deviation scenarios would depend on a case by case situation. The reality of the matter was that no system of monitoring would work unless it had some form of sanctions and incentives embedded in it. However, the system was not based on punitive actions but rather on ways to boost performance.
Q: What would be the nature of performance agreements the President will sign with Ministers, will the public have access to those performance contracts?
A: The Minister replied that he would leave that question to the President to answer. He had not seen a single performance agreement document that would be signed by individual Ministers and the President of the country. As to whether the public would have a chance to see what was contained in the agreements contracts, he reminded the media that there were certain instances where a document could be kept private if it contained confidential information.
The media briefing was adjourned.
STATEMENT BY MINISTER COLLINS CHABANE, PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION TO ANNOUNCE THE PERFOMANCE OUTCOMES AND MEASURABLE OUTPUTS, IMBIZO MEDIA CENTRE,
12 FEBRUARY 2010
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen and thank you for coming to this briefing.
Today, we are proud to address you having achieved yet another one of our significant milestones, on time, as we have committed. We developed and published a position paper (Improving Government Performance: Our Approach) by September 2009 and a set of performance outcomes by October 2009.
President Jacob Zuma has yesterday in his State of the Nation Address presented to the nation some of these outcomes and measurable outputs. The outcomes effectively mark the beginning of a process for improving government performance and providing focus to our delivery. This is the year of improving service delivery and a year of action.
In developing these set of outcomes and measurable outputs, we have undertaken a very vigorous process of consultation with all departments, ministries, clusters and sectors. It was important for us to have everyone on board, as these outcomes and measurable outputs will form the basis for performance and delivery agreements between Ministers or groups of Ministers and the President. Today as we speak we are pleased to announce that 9 of the 12 outcomes were presented and approved at the Cabinet Lekgotla in January and a further 3 will be discussed in Cabinet over the course of the next two months.
In our position paper we said that we would concentrate only on a few priorities and activities which we believe will steer this country in the right direction. These five priorities are derived from the manifesto of the ruling party and the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2009 - 2014 which government published last year.
Since 1994, government has made great strides in providing services to our citizens, but massive increases in expenditure did not always produce the results we wanted, hence the outcomes and measurable outputs approach. These few priorities are meant to bring about focus and ensure sufficient emphasis on the most critical areas of the electoral mandate. These choices are made to further ensure that our limited resources are used efficiently to achieve the desired outcomes. Also, this will enable us to measure delivery and better manage performance over the long-term.
The outcomes approach we have adopted is based on a few questions that government had to ask to achieve its objectives: What are the key outcomes that government wants to achieve? Which priority outputs should we measure to see if we are achieving each outcome? Where should the system focus in order to achieve the outputs? How much do we need to invest, within limited resources, to achieve the best mix of desired outcomes? What targets should we set to achieve our desired results?
Informed by this approach, we have turned our priorities into 12 desired outcomes and their associated measurable outputs.
In Education, we want to “improve the quality of our basic education”, with particular focus on the critical and non-negotiable outputs and activities. The key outputs would be to ensure high quality of teaching and learning, improved literacy and numeracy at schools, better senior certificate examination performance as well as early childhood development.
To achieve these outputs we expect all teachers to be in class on time and teaching for 7 hours a day. We will conduct curriculum coverage assessment at each school, at least once every year. We will provide learning support material, especially workbooks and textbooks, on time, to all learners and teachers in every school.
We would like to ensure higher quality teaching, demonstrated by tests of content knowledge, curriculum coverage and enhanced pedagogy. We want to see a measurable improvement in the literacy and numeracy rates of Grades 3, 6 and 9 learners. To assist us to track progress, we will conduct annual independently moderated tests at the level of grades 3, 6 and 9 that will assess literacy and numeracy. These tests will be internationally benchmarked and the results of the tests of each child will go to the parents.
Principals must be empowered to manage their schools and ensure a good environment for teaching and learning, and they must be held accountable for maintaining a high standard of education in our schools.
In Health, our outcome is to have “a long and healthy life for all South Africans”. Our key objective is to increase the life expectancy of our citizens and ensure that all people have access to healthcare. The key outputs in this regard are to reduce the mortality rate, reduce the impact and prevalence of HIV and Aids and Tuberculoses, and to ensure an effective health care system.
To achieve these outputs, our key activity will be to ensure a well coordinated roll out of ARVs with a specific emphasis on effective roll-out of the preventative mother to child treatments. We will integrate HIV and TB services, and drastically strengthen maternal health services. We must also develop a national strategy for chronic diseases. A hospital audit process will be conducted during 2010, with the view to improving our hospitals.
In the fight against crime and corruption, we want to make sure that “all people in
The key activities required will be to have a stronger focus on apprehending “known” perpetrators working across provincial boundaries and police jurisdiction, develop and support specialised units that will focus on resolving trio crimes and re-engineer business processes in and around courts to make them more effective. We must also construct more prisons to prevent overcrowding of and to help dispel perceptions that criminals continue to be hardened by inhumane conditions. We must also design and introduce an independent victim survey annually to assess our progress.
The Anti-corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee, of which I chair, has already begun with its work to receive reports and presentations from different state institutions that are affected or impacted by corruption. This is with the aim to understand the nature and the challenges they are experiencing in dealing with corruption. The mandate of the committee is to ensure that the government response to corruption is well coordinated and effective. The committee will make a statement at a later stage after it has completed this process.
In the economy, our key outcome is that we should be able to create “decent employment through inclusive economic growth”. On this outcome our goals are to increase income and employment on an individual level and to promote equality and economic growth on a broader scale. This can be brought about through a focus on improving income levels, labour absorption, improving equality, and GDP growth. Although employment and GDP growth have increased since 1994, the economy is characterised by low workforce participation and high unemployment. To address these problems
The industrial policy should support labour-absorbing sectors, while also improving competitiveness at firm and sector levels, decreasing concentration and increasing innovation and productivity. Trade policy must improve quantity and diversification of exports. A robust business regulatory environment must be developed, demonstrating improved performance against international indicators.
In the development of skills, we need to create “a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path”. The current dearth of skilled citizens creates a need for
Key activities will be, among others, to build the capacity of agencies at various levels in the system to plan and forecast, and expand incentives for companies to create industrial apprenticeships and learnerships. We must also strengthen the delivery system, fast-track and strengthen sectoral research and planning capacity, and develop a funding framework that is performance orientated.
To develop an ‘efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network” we have concentrated on the following outputs; electricity provision, improving our ports, rail, pipelines, and communications technology, our water provision and construction of roads.
Key activities of this outcome will be to develop an electricity system operator independent from Eskom Holdings by 2010 and target 10% of electricity supply from Independent Power Producers. We also need to implement the agreed Ports Act, and separate the National Ports Authority and Transnet Port Terminals by December 2010. We must introduce a competitor to Transport Port Terminals by the end of 2011, implement the Rail Act effectively around safety and economic regulators, review horizontal separation on rail by December 2010, and create an independent water regulator to implement price regulation. We also need to consider a single regulatory coordinator under the Competition Commission, to enhance consistency and quality of regulation.
In rural development and land reform, we want to develop “vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities, contributing towards food security for all”. Rural areas continue to be marginalised economically, and are highly dependent on social grants. There is, however, potential to create jobs and generate economic activity to create sustainable livelihoods.
Key outputs in this area include land and agrarian reforms that are mutually supportive. We are focused on improving the quality of local governments in rural areas to create enabling environments for economic growth where possible – e.g. agro-processing, mining, tourism and natural resource management. We will increase the capacity and accountability for rural local government and at the same time simplify the requirements of the IDPs (Integrated Development Plans) to be an accurate reflection of local needs and plans.
In the old homeland areas / deep rural hinterlands, we will focus on better provisioning of government services. We will expand the Community Public Works system and create community based worker opportunities in a wide variety of sectors, including national resource assets and tourism.
We need to resolve 3000 of the outstanding 4000 land claims by 2014.
In Human Settlements, we want to build ‘sustainable Human Settlements and improved quality of household life”. As a consequence of rapid urbanisation, new household formation and racially-based planning in the past,
The key outputs that relate to human settlements are to ensure an accelerated delivery of housing opportunities and expanding access to basic services. The sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life are defined by access to adequate accommodation that is suitable, appropriately located to allow access to economic opportunities, affordable and fiscally sustainable with access to basic and social services, and provide security of tenure.
The key activities are: placing more focus on upgrading informal settlements, reviewing standards and densities of products, accreditation of metros and the top 21 municipalities to deliver houses, implementing a backyard rental upgrading programme, and establishing a bulk infrastructure planning and funding coordination mechanism. We also need to develop a process to identify and transfer state owned land that can be used for development.
Recent developments in local government, particularly during last year, necessitated a comprehensive plan to turn around local government. We want to build a “responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system”. We need a differentiated approach to municipalities, as a strong link exists between the institutional and socio-economic vulnerability of municipalities. Furthermore, municipalities vary considerably in terms of size, economic base and poverty concentrations. There are very high levels of basic infrastructure services backlogs, low levels of governance and accountability, financial management is poor and there is a high staff vacancy rate.
Key outputs for this sector will be meeting the basic needs of communities and building a clean, responsive and accountable administration. Key activities, among others would be developing intergovernmental agreements on the ideal scope of services, developing and implementing a differentiated approach to municipal financing and support, developing a revised and simplified and differentiated IDP process to ensure effective planning and intergovernmental cooperation. We also need to implement and expand Operation Clean Audit 2014, develop debt collection and revenue enhancement strategy, implement and support municipal budget and reporting regulations, review current supply chain management regulations, and develop a municipal priority skills strategy.
We need to further strengthen the capacity of Provinces to discharge their mandate to local government.
As a Ministry we believe that when Departments implement these activities in a focused manner, we should be able to achieve these outputs and produce the outcomes our people expect.
The President will now send letters to each Ministers or group of Ministers responsible for the Outcome/s and this will then form the basis of their performance and delivery agreements. The Ministers or group of Ministers will now be expected to form Delivery Forums that will bring all parties inside and outside government that impact on implementation together. The Delivery Forums will develop detailed service delivery agreements that will indicate each party’s contribution to achieving the outputs and outcomes with typical information on budget contribution, implementation timelines and personnel allocation. PME will be ready, after we have build capacity, to assist any Ministry that needs assistance in unlocking bottlenecks or developing an implementation plan.
The President will receive bi-monthly reports on progress in each of the Outcomes and will meet regularly with the outcome Minister/s to discuss progress. As a ministry we will also do our own assessment of progress which will be shared with the affected ministry before presented to the president.
We are, as you might have noticed, developing capacity in the department to enable us to monitor and create a delivery unit which will be an intervention unit. The delivery unit will be staffed with experienced and highly qualified people who will work in partnership with both the private and public sector. It will be able to pull together people with expertise and skills from society and public service to assist in resolving bottlenecks and developing practical and easy programmes for departments to continue implementing to speed up service delivery.
As we have said before, these are societal outcomes that the country should drive and not only for government. Government will provide the necessary leadership to achieve them.
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