Service Delivery public hearings Day3

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

03 February 2010
Chairperson: Mr L Tsenoli (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Seven organisations made submissions to the committee on issues affecting service delivery in the country. The submissions focused on the challenges associated with service delivery and put forward recommendations to address this matter.

The Department of Energy said that part of its broader mandate was the alleviation of energy poverty, the promotion of economic development and the transformation of the energy sector. Some of the interventions that the Department had made included taking part in the Local Government Turn Around Strategy, participating in the Human Settlement strategies by prioritising
“Breaking New Ground” projects, targeting universal access backlogs in municipalities, lending support to municipalities with monthly reporting, and implementing the Municipal Assistance Programme by placing skilled electrical engineers at municipalities.

Contralesa, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, pointed out that an oversight was created during the drafting of the White paper on Local Government and Traditional Leadership. This had to do with the role that should be played by the traditional leadership and their traditional councils. They proposed that intergovernmental relations should be strengthened, based on synergetic partnership between all state organs and the institution of traditional leadership working towards a better service delivery.

IDASA, the Institute for Democracy in Africa, stated that poor service delivery and governance remained an overwhelming challenge in most municipalities. Issues that needed serious attention were corruption, institutional capacity, lack of transparency, dysfunctional ward committees – these were not fully operational and viewed as aligned to party political agendas, lack of public participation in issues of governance, and lack of accountability by councillors and municipal officials. Service delivery protests mirrored the crisis of local democracy. Though the protests differed from one province to another, one common thing was that people want to be heard and taken seriously.

The Development Bank of Southern Africa mentioned that it had developed a concept of leveraging Municipal Infrastructure Grants to fast-track service delivery. This involved an innovative funding instrument to fast-track the provision of access to basic services to those who did not have access, leveraging of MIG funding to grant long term concessional funding, facilitating funding for multi-year infrastructure projects in a shorter cycle than Medium Term Expenditure Framework, and improving financial and institutional sustainability for low capacity municipalities.

Old Mutual Ilima Trust said that their business experience in the private sector did not prepare them well for work in the government sector. They did not understand fully what it would take to learn the “government way” of doing things, and this often led to breakdown in communication, misdirected focus and unintended, frustrating outcomes for all parties. There needed to be much greater awareness and appreciation from both parties concerning the vast differences in the respective cultures. Government at all levels had a most impressive array of strategies and plans, many extremely well documented and presented, with clear evidence of thorough thinking and research backing up such strategies and plans. However, there were many examples where such plans fell flat due to lack of implementation and follow-through.

The South African Institute of Civil Engineering spoke about infrastructure project failures, solutions, and how the private sector could be harnessed. It noted that in 1989, when the population of the country was 40 million, the country had 2500 civil engineers. But since 2000, 1300 civil engineers were serving a population of 47 million. The impact of poor maintenance had led to a reduced quality of life where refuse was not being collected, there was sewage in the streets and communities experienced regular power cuts.

Black Sash believed that several mechanisms for service delivery must be explored; in particular community-based organisation/ non-governmental organisation (CBO/NGO) and public-public partnerships should be pursued beyond the expanded public works programme. The submission by Black Sash drew from lessons learnt in their programmes and engagement with the public.

There was little time for discussion and some questions were to be answered in writing. Questions from Members looked at the transformation within the energy industry; DBSA’s criteria for fund allocation; attracting and retaining engineers in rural municipalities. Black Sash was asked about ward councillor involvement when it organised a meeting in De Doorns during the attacks, and what the resolutions were. Ilima Trust was asked why skills development benefited employees only with more than 20 years of service, and why two provinces were not covered in that project.

Meeting report

Department of Energy submission
Ms Nelisiwe Magubane, Director-General, Department of Energy, stated the primary focus of the Department was to ensure security of supply and universal access to modern energy. To achieve this, it would need to mobilise the collective participation of communities and the private sector. Part of the broader mandate included the alleviation of energy poverty, the promotion of economic development and transformation of the energy sector. There was also focus on managing electrification planning, funding allocation, and implementation. The Department’s allocation criteria had a rural bias because of historical imbalances. More resources were spent on the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The following criterion was used when electrification funding was allocated to municipalities: backlog, availability of formal settlements and bulk infrastructure and past performance. 75% of houses, where government had spent money, had been electrified. This excluded high-income houses. On municipal performance in 2008/09, 85% of what was targeted was achieved. 40 000 were registered during this financial year. For the period 2009/10, municipal performance was sitting at 58%. The Department was concerned by this figure. Scrutinising Eskom performance in 2008/09, 91% had been achieved in areas supplied by Eskom within municipalities. 72 500 household were electrified.

Challenges
The following were identified as challenges with regards to the electrification programme:
▪ Limited programme funding
▪ Building of new bulk infrastructure in rural areas
▪ Refurbishment and rehabilitation of electrical infrastructure
▪ Building municipal capacity without impact on service delivery
▪ Structured Planning Approach
▪ Project Management
▪ Social Interventions (Communication strategy).
▪ Resources Management.

To date, over 4.5 million homes had been electrified. By June 2010, all schools would be electrified and more funding would be allocated towards the rehabilitation and upgrading of electricity infrastructure. All clinics had been electrified. Some of the interventions that the Department had made included taking part in the Local Government Turn Around Strategy, participating in the Human Settlement strategies by prioritising
“Breaking New Ground” projects, targeting universal access in low-backlog municipalities, lending support to municipalities with monthly reporting, and implementing the Municipal Assistance Programme by placing skilled electrical engineers at municipalities.

Petroleum Controller
In 2006, the Department opened the Office of the Petroleum Controller with the main responsibility of implementing the Petroleum Products Amendment Act 2003. This Office was given the mandate to adjudicate over the processing of retail, wholesale and manufacturing retail applications of prospecting and petroleum operators through its licensing division. It was also responsible for compliance, monitoring, and enforcement. The Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Directorate was responsible for checking if petroleum operators had the applicable licences, correct labelling on the fuel pumps, correct fuel specifications, and if the correct fuel price was displayed at the forecourt of a service station. Enforcement of compliance to licensing conditions and inadequacy of the Act for spot fines remained challenges.

Service delivery improvements were currently underway. Process improvement techniques such as process mapping and re-engineering were being explored, and it was envisaged that by 1 June 2010 all applications would be processed within the stipulated 90 working days. A dedicated compliance stakeholder forum would be established, and it would be used to gather intelligence from operators on non-compliance. Starting from 1 April 2010, the number of inspections would be increased by 100% in order to increase the visibility of the compliance office, and to cover as many operations as possible.

Integrated Energy Centres (IeCs)
The Department had also established a programme for the development of IeCs which were designed to be one-stop shops for all energy services located closer to consuming communities. These centres were later set up countrywide with the help of private companies, municipalities and other relevant stakeholders. These IeCs were established with the main objective of providing access to safe and affordable energy sources to poor households, empowering communities to be able to influence policy in both the public and private sectors on access to safe and affordable energy, and providing information about available energy options.
Factors that posed challenges to IeCs included management and governance issues (where different stakeholders were not fulfilling their roles and responsibilities), lack of financial and business management skills, lack of funding for IeCs and compliance with applicable legislation such as the Cooperative Act.
In order to address these, the Department was currently developing a strategy which would be anchored on the lead role by national oil company, PetroSA. The Department was also engaging the oil industry to adopt the IeCs as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Contralesa submission
Mr Zolile Burns-Ncamashe, National Organiser: Contralesa, pointed out that an oversight role was created during the drafting of the White paper on Local Government and Traditional Leadership. This had to do with the role that should be played by the traditional leadership and their traditional councils.  In due course, there had been a number of framework Bills and Acts (Provincial Ordinances) that had been promulgated to address this oversight but to date transformation on this matter was still at a very slow pace.
On service delivery protests, Contralesa believed that the problems experienced by the urbanised poor had an impact on rural communities. At its recent national conference, Contralesa resolved that transformation of Traditional Council Courts should be speeded up in compliance with the Traditional Leadership Framework Act, which called for the transformation of all Traditional Councils. It was also put forward that the iZinduna (headmen) should be recognised as a public representative officer because this would fast-track service delivery. It was also felt the demarcated wards in rural areas should be reviewed. Contralesa called for alignment of municipal wards into traditional wards. This would create a coherent engagement with the Integrated Development Planning processes between provincial and local government and Traditional Councils.

In light of this, Contralesa proposed that intergovernmental relations should be strengthened, and this should be based on synergetic partnership between all state organs and the institution of traditional leadership towards a better service delivery. There should be a meaningful consultation and participation with the institution of traditional leadership on all matters relating to the exploitation of natural resources, service delivery and general development initiatives at local and provincial government.
 
IDASA Submission
Mr Bongani Qwabe, from Idasa’s Capacity Development for Local Governance project, stated that poor service delivery and governance remained an overwhelming challenge in most municipalities. Issues that needed serious attention were corruption, institutional capacity, lack of transparency, dysfunctional ward committees – these were not fully operational and viewed as aligned to party political agendas, lack of public participation in issues of governance, and lack of accountability by councillors and municipal officials. Service delivery protests mirrored the crisis of local democracy. Though these protests differ from one province to another, one common thing was that people want to be heard and taken seriously.

To address these governance challenges the following recommendations should be considered:

Public Participation
Improving and encouraging a culture of public participation remained vital in this democratic era. Municipalities should engage and consult civil society in policy formulation and implementation, and incorporate them in governance structures. It was essential that community awareness of rights and obligations should be enhanced so that citizens could play an instrumental role in municipal affairs.

Curbing Corruption and Promoting Financial Compliance
Municipalities needed to improve sound financial management requirements as envisaged in the statutory framework by appointing qualified and capable officials, including chief financial officers and internal auditors, with the right and appropriate skills. It was important that municipal officials account for results, not only for budget spending, and as more resources were transferred to local government there was a need to strengthen the institutions that enforce accountability of public resources.

Open Local Government
Open government should be emphasised in the management of local affairs. Local government should be accountable, transparent, and open to public scrutiny.

Budget and Integrated Development Plans (IDPs)
It was significant that municipalities carefully integrated community needs in their development plans and when allocating budget. The budget must, in turn, be aligned with the IDP and its objectives and strategies. Municipalities had to ensure that the budget supported the achievement of the objectives set in the IDP and the attainment of the overall vision of the council. The significance of this was clear in that it enabled the community to hold the council accountable for the attainment of the goals and targets set in the IDP.

Political and Administrative Tensions
The relationship between politics and administration should ensure that partisan concerns did not compromise the management of the administration, which was the core element of ensuring delivery.

Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations
The current intergovernmental fiscal system and the equitable distribution of the national revenue should significantly consider the differing challenges, the relation to rural and urban environments, availability of human resource capacity, degree of economic activity and overall institutional strength. The current system was open to question and should consider the fiscal capacity of municipalities. Rethinking fiscal allocations hold great promise for improving the socio-economic conditions.

Capacity Building
Capacity building was one of the most essential tools available to local government in bridging the gaps in what was expected of municipal officials and what they could deliver. Skills development was critical as it laid the basis for more people-oriented local government system, able to meet the demands of the people for democracy, reconstruction, and development. For local government to work there was a need for investment in capacity building of councillors and officials.

Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) submission
Mr Luther Mashaba, Group Executive of SA Operations, said that the organisation was mandated to promote economic development and growth, human resources development and institutional capacity building in the region, and to support sustainable development projects and programmes in the region. It achieved this by providing technical support to remove constraints and build development capacity, and providing finance for infrastructure development to eradicate backlogs.

Examples of funding constraints were highlighted as insufficient collaboration and crowding in of funding for development, uncoordinated investment efforts, unplanned consequences of regulated environment on funds mobilisation and application, and limited planning and project preparations capacity and funding.

Examples of institutional impediments were inadequate performance management of municipal officials and systems, non-compliance of supply chain management and procurement processes, high vacancy rates in key positions, inability of municipalities to prepare service delivery projects, inadequate budget for operations and maintenance, and that some municipalities were not viable.

Funding Initiatives
In improving funding initiatives, DBSA had expanded its product offerings by targeting untapped market segments and promoting client diversification. It had also improved alignment with national and provincial priorities by enhancing development planning and undertaking stakeholder engagement initiatives. It had increased collaboration by working with commercial banks and interacting with the Banking Council.

The DBSA had set up the Targeted Infrastructure Programme (TIP). This was a concessional programme started in 2004 to build sustainability through a combination of technical and investment support to poorer municipalities. It provided strict monitoring arrangements to ensure impact, and package deals with additional technical support to ensure comprehensive development structure.

In conjunction with the private sector, DBSA was also involved in a project with the Gamagara Municipality in Northern Cape. This was a capital development programme of 12 projects to develop new and upgrade existing bulk and internal infrastructure services within the bigger Kathu urban area.

DBSA had developed a concept of leveraging Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIGs) to fast-track service delivery. This involved innovative funding instrument to fast-track the provision of access to basic services to those who did not have access, leveraging of MIG funding to grant long term concessional funding, facilitating funding for multi-year infrastructure projects in a shorter cycle than Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and improving financial and institutional sustainability for low capacity municipalities.

Existing support initiatives undertaken include assisting municipalities spend MIG/CAPEX, ensuring completion of technical infrastructure projects, assisting in municipal compliance with Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), implementing Operation Clean Audit, piloting engineering services support for waste water treatment works, and supporting national roll out of the Artisan Programme and the Local Government Turnaround Strategy.

DBSA was well positioned with its strategic partnership to assist government in policy development, information and research; funding and implementation; and capacity building.

Old Mutual submission
Mr Crispin Sonn, Marketing Executive of Old Mutual Ilima Trust, explained that the creation of the Ilima Trust was a practical manifestation of the desire of Old Mutual South Africa to make a meaningful contribution towards the achievement of the country’s growth and development objectives. The belief was that solid service delivery from all government departments and particularly local municipalities formed a foundation stone to securing the country’s future.

The Ilima Trust was set up with funds that became available through the de-mutualisation of Old Mutual and the sale of a portion of the unclaimed shares. Retired executives and senior managers of Old Mutual had resourced the Trust – a total of 14 people joined the Trust.

Since its inception, Ilima Trust had undertaken 46 assignments for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). It had worked at all three levels of government, spread across 7 provinces. Thirty assignments had been completed as at 31 December 2009. Of the original assignments, 4 were still in progress, whilst 12 assignments had been withdrawn or put on hold for a variety of reasons.

Meaningful contribution
Ilima was confident of its ability to make a meaningful contribution because it was comprised of former executives and senior managers of Old Mutual who all had in excess of 20 years experience in corporate life and who were all graduates or professionals in a wide variety of disciplines. Ilima consultants were motivated by a common commitment to plough back their experience and insights. Their primary motivation was to serve their country in a meaningful way. Ilima was a small player in this field. Its team was comprised of 14 consultants. They were aware that CoGTA interacted with more than a hundred similar service suppliers. The organisation’s access to CoGTA officials and the quality of dealings were therefore impacted as a result. The absence of a highly placed political champion, who could open doors, remove blockages and enable fast-track involvement had hampered their deeper absorption into the world of local government in particular.

Whilst the core focus of Ilima was centred on skills transfer through mentoring, coaching, training and project management, they were keenly aware that the needs of the government seem to be different. A more practical, hands-on approach where vacant positions were filled and suitable replacements were found seemed to be the need.

With Ilima being primarily based in the Western Cape and their core government partner being based in Gauteng, their capacity to interact most productively with one another was significantly curtailed. It also impacted negatively on their ability to undertake as many assignments further a field from Cape Town than they would have liked, resulting in a disproportionate number of projects being undertaken closer to “home” in the Western and Eastern Cape, with relatively fewer assignments being undertaken in the provinces further from their “home base”. Ilima was aware of the great need for the services they provide in areas further from Cape Town. They had, however, suggested practical ways in which to overcome this current disadvantage but needed financial support to execute them.

Views of business about local government
Their business experience in the private sector did not prepare them well for work in the government sector. They did not understand fully what it would take to learn the “government way” of doing things, and this often led to breakdown in communication, misdirected focus and unintended, frustrating outcomes for all parties. There needed to be much greater awareness and appreciation from both parties concerning the vast differences in their respective cultures.
Government at all levels had a most impressive array of strategies and plans, many extremely well documented and presented, with clear evidence of thorough thinking and research backing up such strategies and plans. However, there were many examples where such plans fell flat due to lack of implementation and follow-through.

There was clear evidence, widely acknowledged by several senior government leaders, that government, especially local government, had been, and in many cases continued to be, plagued by skills shortage, corruption and political in-fighting.

It was also widely believed that, in many instances, the inability of local government officials or unwillingness to separate their party political allegiances and interests from their administrative and functional responsibilities had impacted negatively on their performance. This had resulted in either inequitable treatment of people or the unfair advancement of the interests of individuals in the community, or both. This state of affairs had alienated many people, hamstrung municipal service delivery and put increased pressure on such institutions to radically improve their performance.

Their experience was that unfilled posts existed in many municipalities, especially at senior and middle leadership levels. Critically important, key posts in areas such as finance, housing, human resources, planning, engineering, economic development, infrastructure, and sanitation, were left vacant for months – in some cases even longer – leading to serious breakdown in core service delivery disciplines, causing loss of revenue, dereliction of accountability, low morale and a general malaise in these municipalities. This rendered these institutions ineffective and characterised by stagnation, incompetence and ultimately, paralysis. In such extreme cases, provinces were, and had been, legally compelled to step in and assume direct administrative control.

The loss of qualified, experienced municipal officials (especially serious in the case of CFOs and other key financial roles) had led to scarce skills and competencies being contracted in at much higher cost. In cases where unqualified, inexperienced employees were asked to assume critical roles, it caused inefficiency and, ultimately, wastage of financial resources due to inevitable re-work required, often at higher cost.

Wide-spread political in-fighting and score-settling between and amongst councillors and officials had led to unnecessary vacancies and ineffective government as people often got suspended for political reasons rather than actual performance deficiencies or shortcomings.

Financial resources were wasted in many respects. As an example, strategies were often developed and launched with great enthusiasm and promise, only to fizzle out due to lack of ownership, project management expertise, focus, accountability and/or efficient monitoring and evaluation processes.
Many officials ignored accountability to the political structures and often acted outside of their mandates or delegated powers.

Way forward
The following conditions would enhance the potential for success in addressing the challenges:

The unambiguous acknowledgement by the government of the problems facing local government in South Africa was clear and work had started in devising turnaround strategies to address the issues identified.

▪ The identification of a “political champion” at senior government level who would take ownership of the problems and the turnaround strategies, and also be the pivot around whom the participating entities from the public and private sectors will operate in the implementation of the solutions envisaged.

▪ Co-ordinated high-level public commitment from leaders in both government and business circles to boldly address the issues.

▪ Use the Ilima model, adapted appropriately in accordance with the requirements of all stakeholders, as a framework upon which to expand the support footprint nationally, with willing corporate enterprises contributing both financial and human resources.

▪ Ensure that government covered the expenses of deliveries that had been made successfully and hold them accountable where wastage was incurred.

South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) submission
Ms Allyson Lawless, Executive Member of SAICE, spoke about the challenges facing SAICE. The challenges were limited to capacity, funds, support for technical solutions, leadership, maintenance, asset management, and enforcement of performance or action taken against corruption. She highlighted that in 1989, when the population of the country was 40 million, the country had 2500 civil engineers. But since 2000, 1300 civil engineers were serving a population of 47 million. This meant there was a collapse in the country’s infrastructure. The impact of poor maintenance had led to a reduced quality of life where refuse was not being collected, there was sewage in the streets and electrical services cut regularly; loss of income where water and electricity losses were registered, falling traffic lights, and poor roads in some cases affecting access to and sale of products; and reduced growth whereby poor infrastructure affects tourism, farming, new developments, and access to job opportunities.

SAICE suggested the following solutions to the prevailing problems:


Rebuild not restructure
- Rebuild structures and develop meaningful organograms
- Put training programmes in place to support youth development and develop succession plans
- Change terms and conditions to retain S57 [management] staff unless inadequate performance, rather than terminate in the absence of performance reviews

Professionalise staff selection rather than politicize
- Competency models should be developed
- Appoint professional, registered, senior officials with sound track record
- Review selection criteria guidelines from Profession of Town Clerks Act, Municipal Accountants Profession Act, and Engineering Profession Act.

Address financial viability
-
A hard line on debt collection should be taken
- Equitable share should be made conditional and the formula to increase income for low income municipalities should be reviewed
- Losses should be tackled and investment should be made in maintenance
- Efforts should be accelerated on Operation Clean Audit
- Corruption must be stamped out.

Responsibility requires authority
- Split between political and executive roles needed to be considered
- Delegations should be reviewed – if officials were given responsibility, they must also be given authority
- Officials should be allowed to discipline those who are not performing
- Support departments should support line departments, and not dictate to them.

Using the private sector
- Private sector should second experienced municipal staff to local government to rebuild capacity, offer structures and systems, and on-the-job training
- Young staff should be seconded to consultants to be trained
- Rebuilding of municipal structures should be outsourced to consulting firms


She concluded that tertiary institutions should consider offering a National Diploma in Municipal Engineering, and Certificates in Operations and Maintenance, and Asset Management.

Black Sash submission
Mr Elroy Paulus, Advocacy Programme Manager, said that service delivery issues in South Africa were complex, multi-dimensional, interrelated and interdependent. Many policy documents of the democratic government of South Africa were detailed about the scale, depth, and complexity of addressing the continued service delivery challenges of the majority of South Africans. A hands-off approach by the private sector, the citizenry and State was unacceptable. Black Sash believed that several mechanisms for service delivery must be explored; in particular community-based / non-governmental organisations (CBO/NGO) and public-public partnerships should be pursued beyond the expanded public works programme. The submission by Black Sash drew from lessons learnt in their programmes and engagement with the public.

Basic services
A multiplicity of crises in basic service delivery had emerged. Evidence of this was undeniable and included regular reports of polluted rivers and beaches due to lack of maintenance or excessive strain on water and sanitation work equipment. Illegal dumping of human waste from hospital and medical facilities due to the failure of private sector companies and the lack of provincial and local road maintenance and decaying infrastructure in poorer towns were also identified as prevailing problems.

Social assistance
In their research, Black Sash had discovered that the social assistance grant was sometimes the only form of income for whole families. Resources meant for certain vulnerable individuals were often used to sustain households, essentially enabling them to pay for services. For example, if you were poor and chronically ill, you were excluded from social assistance. Chronically ill people needed this support grant to ensure nutrition and transport needs were met. That was why the Black Sash was advocating for a Chronic Illness Grant to fill the stark gap in the service delivery of South Africa.

Private Pensions
Exploitative practices by unethical business continued to complicate the challenge of service delivery. Black Sash had long-standing evidence of non-payment of pensions of thousands of retired persons all over the country. It was primarily the lack of the effective regulation of private pension schemes that had led to non-compliant practices, which disadvantaged the poor members of such schemes. On numerous occasions Black Sash regional offices encountered cases involving some of the following transgressions:
▪ Employers who deducted provident fund benefits from the wages of workers without making payments to the fund administrator
▪ Employers who do not keep proper records of provident fund contributions
▪ Employers who, without the knowledge of the workers, withheld provident fund contributions from the fund administrator without any apparent reason.

It was for this reason that the Black Sash was proposing:
▪ A rethink and revision to resources for municipalities and the inference that the division of revenue between the three spheres of government be revised.
▪ Because many poor people were prone to natural disasters – such as living in flood plains and degraded sites – and many foreign nationals were living in difficult circumstances in safety sites established due to a human-made disaster, relevant agencies must have immediate access to give support to these problems, and a framework approach with adequate resources must be available.
▪ An independent monitoring mechanism should be in place to help develop a model to deal with crises in service delivery, whether it was human-made or natural.

Discussion
Department of Energy
Mr P Smith (IFP) asked why there was a big discrepancy between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in fund allocation. They were both rural but the Eastern Cape was getting a bigger allocation.

Ms Magubane replied that both provinces had received a large amount but that the actual expenditure had not been commensurate with the allocation.

Ms D Nhlengethwa (ANC) asked if the one-stop shops (IeCs) were functioning well and if the Department had the capacity to monitor whether they always had electricity to meet the demands of the people.

Ms Magubane replied that the problem with one-stop shops was that of functionality. Yes, they were functioning but not as the Department would like them to be.

Ms P Ngwenya-Mabila (ANC) asked about transformation in the industry and why the Western Cape and Mpumalanga were not included in the Eskom performance assessment?

Ms Magubane replied that the Department was looking closely into transformation. The sector charter was under review because the current engineering skills available were not adequate and this had to be addressed. The Department would ensure that PetroSA investigate why the two provinces were excluded.

Due to time pressures some questions on energy matters were not answered. The Department was asked to reply in writing within seven working days.

DBSA and IDASA
Mr D Kganare (COPE) noted that the recommendations put forward by IDASA did not specify how they would be implemented. He asked the DBSA to explain the type of projects that it had embarked on and the impact they had on the ground.

Mr Qwabe replied that IDASA was working with CoGTA in certain municipalities to implement some of the recommendations.

Mr W Doman (DA) asked the DBSA if it could place all available professionals if money was available.

Mr J McGluwa (ID) suggested that the DBSA should recommend the training of people instead of solely relying on consultants who charged exorbitant amounts of money

Ms I Ditshetele (UCDP) asked what criteria DBSA used to fund its projects and whether these funds were monitored.

Mr Mashaba replied that projects were funded on the basis of merit. On monitoring, he said they had a rigid monitoring process that looked into each and every project.

The Chairperson requested DBSA and IDASA to reply to the members in writing within seven working days.

SAICE, Old Mutual and Black Sash
Ms G Borman (ANC), commenting on SAICE comment that there was a shortage of engineers, stated that training was a long-term thing and that a balancing act was needed to address the issue. She admitted that work on the ground was badly affected.

Mr Z Makhubele (ANC) and Mr M Swathe (DA) asked what could be done to retain engineers in rural areas because it seemed as if even urban municipalities were struggling to hire them.

Ms Lawless responded that some municipalities in rural areas were cash-strapped and COGTA had to deal with that, but they needed to look at subsidies. It was a question of adopting those municipalities in trouble. She also suggested they would have to look at the simplest form of attracting and retaining engineers. It was not impossible and the retained should be empowered and incentivised.

Ms W Nelson (ANC) asked if SAICE would consider mentorship because throughput was less than the number of registered candidates.

Ms Lawless replied that the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) had started to influence throughput. Apprenticeship was funded, but not mentorship. That made it difficult for mentorship to happen.

Ms D Nhlengethwa (ANC) asked why the projections showed that there would only be a few female engineers in the future.

Ms Lawless replied historically there were few women in the industry. Even to date, there were still very few white female engineers. But she assured her they were working hard on the 50/50 ratio.

Mr Kganare enquired if it was possible for Old Mutual to draft a proposal for their project to make sure it did not die.

Mr Jerry van Niekerk from IIima Trust replied that the process was ongoing and review sessions were being held with the trustees.

Ms T Kenye (ANC) wanted to know why skills development within Ilima Trust only benefited employees with more than 20 years of service, and why two provinces were not covered in this project.

Mr Sonn explained that people were approached to volunteer their services purely on a voluntary basis. The Trust would love to work with SETAs on skills development. Proposals so far had been reviewed and funding would be considered only under certain conditions. On the matter of the two non-participating provinces, he explained that all the provinces were given the proposal. It was only KZN and the Northern Cape that did not respond, and they could not force them to partake.

Mr McGluwa wanted to know why Black Sash was not situated in all provinces.

Mr Paulus replied that Black Sash was an NGO. It was self-funding. That was why it was difficult for it to be all over the country.

Mr Swathe asked where the ward councillors were when Black Sash was organising a meeting in De Doorns during the attacks, and what the resolutions were.

Mr Paulus replied that the situation was hostile. Community leaders were illegally arrested. However, they managed to iron out some issues. Consequently, several attempts to sort out the integration problem were in place, and a baseline for a long term plan was being developed.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila asked Black Sash to explain which beneficiaries were excluded from the social assistance programme because the law was clear on the matter.

Mr Paulus explained that it was not available to those with chronic illnesses, and they would continue to advocate for those eligible but who were not getting it. He further stated the Tribunal needed to operate within certain regulations but they were not clear on the process, and that was something they needed to look at.

The Chairperson concluded the submissions would be reflected upon, and researchers would go through these submissions. The Committee would discuss them and make recommendations.

The meeting was adjou

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