Social Protection and Community Development Cluster briefing on programme of action
17 Feb 2011
Panel: Hon Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Social Development, Hon Lulu Xingwana Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, and Hon Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, Minister of Public Works, Mr. Stanley Henderson, DDG Expanded Works Programme, Mr Selwyn Jehoma – DDG for Social Security in the Department of Social Development, Ms Thembi Nwedamutswu, IDT, Public Works, Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, Ms Cathy Motsisi, CFO Public Works.
The Social Protection and Community Development Cluster briefed the media on the implementation of rural development strategy, job creation, social security reform, crime, corruption and social cohesion.
Q: How many community bridges were built in the
A: Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde replied that additional detail would be provided by the technical staff in relation to the numbers that were referred to. There had been a successful implementation of bridges in the Eastern Cape and one the priorities for this year was to make sure that bridges were increased all over South Africa and not only in one province. During the flooding period a lot of areas were not accessible because people could not use the roads infrastructure that was in existence at the moment. The Department of Public Works (DPW) had already started to buy equipment to increase the number of bridges and had a relationship with the Department of Defence which had the expertise. Professionals in both Departments were working together to improve the infrastructure in the rural areas. Job opportunities in
Q: The 7000 rural youth that will be trained in a variety of skills, can you give more details about the skills and training involved?
A: Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde replied that more than 7000 young people would be given an opportunity to participate in maintenance, and DPW would publicise that project later on. There was a lot of expertise available which would be called upon in the Built Environment. This expertise was needed because Public Works operated through workshops but most of these had been closed, and what South Africans could do for themselves was now outsourced and that came at huge cost to the State. If workshops were working, it would be quicker to fix burst pipes rather than call a company that would give 3 or more quotations, and it was time consuming whilst people had a problem. So there was a need to get more South Africans working to make sure that the contract the Government had with the people of
A: Mr Stanley Henderson, DDG, Expanded Works Programme, added that initially three bridges had been built in the
Q: There were announcements that corruption would not take root in government but yesterday President Zuma said about R100m had been recovered from officials and perpetrators and that hundreds had been dismissed or suspended. Has it not already taken root, shouldn’t there be a different strategy to almost combat what has taken root?
A: Minister Lulu Xingwana replied that the Government had done all in its power to root out corruption in all departments and various government institutions. The President had cited a number of cases where different ministries had called for investigations and these included the Ministries of Social Development; Arts and Culture; the Police and Public Works. The President covered the exact numbers in his response to Parliament. There were over 200 cases that had been dealt with and out of which about 100 people had been suspended, 80 were dismissed and others were given warnings. Other investigations were continuing.
Q: You mention that you will continue to work with the Special Investigation Unit to ensure that those guilty of criminal offences are prosecuted and duly punished. Can you tell us what progress has been made to date, how many have been prosecuted and punished so far?
A: Minister Xingwana replied that the Special Investigations Unit had been given powers to subpoena and therefore could call on anyone to account and most of those cases action had been taken against those people. This included the hotline on anti-corruption from the Public Service Commission.
A: Minister Xingwana added that as far as Rural Development was concerned there had been training programmes and skills transfer for young people. The youth had been given the opportunity to come into the agricultural sector where they could be able to create jobs for themselves and their community and produce food for the country. The Department was working with the Departments of Rural Development to include young people with disabilities as well as women; as well as Labour for the sheltered employment centres for people with disabilities, in which at this moment very few people were employed. There were twelve centres throughout the country and about 1 000 people were working at those centres. It was envisaged that people from rural areas and the previously disadvantaged communities would get jobs in these centres. An agreement had been reached with the Department of Labour that jobs would be increased by 2000 to ensure that jobs would be created for people with disabilities and also through skills training in these centres.
Q: The Biennial Conference on Drug Abuse that is to occur in March, who attends this and who pays for this?
A: Minister Bathabile Dlamini replied that Government was co-ordinating the summit with the Central Drug Authority from the Department of Social Development. There were more than 100 Central Drug Authorities in Provinces and Districts. The Department also worked with NGOs and other partners such as
Q: Can you explain the term income smoothing.
A: Mr Selwyn Jehoma, DDG for Social Security in the Department of Social Development, explained that income smoothing occurred people often outlived the ability to earn income or lived longer than the savings they had made. Economists used the concept that people smoothed their income throughout their life time.
Q: Can you give some details about mandatory pension. What is the thinking behind this and is there an intention to dovetail this with the National Health Insurance Scheme to make sure that South Africans are better looked after?
Q: Could you elaborate on mandatory pension system and the discussion paper that’s to be released, the statement speaks of significant implications, could you elaborate a bit on those implications and then a compulsory pension system what would the implications be on the current retirement funding industry, and does Government have any time frames for this social security reform?
A: Mr. Jehoma replied that the Social Security System comprised of various components such as unemployment insurance, health insurance and retirement savings. In
A: Mr Jehoma added that it was part of the entire package of social security reforms. The Department of Health had given indications that it would take 14 years for the implementation of NHI.
Retirement systems already existed, so to a large extent this was about the creation of a National Fund and also consolidation of what existed in the private sector. These would be parallel processes but would be part of a contributory system of social security.
There were significant organisational implications for Government, with five Departments involved in Social Security and often made policies that overlapped and led to duplication and therefore a macro-reorganisation of Government policy making would be done. Furthermore, seven institutions such as the UIF, Road Accident Fund, Occupational fund institutions in the mining sector among others, delivered benefits and their consolidation would have significant implications. Other implications were tax related and the Treasury was looking at how the impact of tax contributions could be alleviated. Stringent regulation of the industry around governance, communication and cost of annuities would be put in place and details would be made available soon.
Q: Clarification on 300 buildings schools following an announcement by the Ministry of Basic Education that R4.9bn had been allocated by special grant to replace 395 mud schools in the
A: Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde replied that there were more than 300 mud and prefab schools which would be demolished and proper schools built. This function resided with the Provinces but clearly they had no capacity to deliver hence the National Department of Public Works stepped in to assist. The Department had transferred funds into the Independent Development Trust (IDT) its implementing agency and construction of 10 schools would commence as early as next week in the
Q: What exactly are community bridges, is it a special bridge.
A: Mr. Henderson replied that one of the biggest challenges for people in rural communities was their immobility and in many cases children drowned in an attempt to access schools and the same thing with older people who tried to access clinics and other services. The focus of the community bridges would be to address this particular challenge. A partnership existed with the Department of Defence along the construction of Bailey bridges, a particular type of military technology used to unlock this immobility to allow people to access essential services. A big focus of the bridge building programme was to ensure ownership by the community and therefore a maintenance program had been tied in and the rural communities would maintain these bridges themselves and in the process, creating work opportunities through the EPWP. In addition, the EPWP had a particular focus on designated groups; women, youth, people with disabilities. Latest figures showed that 63% of work opportunities were for women and 51% to youth.
A: Ms Thembi Nwedamutswu, IDT, Public Works added that 10 schools in the
Q: In terms of job creation, opportunities and access to education and further education, a study released by CDE showed that black women aged between 15-24 years were among the highest unemployed people in this country. On average the study said 63%, however in some of the rural areas, the study said unemployment levels could be up to 88%. Is that something you are ware of, is that something you would like to look at? Are there any programmes specifically targeted at that section of the population?
A: Minister Xingwana replied that Government was aware of high unemployment levels amongst women, not only the 15-24 years but in rural areas. Poverty had a woman’s face because of lack of opportunities. Government would prioritise black women in particular and would start with learnerships to get exposure, training, experience and most young people proved themselves and got employment. The Department was working with the Department of Rural Development, Economic Development, Trade & Industry to assist women to set up cooperatives and SMMEs. A number of schemes had been set up in different departments and the idea was to put them together so that people could have a one-stop shop which would enable them to access all the opportunities such as SEDA and various funding schemes. Discussions were in progress with Departments of Labour and Public Works whose program such as the Early Childhood program which was part of the EPWP; the road and infrastructure development programs which also involved rural women.
Q: How are you going to ensure that the R615m allocated for maintenance schools would not be used for other purposes, and would it be used to cover issues like vandalism which was a big problem in some communities?
A: Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu replied that government budget was allocated in three different ways: the first being the planned maintenance where conditional assessments were made and the school periodically maintained; the second was the separate allocation of unplanned maintenance and this came from a separate budget because each of these allocations were coded to enable them not to be used for any other activity but for what it was meant; and the third was the rehabilitation and maintenance programme budget, and vandalism was not necessarily an unplanned activity in terms of maintenance neither was it a planned maintenance but fell under the rehabilitation and maintenance programme. It’s an allocation that served like insurance for any eventualities. If a community vandalised a school, funds would not be taken from a planned budget but from the rehabilitation and maintenance budget. The EPWP engaged communities to take ownership of social infrastructure built in their communities and took full responsibility of the projects.
Q: Who are the beneficiaries of the flood relief of R1.1bn and will it include commercial farmers who lost their crops during the floods?
A: Mr Jehoma replied that the department was still trying to establish where the full R800m would be spent, but added that Treasury had given an indication that a significant amount would be given for infrastructure repairs- roads, bridges etc. R300m would be allocated for humanitarian relief or support and this would be allocated to people with no income to provide for basic stuff. The Department of Agriculture would be in a position to ascertain whether any of that money would be for the affected farmers.
Q: On social reforms, some people already make a contribution to pension funds does it mean that those who are already contributing will have to contribute to a second pension fund?
A: Mr Selwyn replied that the full picture would emerge out of the discussion document as there were different understandings of what constituted different pension funds.
Q: Are there mandatory pension reforms meaning that South African workers must pay towards a mandatory government fund pretty much along the NHI and if they want to do like their own RA (retirement annuity) they can do that, is that what we are going at, and having referred details to this document, could you give us an indication when that document would be ready?
A: Mr Jehoma replied that there would be a statutory government fund and that was an anomaly when compared to other developing countries. The document would be released by the Minister and was currently being finalised.
Q: Can you give us an update on the proposed ban on alcohol advertising that you mentioned last year, how far is that process? President Zuma said over the weekend that the ideal would be for
A: Minister Dlamini responded that there are proposals that the Government was taking to the summit and among them was the ban of alcohol advertisement because it had a big impact on the minds of particularly young people. The issue of law enforcement would be looked into to ensure that taverns and shebeens closed at the correct time of the day or night. A proposal would be made about the location of the taverns because right now there were right in communities and not a good example to children. The role of Trade & Industry in terms of giving licences to applicants for taverns; the issue of illegal shebeens and what could be done about them; and public drinking were the proposals that would be taken to the summit. The issue of strengthening of rehabilitation would also be addressed at the summit.
A: The Minister added that Government was looking at the issue of old age and disability grants. There have been discussions about
Q: Is the recapitalisation and development programme for rural development only targeted for former homelands, the collapsing projects there the 25% of the land acquisition budget, and how is it being implemented, what is the money being used for and if it is only at the former homelands projects is there an overall indication of figure for the rest of the country what is being used to struggling projects.
A: Minister Xingwana replied that the recapitalisation from rural development would not only look at former homelands but farms given to emerging farmers or beneficiaries of land reforms where because of lack of skills and experience, those farms were collapsing. Government recognised this and through training and exposure it encouraged partnerships between emerging farmers and commercial farmers. Some of the money would go towards assisting the revival of those farms that had collapsed because of lack of skills. Women were targeted to benefit from those schemes not only from the recapitalisation fund but also from the R9bn that was announced by the President. Through the cooperatives and SMMEs as well as the learnerships that would be created in Government and outside, this would ensure that women, young people and people with disabilities would also benefit from the job fund of R9bn.
Q: The City of
A: Minister Dlamini replied that this issue needed to be debated at the summit and would therefore not pre-empt those discussions. The Department worked with the Department of Trade and Industry on this matter and would need to bring them on board. Creating jobs did not entail destroying the neighbour’s child.
Q: The Annual Report of the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development in terms of job creation for the youth or the program towards job creation for the youth, one youth boy or girl per household and they need to share the stipend with the family. Are any of these opportunities that you been speaking about across the Cluster, if there any such limitations in terms of job creation you are envisaging?
A: Minister Xingwana replied that this was part of the war against poverty spearheaded by the Deputy President. The program was launched two years ago and Government went to the rural areas poverty nodes and set up programs on agriculture, and rural development that assisted those communities with job creation. Government’s target was that each household in the communities had someone who could have a job. It had been proved internationally and locally that if one person worked in a poverty stricken community there would be food on the table for each household. It had also been proved that if there is one person was educated in a household, they assisted their siblings to access education and assisted to sustain that family. This campaign had assisted communities and tried to pull them out of the cycle of poverty. This program was spearheaded by the Deputy President with various departments to fight poverty and unemployment.
A: Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde added that the Deputy President would visit Tau in
A: Ms Cathy Motsisi, CFO Public Works added that the Department had realised the need to increase the pool of professionals in terms of construction and other internally managed projects. To this end, R20m had been identified and would be set aside for bursaries to enable the Department to provide bursaries to the youths it desperately needed in the pool of its professionals.
A: Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu added that the Department through its Expanded Works Program would implement guidelines for one-person-per household program to ensure empowerment and creation of change agents in line with the anti-poverty campaign. The same principles in this campaign were applied in the Department’s Extended Works Program.
Q: Last year the Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat Peterson said some research had shown that most people used grants on airtime. Do you agree with that?
A: Minister Dlamini replied that the Department of Social Development had carried out desktop research and found out that young women or women, destitute as they maybe, did not apply for grant immediately after giving birth. Others stayed up to a year which negated reports that people gave birth to children because they wanted grants. Most people who received grant used it for food and school uniforms and there was evidence to that fact. Buying R10 airtime if it was a necessity was not wrong but if one bought airtime with the whole grant then the community would have to deal with it because people expected Government to follow users of the grant. If the community did not report that to the Department it would not be possible for action to be taken. There were instances where action had been taken by the Department following such reports.
Q: Is there any evidence that some people had children to access grants or you said there was no evidence.
A: Minister Dlamini responded that there was no evidence.
Media statement by Chairperson of the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster and Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini on the occasion of t media briefing following the State of the Nation Address by President Zuma, Cape Town, Parliament
18 Feb 2011
Ladies and gentlemen of the media
Thank you and welcome to the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster media briefing session. The purpose of this media briefing is to provide more details relating to the commitments emanating from the State of the Nation Address.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma declared 2011 as the year of job creation. The work of this Cluster gives effect to the commitment to create jobs with the aim of putting our people first, to tackle poverty, invest in interventions that broaden opportunities, improve governance and institutional development and increase the assets of our people. All these are aimed at ensuring an inclusive economic growth.
This briefing will therefore elaborate on the cluster’s implementation of Rural Development Strategy, Job Creation, Social Security Reform, fighting Crime and corruption and Social Cohesion. The development of rural areas is one of this government’s priorities.
The Department of Rural Development is implementing the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). This is a key strategic intervention linked to land and agrarian reform and food security. The aim is to combat rural poverty and underdevelopment in a comprehensive manner. The pilot phase of the programme has to date reached 39 rural wards countrywide and is being rolled out to all rural municipalities. The target is to reach 160 wards by 2012.
In addition, the department introduced the Recapitalisation and Development Programme to respond to the challenges of the collapsing land reform projects in the former homelands. We expect the programme to help struggling land reform projects and to ensure adequate support for productive utilisation and sustainability. Part of the programme is the revitalisation of the defunct irrigation and share equity schemes. The department has set aside 25 percent of the land acquisition budget for this purpose.
Government continues to collaborate with many formations such as corporate
Ladies and gentlemen, the devastation, the loss of both life and assets caused by the ravages of the weather conditions experienced since December 2010 has been unprecedented. Government, with the support of our social partners, swung into action with the utmost alacrity to provide humanitarian assistance to affected individuals, families and communities.
Government’s latest assessment is that over 50 000 people have been adversely affected by the floods and we have provided humanitarian relief to over 20 000 people. Extraordinary generosity and solidarity are been shown by fellow South Africans in ongoing relief efforts undertaken by government and our social partners from business and civil society. The Social Protection Cluster will contribute in excess of R300 million to direct social relief. This is in addition to the R800 million that President Zuma alluded to in the State of the Nation Address.
These funds will emanate from contributions from the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Human Settlement and Social Development.
We all recognise the critical role of education in sustaining our development efforts. The Data shows that we have been successful in facilitating universal access to primary education and the Minister of Basic Education provided significant detail in respect of this priority. We wish to add that between 2009 and 2010 Grade R enrolment grew from 620 000 to 707 000. This clearly demonstrates that we may well exceed the Millennium Development Goal target on universal primary education.
To intensify our efforts to promote universal primary education, the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities will embark on “Access to Education for All Children” campaign. The campaign will focus on orphans and vulnerable children and promote integration of learners with special needs into the mainstream education system as part of Inclusive Education Policy. In addition, the Ministry will also conduct an audit of special schools with the view to address various challenges that have been reported.
The education process enhances our ability to ensure an increased supply of social workers. The Department of Social Development has awarded 5 574 social work scholarships to students to study social work at institutions of higher learning. This is part of our effort to create a skilled workforce and to address the critical shortage of social work professionals. The Social Development MINMEC has approved the rural allowance model for social workers working in remote rural areas as a complimentary effort in support of the recruitment and retention strategy for social workers.
Ladies and gentlemen, government will continue with our focus on ensuring that every child is given a good start early in life through the provision of quality Early Childhood Development. Currently, 432 727 children are subsidized at a cost of R12 to R15 per day in registered ECD facilities. In the next financial year, we will increase the number of subsidised ECD facilities from 16 250 to 17 000.
Alcohol and substance abuse is a major public health and social concern. President Zuma recently said that the time had come for us to work together against the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse. This scourge undermines our national effort to build a prosperous society and destroy lives, especially young lives. Our government recognises that the drug problem is a complex one, requiring decisive action in areas including education, health, law enforcement, social development and sport and recreation. To this end, we have launched the national anti-substance abuse campaign and to ensure that this matter receives the urgency which it deserves, Cabinet established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to coordinate, support and strengthen existing measures to combat alcohol and substance abuse.
Supporting initiatives under the anti-substance abuse programme include the Phuza Wize and “Ke moja” – “I’m fine without drugs” campaigns. The Central Drug Authority will host the 2nd Biennial Substance Abuse Summit in March this year to provide us with a road map by which we will strengthen our national effort to combat alcohol and substance abuse.
Work has begun in earnest to promote school sport as a key component of our government’s endeavour to promote healthy lifestyle, particularly among young people. School sport is crucial in instilling important life lessons and qualities such as discipline, responsibility and self confidence in young children. It is in this context that the Ministers of Sport and Recreation and Basic Education have undertaken to develop a joint framework for school sport. The road map and roll out plan to bring back the culture of school sport will be marked by both training and campaigns aimed at generating and encouraging popular participation in sport.
However, it does not begin and end with school sport. Community sport is a vital part of engendering a culture of a healthy lifestyle and enhances sport development. Our practical steps to promote schools and community sport include training of teachers and administrators in the various sporting codes, making sport-and-recreation part of the school academic calendar through competitions at districts, provincial and national levels.
Social Security reform
Our country has made progress towards the establishment of a comprehensive system of social security. Government’s social assistance programme is extensive. Already Social Development has linked hundreds of social grants beneficiaries to sustainable community development projects.
The Department of Labour will enhance the capacity of its Employment Services Unit to link the unemployed to job opportunities. The South African Social Security Agency will set up capacity to link beneficiaries to employment opportunities created through the New Growth Path interventions and further education opportunities.
In the course of the next few months, South Africans will engage in a debate on further reforms of social security system, to be published in the Consolidated Government Discussion Paper and the nature of which will have quite significant implications. The thrust of these reforms will be aimed at addressing a glaring defect in the system, namely the creation of statutory social insurance arrangements aimed at ensuring that income security is available during any break in employment, enhancing income smoothing; reducing poverty in old age, in the events of disability or the death of a breadwinner, increasing income replacement in retirement and incentives to increase the national savings rate.
The thrust of the reforms will be:
- The consolidation of social security policy making and service delivery in a more efficient and effective manner which will enhance service delivery
- The introduction of a mandatory pension system that will encompass retirement savings, alignment of disability and survivor benefits
- Doing away with fragmentation and the consolidation of adjudication, disability assessment fraud detection, payment of benefits and significant improved regulations of social security.
The efforts made in respect of increasing support for social work studies, the Early Childhood Development and Home Community Based Care not only increases job creation. The cluster contribute to the creation of more than 750 000 jobs opportunities in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) through Early Childhood Development, Community health services, the construction and maintenanceof social infrastructure and environmental protection projects. Other programmes which have been brought on board in the EPWP Phase 2 are:
- Kha Ri Gude mass literacy programme
Nutrition Programme National School
- Waste Management
- Mass participation in sport and community safety programmes.
New initiatives include the youth corps and waste for food programmes which will create further job opportunities, entrepreneurship and skills development for young people. If we continue on this positive trajectory, there is no doubt that we are on course to achieve the set target of creating 5 million job opportunities by 2014.
Ladies and gentlemen, we remain committed to improving the quality of life and creating equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Initiatives in this regard include increasing job opportunities for people with disabilities in protective workshops, construction of social housing adapted to the needs of the persons with disabilities, vocational training and employment of people with disabilities in the public sector.
We will also implement the school revitalisation programme using labour intensive schemes to create local jobs and skills development, focusing specifically on women, people with disabilities and young people.
Through the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) we have recently recruited over 7 000 rural youth who will be trained in a variety of skills to boost employability and provide support to budding rural entrepreneurs. In addition, the
In addition, to ensure that existing schools are well maintained, an allocation of R615 million is provided. This allocation for maintenance cannot be used for any other purpose.
Skills development and other human capital initiatives
As at the beginning of the current financial year, more than 8 000 human settlements projects were underway across the country, with preliminary figures translating this into the construction of 219 000 housing units.
The target is to build 220 000 housing units per each financial year between now and 2014. The Housing Development Agency (HDA) is now fully operational with the sole mandate to acquire land on behalf of government for human settlement has set itself a target to acquire 6 025 hectares of land by 2014. This will provide for 500 000 housing units. In addition, the National Upgrading Support Programme has also been established and will in future provide support to municipalities with upgrading projects.
The Department of Human Settlements has successfully engaged the country’s major banks and agreement has been reached to form a joint working team to look into various aspects of housing finance.
Crime and corruption
In his State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma directed the whole of government to fight corruption and to take tough action to ensure that corruption does not take root in our administration, especially in procurement and services contracts as well as in the social security system.
To strengthen these efforts, we will continue to work with the Special Investigation Unit and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that those guilty of criminal offences are prosecuted and duly punished.
President Zuma also emphasized that crimes against women and children should receive priority. To build an effective multi-sectoral response, a high level Advisory Council comprising of key government departments, civil society organisations and other relevant partners is to be established to strengthen and drive the implementation of 365 Plan of Action of No Violence against women and children. The Advisory Council will enhance ongoing measures and national efforts of all sectors to address violence against women and children.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster remain hopeful about our ability to make gains in ameliorating the impact of poverty on our people. But it is clear that our success will come only if it is a true team effort and partnership with our social partners. Though we have made progress, now is not the time to be complacent. We will ratchet up our efforts to ensure our nation’s success.
We thank you.
Issued by: Department of Social Development
18 Feb 2011
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