A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE
2 November 2001
MEDIUM TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT: DEPARTMENTS OF SAFETY AND SECURITY, CORRECTIONAL SERVICES AND LABOUR
Chairperson : Ms D Mahlangu (ANC) and Ms N Hlangwana
Medium Term Budget Policy Statement 2001
Presentation by the Department of Safety and Security (Appendix 1)
Presentation by the Department of Correctional Services
Presentation by the Department of Labour (Appendix 2)
Medium Term Budget Policy Statement 2001
The presentation by the Department of Safety and Security looked at the following issues:
- the viability of the introduction of sector policing;
- the need for more police personnel to effectively deter crime;
- problems experienced with inefficient of existing members of the police force;
- general budgetary shortages and their effect on the mandate of the SAP;
- the rehabilitation of police stations in terms of their planning and structure; and
- the measures set in place to combat incidences of farm attacks.
The Department of Correctional Services raised the following issues:
- measures set in place to prevent prison escapes;
- the effect of the overwhelming number of awaiting trial prisoners on the levels of
overcrowding in South African prisons;
- the self-sufficiency of prisons; and
- current HIV/AIDS programmes operating within prisons.
The presentation by the Department of Labour focused on the contents of the written submission, and the Commissioner of the Unemployment Insurance Fund highlighted areas of the UIF that need additional funding.
The Justice Deputy Minister spoke on how the Department was tackling its problems despite its budget being too small.
The National Treasury spoke on the Special Allocation for Poverty Relief, Infrastructure Investments and Job Summit Projects. The presentation would enable the Committee to ask the appropriate questions when the Departments came before them.
Department of Safety and Security
National Commissioner J Selebi pointed out that the presentation is based on page 70 of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). He began by saying that last year 21 000 murders were committed in South Africa, with as many as 15 occurring per day in the Natal province. These numbers have dropped by as much as 27% during this year. He commented on the disproportionate salaries earned by the Metropolitan Police (MP) and the South Africa Police (SAP), with the former earning as much as 20% more with the Chief of the Durban Police earning more than even the National Commissioner.
Deputy National Commissioner Prys dealt with the issue of "sector policing". This is a project initiated in April 2000 that aims to stabilize crime levels in as short a time as possible, with a move to the "normalization of policing". Currently 145 police stations nationwide deal with 50% of all the serious and violent crimes, and if this amount is increased to 340 police stations then, effectively, as much as 85% of such crimes would be covered. This would also entail the enlisting of members of the police force from neighbouring provinces.
During this year all crimes have visibly stabilized, except for theft, robbery and aggravated theft, and these high levels are due primarily to the sharp increase in cellular telephone theft. The 145 police stations are divided into more or less 7 sectors which allows members of the police service to function in that sector exclusively, so that they may establish productive relationships with members of the community within the designated sector. The aim here is to establish sound channels of communication between the police service and the members of the community, as well as to decrease response time because the police members would not be further than 300m from the crime scene. Furthermore, the aim is to have no less than 4 police members per shift operating in these sectors, which amounts to approximately 16 240 police members per sector. The problem is that, in recent times, the number of police members has dropped from 141 000 to 120 000. Also no crime prevention centres have been established to open the channels of communication referred to earlier. The result is that crimes are not being deterred by reporting potential crime situations to such crime prevention centers. SAPS is now rather in the business of dealing with crimes after they have been committed. The only feasible manner in which to reintroduce effective crime deterrence is by establishing sector policing.
A further disturbing fact is that, in 1995, one member of the police service effectively served 347 members of the public but this total has now risen to 411.
A committee member commented that any additional funds for the SAP would be "well intended" in terms of the mammoth task of attempting to cleanse our unsafe environment. Clarity was requested on whether SAP members are being relieved of their administrative duties and relocated to "street patrol" and, if so, how far along this process is.
National Commisser Selebi replied that all South African police stations have been directed to employ civilians to carry out the administrative duties, and to date 6 000 have been employed in this ongoing process.
Mr R Pieterse (ANC) inquired as to the position taken by the SAP with regard to the increase in farm murders and robberies, and any attempts being made to stabilize these crimes. Could this increase be attributed to the failure to properly station members of the police in these high risk areas. Furthermore, the "Kits Konstabels" employed by the SAP in former years attracted severe criticism for allegedly being largely illiterate. Are they still being used in the SAP. Surely the retention of their services would further contribute to the problems currently facing the SAP?
Deputy National Commissioner Prys replied that farm attacks have stabilized, and this is due largely to an operational concept that has been introduced to deal specifically with violent crimes. This project is established in both the farming communities and on smallholdings, but it is important to distinguish the two because the latter usually incorporates the operation of a small business on the premises. The primary motive for the attacks and robberies on these is the theft of firearms, money or a vehicle, which is usually used as the "getaway car". The rural safety conference was held last week, and in this conference it was decided that the current rural protection plan is simply not feasible. It was agreed that the best way to combat these attacks is to improve home protection on these farms and smallholdings, and members of these communities were encouraged to join the police reservists unit to learn to defend themselves. This initiative has taken hold in the North West Province and in Mpumalanga, and it expected to have spread throughout the remainder of the Republic by the year’s end. The introduction of sector policing in these communities might also be necessary.
National Commisser Selebi assured the committee that the SAP is committed to preventing the reoccurrence of a similar "Kits Konstabels" mistake, as the SAP cannot afford to employ personnel who are incapable of providing the service expected of them. For those "Kits Konstabels" the SAP was seen as a last resort and the SAP itself had to establish programmes to educate and sensitise them. The challenge currently facing the SAP is how to effectively integrate these "Kits Konstabels" into the modern SAP force. As a result of the unfortunate experience with these police officials, the minimum qualification to the SAP is now the possession of a valid matriculation certificate so history does not repeat itself. It is estimated that approximately 30 000 of these "Konstabels" are currently in the police service. These will be employed in functional policing in assignments such as the provision of security services for government buildings.
Ms B Hogan asked if it is the Commissioner’s contention that the MTBPS does not adequately cover the provision of more SAP personnel. Also, the estimates allocated for the SAP IT systems currently stand at R45m, and the problem now lies in the implementation of these systems in terms of the roll over. The Commissioner was therefore asked for clarity on the SAP’s request for further financial resources because of the roll over. As far as the rehabilitation of police stations is concerned, the Commissioner was asked to explain the status of the public works programmes set in place to facilitate this process.
National Commissioner Selebi suggested that the financial experts would be better placed to answer this concern. In terms of the rehabilitation of police stations, under the previous dispensation the planning of these centers was clearly uncoordinated because the centers are largely inaccessible to members of the community that they propose to serve and protect. The Kwamashu community is a prime example of the bad planning referred to here. The police station is located at the entrance to the community and its members have to take three taxis to reach the station, which is basically on the very outskirts of the township. As the vast majority of its inhabitants cannot afford the costs of two taxis to the station, they inevitably resort to vigilante groups operating within the community to ensure that justice is meted out to the perpetrators of the crime. The severe erosion that is caused to the perceived role and purpose of the police service in the community cannot be tolerated, and for this reason the SAP is requesting further resources to improve planning, especially for stations in the black communities.
Deputy National Commissioner Prys, on the question of the provision of new recruits, said that the SAP has requested a further 16 250 personnel to man the 145 police stations. For the SAP to have any realistic hope of winning the war being waged against crime it needs more "soldiers" to be sent to the "front line".
A SAPS finance official considered Ms Hogan’s concerns with infrastructure and the public works programmes, and replied that the latter is divided into three separate issues. Firstly, the erection and purchase of new buildings, secondly the major upgrading of infrastructure and finally the rental of services and utilities. The first concern has been agreed to and supported by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), but the remaining two are still being evaluated by the Public Works Department. As for the roll over, a new relationship has been forged with the Department of Public Works in this regard, and R40m has already been transferred to the SAP. There are also minor upgrades involving jobs under R5 000 which have to be included, as well as costs of structure maintenance which have now been doubled to R44m.
Ms Hogan asked if the Minister of Safety and Security has accessed the R8 billion that has been set aside for infrastructural projects and, if so, how much has been used to date.
The SAPS representative replied that funds had been procured from the adjustments estimate, but that they were not only used for buildings per se, but for general restructuring and the day-to-day maintenance of buildings.
Superintendent Nelson responded to Ms Hogan’s question on the IT system stating that it consists of three separate divisions. Firstly, R40m is requested for the next financial year for the provision of IT equipment. Secondly, R60m over a period of four years is requested for the furnishing of a radio communications network. Thirdly, for the establishment of an IT infrastructure and a fast-track process within the integrated justice system, R61m is requested for the first two years and a further R57m for the third.
Dr Rabie (NNP) noted that there is a shortage of 5 000 computers within the SAP, and questioned the accuracy of the statistics and information presented to this committee in the light of this shortage. Further clarity was requested on the difference between the Metropolitan police and the SAP in terms of the size and salaries of each.
Commissioner Selebi replied that the number of SAP members has dropped because salaries have been cut to provide funds for certain operational purposes. In fact, 84% of the budget allocated to the SAP went to the payment of salaries. However, the size of the police force has reduced because there were no more funds to be used to employ new recruits.
Ms C Nkuna (ANC) asked whether any mechanisms have been set in place to deal with the "psychological after effects" that the nature of the occupation has on members of the SAP.
Commissioner Selebi replied that such measures have been put in place. However this problem is too big to be handled by the current framework, and for this reason additional solutions have to be explored.
Dr S Cwele (ANC) took the opportunity to congratulate the SAP on their recent successes, and suggested that the upgrading of the IT systems would boost the morale of the SAP members. Could this be used at the police station level to gather accurate information regarding the commission of crime and means to combat it?
At this point the Chair, Ms Mahlangu, requested that further questions could not be answered due to time constraints and asked that they be answered by the Commissioner in writing. Some of the questions included:
- Has any strategy been developed by the SAP to inform citizens about crime and means of reporting and deterring crime?
- What steps are being taken to ensure that the "Kits Konstabels" do not simply lose their employment under the new dispensation?
- Could sector policing also be successfully implemented in the smaller residential areas?
- Mr Swart asked what would be needed, in addition to the further 16 250 members of the SAP, to effectively combat the unacceptably high crime levels currently sweeping South Africa. Also, would the provision of only two vehicles for sector policing in rural areas be sufficient to ensure success?
- Mr Zitha (ANC) expressed concern that by encouraging civilians to join the police reservists, the likelihood of an outbreak of vigilante groups might occur.
Department of Correctional Services
The Minister went through the Powerpoint presentation adding a comment about the escalating numbers of prisoners in South African prisons. He did state, ironically, that this is due to the occurrence of "unforeseeable" events which the Department had not factored into its budget, namely the increasing number of "swift arrests" being made by the police force. Furthermore, the Minister stated that the "problem" is that prisoners are regarded as the property of the South African government, and they thus have to be treated humanely and in accordance with the Constitution and the United Nations Charter on the treatment of offenders.
The Chief Financial Officer dealt comprehensively with the financial aspects in the written submission, and also noted that the international norm of jailor to inmate ratio is 1:4, whereas the current ratio in South African prisons stands at 1:9.
The Minister was asked what measures have been set in place to deal with prison escapes.
The Minister replied that the primary problems facing the Department here is the dilapidation of the prison buildings themselves, as well as the role played by corrupt prison officials. These matters are being looked into.
Mrs Hogan expressed disbelief at the fact that the MTBPS makes no provision for the "spending priority" of the Department of Correctional Services. Could this in fact be correct? Also, a valiant attempt is being made by the Department of Justice to reduce the number of awaiting trial prisoners. Would this initiative assist in reducing the number of inmates in South African prisons, or would it not be a factor?
The Minister replied that the Department has submitted a report to the Treasury in terms of spending priorities in the MTBPS, but still no provision is made in the MTBPS. The problem here is that the Department of Correctional Services is always considered last, which is as disconcerting for the Department as it must be for the South African public.
The Minister noted that the primary contributing factor to awaiting trial prisoners problem is the enormous backlog in the criminal justice system. The number of awaiting trial prisoners has risen from 109 000 to 177 000 in recent times, and all indications are that this amount will continue to rise. It is important that issues of social reform, such as the alleviation of poverty and the education of the general population, be addressed to combat the increasing amount of inmates.
It was suggested by a committee member that a way to retain funds and maximize efficiency is to set up programmes whereby the inmates themselves make items of clothing, furniture, and food. This would reduce costs and make the system self-sufficient.
The Minister responded that such programmes have indeed been introduced, and the State President and other officials from other government departments have ordered furniture. Furthermore, the current prison system is 85% self-sufficient.
Mr Zitha (ANC) asked whether the focus on the rehabilitation of offenders complies with international best practice standards.
The Minister replied in the affirmative and suggested that it is the only viable option to ensure the smooth reintegration of offenders into South African society.
A committee member noted that the depiction of prisons by the media suggests that HIV and AIDS is spreading rapidly amongst inmates. Has a prevention and awareness project been introduced and, if so, has this been done by the Department of Correctional Services alone or in conjunction with other Departments?
The Minister responded that a draft policy has been formulated to deal with this concern. This report was compiled in conjunction with the Department of Health.
Department of Labour
The Minister noted that the focus of the presentation would be on the delivery of services of the labour centres in the provinces, with specific emphasis being placed on implementation and enforcement of law.
Dr D Haasbroek, the Chief Administrative Director, dealt comprehensively with the written submission (see document). Mr S Mkhonto, UIF Commissioner, took over for the portion relating to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). As background, he noted that the UIF currently covers 5 million employees, but these statistics are not always reliable because it is difficult to collect accurate data on the exact number of members. It is thus difficult to manage a fund of this proportion in such circumstances, especially one with an annual collection of R 2,9 billion. The new Unemployment Insurance Bill seeks to remedy the shortcomings in the existing legislation, and by incorporating all employees it ensures that sufficient revenue is generated by the UIF to ensure that the fund operates successfully.
Mr Mkhonto highlighted certain projects for which the additional funding is requested (see Appendix 3). An efficient IT database is necessary to enable the Commission to keep track of the employees covered by the UIF, and is also important for the planning of revenue to be employed in processing claims. This would greatly simplify the administrative functions of the UIF. Actuarial Input is already being used by most institutions to facilitate the proper and accurate evaluation of personnel, and this information would be presented to the Minister. Institutional restructuring is needed to add greater efficiency to the administrative system of the UIF.
A question was raised about whether any skill development programmes have been introduced and, if so, what progress has been made.
The Minister replied that such programmes have been established, and a progress report could be presented to the Committee.
Department of Justice
The Deputy Minister of Justice, Ms Cheryl Gillwald, accompanied by Mr Allen McKenzie, the Chief Financial Officer, came in the stead of the Minister who had a previous engagement.
She told the Committee that four new business units had been formed. These business units were organized into packages that spoke to each other with each one having its own board. She then mentioned that the Minister had set up a Board of Directors which consisted of people in business who work on this Board for free. The Board meets twice a month. What was discovered from this Board was that people in business often had no idea of how government worked. She told the Committee that she had personally spoken to one Board member who was astounded at how productive the Department was. This was because he found that in the Department there was one person doing four jobs that in the business world would have been given to four different people. These four people would then each have to be paid a salary. This same Board member said that although these people were doing three jobs, they were not doing them optimally.
The Board had its own constitution that in no way usurped any power from the Department. Instead the Board was simply an advisory body that made recommendations and a veto power remained with the Minister. She added that throughout its existence and after all it recommendations, the Minster had never felt the need to use his veto power.
Adv M Masutha (ANC) said that he too could vouch for the fact that there were people in the Justice Department working hard. He however wanted to know whether the Department had a macro-plan to turn the courts around and get rid of the backlog. Adv Masutha said that on his travels with the Justice and Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee he had seen people working in appalling conditions. He complained of courts without roofs. He asked whether the Department was working with the Department of Public Works in an attempt to bring the courts back to working condition.
An opposition committee member noted that the presentation stated that "they will achieve their mission – by the sound management of courts" He asked how this could be true when magistrates arrived for work at half past nine in the morning, go out on tea at eleven o’ clock to return to hear the same case. At one o’ clock they go off on lunch, and by half past three they are on their way home.
Ms Gillwald said that the department has such a macro-plan. The plan called most importantly for the management of the Department’s existing assets. This phase of the plan recognised that the department had a large amount of assets but that these were not ideally placed. An important facet of this plan would be to ensure that, as the department expands it operations, these assets do not depreciate. She added that the fact of the matter was that the Department’s capital resources were far too small. The second part of the Department’s plan, and an answer to Mr Thompson’s question, consisted of the so-called court processes project. This mechanism was put in place to address the backlog of court cases clogging the judicial system and thus the Department was handling the situation.
This project involved a set-up where a group of courts would have a central court. At this central court, a policeman and a public prosecutor work together to ensure that all files going to court have all the appropriate documentation. The dockets get to the court two days in advance. This plan also included the creation of the so-called acceptance court which handled matters such as bail proceedings. Both these above-mentioned processes were implemented to free up court time for more serious matters. Ms Gillwald told the Committee that this plan was working.
As a result, the Department wants to set up an additional 40 central courts. In an attempt to free up even more court time, the Department has brought Business South Africa into the equation who have examined the situation, identified where backlogs are building up and recommended a course of action to get rid of such backlogs.
In addition to this, areas of high crime have been identified and police presence is to be increased in these areas. Ms Gillwald said that most often the areas of highest crime were the black townships because these were areas where previously there was no service.
Ms Gillwald noted that magistrates averaged about five court hours a day, a number that was quite good and up to international standards.
Ms Ntlabathi (ANC) reminded Ms Gillwald that there was a move on the part of Justice to include traditional leaders in Justice, especially in the rural areas. She told the Deputy Minister that she was pleased by such a move but stated that there would a number of issues to be dealt with. She asked how these traditional leaders would be remunerated, if they were in fact to be remunerated, how they would be appointed and what their role would be.
Mr Sikakane (ANC) said that unlike his colleague, he was concerned when he heard that there was a move to include traditional leaders. He told the Department that he came from such a background and knew how traditional justice worked. He asked what precautions would be taken to ensure that an individual’s sentence was not affected by how much praise, or how many gifts the accused had given a traditional leader in the recent past. He added that he would be pleased if these traditional leaders were included in the administration of the communities that they came from but not involved in matters of justice. Again he said he knew how justice in those circumstances was administered.
Ms Gillwald reminded the Committee that traditional leaders were a reality and were thus also a legal reality. For this reason, regardless of their feelings on the matter, these individuals would have to be included. This was in part necessitated by the fact that in their community, these individuals were welcomed by their people and looked on in a generally positive light. Despite this, however, these traditional leaders would not be allowed to decide on serious matters.
On the salaries that would be payable to these individuals, Ms Gillwald conceded to being ignorant of what the position would be. Despite this she could tell the Committee that traditional leaders would not be on the payroll of the Department of Justice.
Ms Gillwald continued that traditional courts had clear geographical and substantive jurisdictions. She added that they operated surprisingly well and that as people became increasingly educated, they would be able to choose between traditional courts and ordinary ones. To this end there were already programs where traditional leaders were being trained to preside over their own courts. These training programs were met with mixed feelings by the traditional leaders. Some approved, some even were pleased while other were not pleased at all. Ms Gillwald was of the opinion that in light of all the complications, it would important to just watch the progress and assist where necessary.
Mr Lowe asked whether the Department was looking at the cost benefit of introducing so much new legislation and what the point was in enacting so much legislation when the Department did not have the resources to implement all of it.
Ms Gillwald replied that the Department of Justice was indeed enacting a lot of legislation and that it should by no means slow down. If the Department were to cease or even slow down, this would be admitting defeat. She admitted that implementation was a big problem but added that the Department was getting better at it with each passing year.
Mr Lowe asked whether the Department had considered the use of candidate attorneys in the light of the number of accused without legal representation.
Ms Gillwald told the Committee that the Department had a policy statement where they outlined how and why they felt they had an obligation to candidate attorneys, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It was commonly known that law graduates often found it hard to find a firm where they could serve their articles. For this reason the Department tried to assist as many law graduates as possible. The fact of the matter however was that these individuals still needed to get paid. Legal Aid was one such mechanism where recently graduated law students could serve their articles. Despite this however, it was impossible for the Department to take up the numbers it should or would like to. This was once again because of lack of funds.
While on the topic of funds, she said that independent consultants had shown that a 10% increase in productivity at the lowest level would result in a considerable freeing-up of funds. These advisors had said that a 10% increase in productivity was not hard to achieve and could be done relatively easily.
Mr L Zitha (ANC) asked about the status of the equality courts.
Mrs Gillwald replied that the equality courts would certainly be operational by next year.
Mr Zitha then touched on the fact that he had seen people representing themselves in court. All they had to look forward was years in prison because the notion of legal representation was completely foreign to them. He said that the Department really needed to promote access to justice.
An opposition committee member noted asked whether the Department of Justice was indeed working with the Department of Correctional Services as the situation still exists where magistrates hold on to young children, caught perpetrating petty crimes.
Ms Gillwald replied that the Child Justice Bill was a big priority. She agreed that small children should not be sent to jail for petty crimes as once they were in the system, chances were that they would become hardened criminals. For this reason the Department of Welfare was building children centres but just did not have the money to build nearly enough of them. It was not uncommon for magistrates to phone the Department to ask what should be done with minor offenders. At the end of the day there is nowhere to send them and these youngsters end up in prison. She added that the Child Justice Bill would be the best costed piece of legislation to pass through Parliament.
Mr R Pieterse (ANC) raised the topic of overcrowding in prisons. He said that the overcrowding of prisons could be looked at in two ways. The first was that the Department of Correctional Services was not performing its job well and not building more prisons or managing the prison population well. Alternatively Justice was doing its job well and caputuring and prosecuting higher numbers of criminals. Regardless of the manner in which this was looked at, it was clear that prisons were full to capacity because the wrong people were in jail. People who really should be in jail were not, and people who really do not deserve to be in jail were. Many people were granted bail but because they could not afford to pay the R100 bail, they had to await their trial in custody. It was these people who cost the government large sums of money.
Ms Gillwald said that awaiting trial prisoners were probably the single biggest problem on the Department’s list. She reiterated that some people just did not have the money to pay their bail and who had to remain in custody while awaiting their trials. Their stay in prison cost the government R99 per day. A solution to this problem had to be found. She agreed that the Department of Justice was getting better at what it did. So too were the police getting better at their investigation techniques. Awaiting trial prisoners were the single biggest cost to this cluster of Departments.
The Chair told the Department that there was not much integration between the three levels in the Justice system. nor was there much integration between the three Departments. The Chair wanted to know how the integration or collaboration between these bodies worked.
Ms Gillwald replied that the Department of Justice had to work on a singular basis and not a globular manner. This was because first the judiciary was a separate institution all together. The Department had attempted to work with the judiciary but to no avail. Mr Gillwald told the Committee that any comment from the Department to the judiciary was met as an interference and treated as an attempt to breach the separation of powers. The same, but to a lesser degree, held true for the prosecutors. The public prosecutors work for the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions and are, in the strict sense of the word, independent of the Department of Justice. Ms Gillwald said that by her comments, the Department was not attempting to shirk responsibility but was illustrating that its role in the complete picture was smaller that what was commonly believed.
National Treasury on Special Allocation for Poverty Relief, Infrastructure Investment and Job Summit Projects
Ms J de Bruin explained how the process behind the allocation of certain amounts worked.
The special allocations were instituted in 1997/98. The purpose of the allocation has changed since its inception - from having a special employment programme focus in 1997/98 to the provision of short-term poverty relief in 1998/99. Then in 1999/00 part of the government's commitments at the Job Summit became an additional obligation of the special allocation.
Money was not just given to the different departments. Instead there were a number of criteria that needed to be met before a department would receive money as a special allocation. It was agreed that projects should:
- relieve poverty in the poorest areas of provinces in particular rural areas;
- Assist in human development and in building capacity;
- provide jobs and in doing so involve the community
- provide for infrastructure in poor areas;
- have an impact on households in which single women are the main breadwinners;
- seek to make projects sustainable in the long
Next Ms de Bruin explained just how it worked. In the first 4 years, allocations were done on an annual basis after the global amount was announced in the Budget in February. Departments did not like this format as it did not allow for much forwardly geared planning. It was hard for Departments to plan if they did not know how much money they would be getting the following year. To remedy this, the practice was changed in 2000, to a three year Medium Term expenditure Framework allocation. This would provide stability and encourage better planning in departments.
Selected national departments submit general business plans to the selection committee in September. The selection committee makes recommendations on allocations to MinComBud.
A memorandum is then submitted to Cabinet in November which approves allocations in
National departments have different procedures for the selection of projects - the National Treasury does not get involved in this process.
National departments then reformulate their business plans based on their actual allocation and provide a list of projects to the Treasury. Departments are required to submit quarterly progress reports in a standard format to Treasury. Financial information includes: spending trends by component, province, rural/urban, item and additional resources obtained. Non-financial information includes: number of temporary and permanent jobs (female, youth and the disabled), training provided, number of income-generating projects, type and quantity of services delivered and problems experienced in the delivery of projects. Consolidated reports are provided to the Social Sector Cluster DGs, MinComBud and Cabinet.
There is a Technical Committee consisting of all the national departments receiving the allocation, the National Treasury and the Presidency. It meets quarterly as a discussion forum to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the allocation.
The National Treasury also undertakes random project visits throughout the year. This was done to ensure that certain projects actually did exist. Mr de Bruin told the Committee that there were instances where projects did not exist and were instead merely fraudulent claims on the special allocations fund.
Current projects included:
- The creation of new infrastructure such as stream-crossings, rural access roads, taxi ranks, markets stalls, boreholes, VIP toilets, canals, sports fields, craft factories, fencing).
- Rehabilitation of infrastructure (regraveling of roads, school buildings, bridges).
- Income generating / Support for SMMEs
(tourism related, infrastructure related, welding, bakeries, poultry farms, brickmaking).
- Services (removal of alien vegetation, soil conservation, wetland rehabilitation, waste removal, creches, tourism services).
- Training (vocational training, business skills, life skills; literacy and numeracy).
Ms de Bruin told the Committee that there was a sum of R 150 million that had been unallocated. This money was used for the following projects:
· Cholera – R30 million for water and sanitation infrastructure
· HIV/AIDS – R25 million for campaigns focusing on the youth
· Foot and Mouth disease in KZN and Mpumalanga - R30 million for compensation and supporting services for poor rural farmers for animals slaughtered/killed in the course of epidemic.
· Integrated Rural development Project (IRDP) - R65 million for the support and initiation of projects in l3 development nodes
Ms de Bruin outlined the how the money had been spent on a geographical basis. The money had been spread all over South Africa with most of it being concentrated in the poorest areas. To be exact 74 % of the allocation had been spent in the 4 poorest provinces (BC 27%, KZN 20%. NP 17% & MP 10%). Furthermore 84 % of the allocation had been spent in rural areas.
Types of projects included:
· 55 % of projects are infrastructure related
· 27% of projects are services to communities (e.g. soil conservation and removing alien vegetation)
· 17% of projects focus on developing SMME's and on income generating activities.
· Only 1% of projects focus exclusively on training.
Ms de Bruin explained that the outputs from the 2000/01 allocation were numerous and had been successful in the:
- building of new infrastructure
- rehabilitation of existing infrastructure
- job creation
- skills development
- addressing Social Plan commitments
- provision of services to the community and tourists
Here Mrs de Bruin stressed that most of the projects were used for infrastructure development or rehabilitation. Most Departments used their allocations for infrastructure projects. This was perhaps because it was easier than the other major activity, namely income generating projects. Infrastructure projects were much easier to set up and manage. Their results were also more tangible in a shorter period of time.
Outputs involving the delivery of infrastructure to communities included:
150 creches and pre-schools
245 community facilities
274 access roads
108 water supply projects
93 school sanitation projects
237 community gardens
14 craft factories
Outputs involving the rehabilitation of infrastructure were:
1199km of road upgraded
110 drainage and minor bridge structures repaired
368 school classrooms repaired
Outputs involving the provision of jobs included:
- The provision of more than 107 000 short-term jobs (equivalent to more than 4 219 000 person days of employment) and more than 2 700 permanent jobs;
- The creation of jobs, mainly to the benefit of women (50 %), the youth (28 %), and disabled persons (less than 2%).
- 200 ex-offenders have also been employed in projects.
Outputs involving skills development and social plan included:
· More than 202 000 person days of skills development (literacy, numeracy. sewing, bricklaying, baking, construction, welding, leadership as well as small business skills)
· The Social Plan commitments were addressed by providing:
- information (1 million pamphlets, 100 000 rosters, workshops, 50 000 employers guides) on how to cope with retrenchment
- retraining for 1 300 retrenchees
- 48 local economic regeneration studies for areas experiencing large-seats retrenchments
- 9 Future Forums (these are partnerships between workers and employers set up to seek solutions to the problems facing the enterprise/industry).
Outputs involving the provision of services to communities and tourists included:
· 20 refuse collection and recycling projects
· 3 community parks
· 169 114 ha cleared of alien vegetation, and follow up work on 184302 ha
· 283 km of fencing to prevent livestock eating crops
· 39 sites with mobile dunes were stabilised
· 17000 ha of maize fields timed to increase yields
· 34 genetically superior bulls supplied to improve the quality of rural herds in EC and NP
· projects providing 5 527 signboards to tourist Sites and facilities
· 42 tourist information centres
· 1022 food service points with a total of 5 639 seats projects
· 27 accommodation projects with 6 804 beds
Outputs involving SMME's and Integrated approaches included:
- Provision of start up capital and support for individuals and/or communities to start 1 390 small enterprises
- Providing a space where departments, civil society and the private sector can work together in a more co-ordinated way. For example, Working for Water brings together the skills and expertise of the departments of Water Affairs and Forestry, Social Development, Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Tourism as well as NGOs like NICRO and the private sector like Rand Water
Ms de Bruin told the Committee that the Special Allocations project was not with out problems. These included under expenditure by certain Departments. This happened when money was given to a Department and they failed to use it. This problem has been some what solved. It was her job to call these Departments up and make sure they spend the money properly and she aimed for the expenditure of about 85 to 95% of the money allocated.
This problem was in part attributable to inadequate monitoring systems. Another problem was that of fiscal dumping on other spheres of government. This occurred when she or some one else approached a Department and informed them that they were not meeting their expenditure requirements. The Department, at national level would then just dump all that money on the provincial level of that Department. They would then come back and claim to have spent the money. Technically this is true, but it does not mean that the money has been well spent or spent yet at the provincial or even local government level. A problem related to this was the fragmentation of funding to provinces and local authorities.
Ms de Bruin told the Committee that there was also a lack of programme management capacity at all levels.
Another problem was that departments would get involved in inappropriate projects. An example of this would be when the Department of Welfare got involved in an alien vegetation removal project. This would be bad because that Department was not best suited to carry out such a function. It would thus be better for Departments to get involved in an area where it had at least some capacity.
Related to this problem was the situation where Departments intentionally left certain items out of their budget. They then apply to the fund under the guise of a project in order to get funds to perform one of their duties. In this way the department uses the special allocation as a manner to get additional funds.
Ms de Bruin said that the biggest problem was the question of the effectiveness of spending in addressing poverty. This was the age-old question of whether the problem of poverty could be addressed simply by throwing money at it.
The Recommendations for 2004/05 and beyond were:
· Part of the original intention - re-orientate budgets toward service delivery to the poor and to provide space to "experiment"
· Departments will now be given funding for 3 years up to 2003/04
· Annual allocations will be confirmed if acceptable progress has been made in the previous financial year by the 2004/05 this special allocation in its present format should no longer exist.
A thorough independent evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of programmes would be done in 2002. This would involve looking at the efficiency of spending patterns, financial
controls, speed of disbursement, M&E systems. It would also include the examination of the effectiveness of projects such as the targeting appropriateness of projects, the impact of projects, and beneficiary assessment.
The end result of all this would be that where programmes:
· contribute to the core functions of the department
· have illustrated their usefulness in alleviating poverty and
· are sustainable;
Then the full or a portion of the allocation will be integrated in the normal departmental allocation.
Unallocated resources would then be reprioritised towards other government programmes targeted at the poor.
Mr Zitha asked whether in Ms de Bruin’s opinion the special allocations actually helped and made a difference or whether the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Ms de Bruin said she felt that the money would be better spent elsewhere. She noted her earlier comment that Departments would not budget for a certain item and then turned the function into a project. She explained that this was very bad because it amounted to duplication and created a situation where the department basically got two budgets.
This was aggravated by the fact that these departments would not be involved with their core business or functions and would instead be involved in project areas where they really were not best suited to operate. Ms de Bruin was of the opinion that in this light it was apparent why the special allocations needed to be stopped. She commented that the Committee’s next question would probably be why she worked for the Treasury doing this kind of work if she did not agree with it. She said that her views were just that, her own opinions that she held. She added that at least she had the opportunity to watch over the matter and attempt to make sure that all goes well.
The meeting was adjourned.
SAFETY AND SECURITY SPENDING PRIORITIES AS IDENTIFIED IN THE MEDIUM TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT (MTBPS)
Chairperson and members of the Committee, it is indeed a privilege to appear before this newly established Budget Committee of Parliament today.
A number of national by Government for include, in relation strengthening of the country.
priorities have been determined the next MTEF cycle which to Safety and Security, the safety and justice sector in our
As you are aware Government approach by which relevant clustered to deal with priorities manner. In this instance the Prevention and Security (JCPS) responsible cluster.
has adopted an departments are in an integrated Justice Crime cluster is the
Before I elaborate on the departments policy and spending priorities as reflected in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, I wish to briefly reflect on the broader priorities of the JCPS cluster. These cluster priorities are:
· The establishment of an Integrated Justice System
· Addressing crime in identified high crime areas
· Addressing organized crime and identified crime syndicates
· Improving border control
· Combating corruption
· Addressing crimes against women and children
· Increasing community involvement in the fight against crime
· Improving prosecution and the judiciary
· Addressing the overcrowding of prisons
The Department of Safety and Security has developed a strategic plan for the period 2002 to 2005 which seeks to address the priorities of the national government and which are aligned with the broader JCPS cluster priorities. The departmental priorities, which obviously guide spending over the next three years, are the following:
· Policing priorities
· Serious and violent crimes
Combating serious and violent crimes by focussing on:
· the proliferation of firearms and its impact on incidents of murder, armed robberies, heists and hi-jackings
· crime combating strategies developed for identified high crime areas (the geographic approach)
· intergroup violence, taxi and train violence, gang violence, and faction fighting in identified flashpoints areas urban terrorism
· Combating organised crime by effectively dealing with criminal organisations involved in crimes relating to drugs, firearms and vehicles
· Combating corruption and commercial crime
· Crimes against women and children
· Certain crimes against women and children, specifically violent crimes, will also be dealt with through the geographic approach and organized crime investigations. This is being augmented by, amongst others:
- Implementation of Domestic Violence Act.
- Victim empowerment and support programmes
- Strengthening existing special units to deal with family violence, child care and sexual abuses
- Improvement of Service delivery
- building of capacity at stations to deal with the management of crime once the situation has been stabilised through the geographic and organised crime approach
- increasing the visibility of the Police by implementing Sector Policing
- enhancing the implementation of a Service Delivery Improvement Programme to all areas
An analysis of the departmental capacity to deliver on the above priorities has indicated the following requirements:
* Additional resources targeted at raising personnel numbers, primarily to increase visibility through the sector policing initiative. Since 1995/96 personnel numbers in the protection services have declined substantially. This translates into significantly reduced personnel per member of the population, compared to reported serious crimes and relative to workload.
* Upgrading of information technology capacity within the department and across the sector. Recent audits revealed a shortage of -+ 5 000 computers at station level
* Upgrading of radio communication system in Gauteng and elsewhere
* Modernization of and operational costs for the vehicle fleet. This does not allow for sufficient expansion of the fleet
* Maintenance of infrastructure. The appearance of some buildings are not conducive to service delivery and are in a dilapidated state
* Carry through costs of rank and leg promotions
The greatest challenge that faces us is increased Visible Policing. Our current shortcomings include:
· Low police visibility
· Slow response times
· Limited relationship built with the Community, resultant low community involvement and little information gathering
Whilst all the areas of requirement have been mentioned in the MTBPS no formal allocation has yet been received. It has, however, been noted that funding for approximately 6 000 additional personnel will be allocated over the multi year term. This is
clearly not sufficient to enable the successful implementation of Governments' priorities. We have submitted to the Medium Term Expenditure Committee a need of 16 250 additional personnel. The need was set conservatively to fall within Governments' abilities.
It is trusted that the presentation to the Committee will assist in fulfilling its role and I once again wish to express my sincere appreciation for the opportunity.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
A PRESENTATION TO THE JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE ON SPENDING PRIORITIES
2 November 2001
· Key programmes
· Spending priorities
Strive for a labour market which is conducive to:
· Economic growth
· Investment and employment creation
· Rising skills
· Sound labour relations
· Respect for employment standards and
· Worker rights.
To play a significant role in reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality through a set of policies and programmes developed in consultation with social partners, which are aimed at:
· Improved economic efficiency and productivity
· Skills development and employment creation
· Sound labour relations
· Eliminating inequality and discrimination in the workplace
· Alleviating poverty in employment
KEY PROGRAMMES (1)
· Occupational Health & Safety
· Social Insurance
· Employment & Skills Development
KEY PROGRAMMES (2)
· Labour Relations
· Labour Policy
· Service Delivery
· Auxiliary & Associated Services
Service Delivery - R256,7 mil
· Management Support Services
· Beneficiary Services
· Employment & Skills Development
· Inspection & Enforcement Services
· Labour Market Information & Statistics
Employment & Skills Development
Services - R150,1 mil
· Skills Development Planning
· Skills Development Funding
· Employment Services
· National Skills Authority
Labour Relations - R165,5 mil
· Collective Bargaining
· Minimum Standards
· Equal opportunities
· Strengthening of Civil Society
Occupational Health & Safety - R19,1 mil
· Administrative Services
· Inspection & Investigation
Labour Policy - R25,9 mil
· Research & Planning
· Labour Market Statistics
· Promotion of Productivity (NPI)
· NEDLAC - R6,4 mil
· International Labour Matters - R7,1 mil
Administration - R148,8 mil
· Public Private Partnership
· Communication Services
· Support Services
Social Insurance - R22,1 mil
· Compensation Fund
· Unemployment Insurance Fund
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND
Background to Request for Funding
The presentation by the fund follows the meeting of the Director’s General of Labour and Finance held on the 29/06/2001 where the following issues relating to the Fund were agreed upon.
The main decisions reached can be summarised as follows:
· The National Treasury accepts the role of the State in underwriting the Fund.
· The Necessary funding must be requested via the MTEF process. This was submitted to the treasury by the stipulated date of 13 July 2001.
· The Treasury Committee must no longer defer the granting of assistance but must finalise its decision in this regard.
The main pillars of transformation
· Legislative Programme
· Informative Technology
· Institutional Re-structuring
The new law encompasses the re-structuring of benefits and the Inclusion of High income earners, that is aimed at improving the Sustainability and viability of the fund.
· This measure is estimated to increase revenue by almost R250 million
· Brings all employers in the net
· Makes it easy for compliance monitoring
The new Bill makes provision for improved compliance measures, similar to those of the South African Revenue Services.
Some of these improvements are:
· Increased penalties
· More effective prosecution of non-compliance
Section 56 of the new Law, establishes the requirement for a Contributor database. The new bill also prescribes the details that Employer should furnish to the Fund.
· Maintenance of Payroll details per employer
· Upfront determination of contribution income
· Upfront estimation claims payable
· Greater potential for fraud elimination
· Allows for proper planning and forecasting
No actuarial valuation is currently required and thus planning becomes difficult.
Provision is made in the new bill for an actuarial evaluation of the fund on annual basis
An actuarial database is being designed with the assistance of the ILO and a local actuarial firm.
The models for the collection of the statistical data has been received from the ILO and this is been reviewed by the local actuaries.
Information Technology & Systems
The Fund is deploying the following IT systems to improve its Operational and Administration Efficiencies;
· New AXS-ONE Claims system with improved controls has been developed and will be implemented with the promulgation of the new law.
· New Computron Financial System, which fully enables compliance with PFMA, has been implemented and implemented.
· A comprehensive debtors system, to improve collection efficiency has been developed.
· AXS-ONE Payroll declaration System (EMS), for collection of Employer/Employee details.
Through DoL Re-structuring efforts are being co-ordinated with the Department of Public Service Administration to explore the following:
· Fund Autonomy in line with Section 49 of the PFMA
· Exemption from the Public Service Prescripts
· New Agency Arrangements between Fund and DoL
Out/ Co-Sourcing of the following functions to increase efficiency;
· Wage audits
· Internal Audit Function
· Debt Collection
· IT management (PPP)
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