Social Development Portfolio Committee Five Year Strategic Plan and Business Plan

Social Development

31 August 2009
Chairperson: Ms Y Botha (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

This Committee had met in early August to workshop its business plan and its five year strategic plan. The outcome of that workshop were the draft documents before the Committee that captured the way forward under the heading Key issues: Legislation and Policy; Service Delivery; Oversight; Budgeting / Funding; Staffing and Remuneration. The members were satisfied that everything discussed was clearly reflected and documented. The dominant concern revolved around the oversight role of this Committee, while implementation of policy and legislation was a natural partner to oversight. There was mention of the backlog of grant applications, but vital detail, not reflected in the document, was the fact that some of these statistics consisted of appeals, and not only new applications. There was discussion on the need for timeous payouts by the National Development Agency (NDA) to its beneficiaries. The Committee also finalised its international engagements for the 2009/10 year, and its programme until the end of September.

Meeting report

Draft Business Plan 2009/14
The Chairperson called on the Project Officer, Ava Dowling, to present the salient parts of the Business Plan which emanated from the workshop process of 4 – 7 August 2009. She pointed out the key issues: Legislation and Policy; Service Delivery; Oversight; Budgeting / Funding; Staffing and Remuneration. Members were then invited to make comments or pose questions on any matters in the document.

The Chairperson stated that in terms of their oversight role, the Committee must ensure that the budget provided was adequately spent. There was close scrutiny of the Minister’s speech and the strategic objectives of the Department. Under oversight function, there needed to be a review of whether policy had been implemented.

Ms Dowling said that the budget allocation resided under Financial Scrutiny because budgeting was not an output per se. Ms Botha agreed that it fell within Planning and Budgeting. The policy review should not be limited to those issues mentioned. Ms Botha said that all members were present and were clear on the assessment being discussed.

Ms Lana Petersen, Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Ministry clarified that on the point dealing with oversight and monitoring of eradicating the social grant application backlog, this consisted not only of new applications but should also deal with the backlog of appeals which rested with the Appeals Tribunal.

Ms Botha indicated that their review of this document was concluded.

Draft Five Year Strategic Plan
The Content Advisor, Ms Yolisa Nogenga, read through the document noting that Section 5 dealt with the key issues.

Ms W Nelson (ANC) referred to the guidelines with regard to salary structures and funding models and, in particular, the fact that the only province with a different structure was Kwazulu-Natal. She asked how this issue would be addressed so that uniformity amongst provinces could be achieved.

Ms Botha agreed that the matter of the funding structure for non-government organisations would be taken up by this Committee. She also noted that the issue of timeous payments to NGOs by NDA would receive attention.

Ms Botha then went through the list of international engagements which included conferences and other relevant meetings. In order to reach a decision on both the selection of engagements as well as the members who would attend each of these, she asked if two members would be amenable to accompanying her to the Department of Foreign Affairs. She also requested that the researchers provide more information and search the archives on previous engagements undertaken.

Mr V Magagula (ANC) and Ms S Kopane (DA) agreed to accompany her.

With regard to the agenda of other portfolio committees, the Chairperson noted that there was room for collaboration with other committees that had common interests such as the Children’s Act.

As part of the policy review process, Ms Botha asked Ms Petersen whether there was any progress with the White Paper on Social Development (Welfare), and whether the Committee would agree to her interacting with the Minister on this, together with Ms Petersen.

With regard to the SASSA visits, Ms Botha proposed that the Guguletu and Manenberg paypoints be included in the itinerary for 9 September 2009.

Ms Taresa Small (SASSA Parliamentary Liaison Officer), noted that the time of day when the paypoints should be visited must be taken into account since clients tended to collect their payments early in the morning.

Ms Nelson said she was aware that there is a security risk but would nevertheless like to request that members be informed of payout dates at the various paypoints so that they could plan their own visits and observations.

Ms Botha cautioned that should such information be made available to the Committee that members treat it with the utmost care and confidentiality due to the number of robberies occurring.

The Committee approved the Strategic Plan.

Committee Programme
The Committee considered the draft Committee Programme up until the end of September.

Mr Magagula responded that it was a very good programme and he was supported by all the members.

Ms Botha said she would need the names of two members who would attend the Durban conference on 13 September which would cover amongst other topics: policy-making, transparency and responsibility. The invitation had come from the Minister of Public Service and Administration. Members could submit their names to her.

Ms Kopane asked that a list of Committee members’ names and contact details be circulated to all members.

The Chairperson agreed to facilitate the request.

The meeting adjourned.
Share this page: