Department of Social Development on the impact of the State of the Nation Address;

Social Development

15 February 2010
Chairperson: Ms Y R Botha (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Social Development presented its response on the impact of the State of the Nation Address. It stated that 3200 fraudulent grants were terminated and this would result in a saving of R 200 million. The recipients would also be charged. The child support grant would be extended from 14 to 18 years of age resulting in 2 million more children qualifying for it. This would be welcomed by cash strapped household who have children. Another promising development was the partnership between the mining community and the Department of Social Development to develop communities where these mines operated and the communities where they sourced their biggest labour pool from. The Department’s Social Relief of Distress Programme was designed to provide temporary assistance to those persons who were in such a dire material need that they were unable to meet their families’ most basic needs. The Department had to apply for additional funding from Treasury as a result of the uptake. The Department planned to co-operate more closely with the provinces in order to deliver the Social Relief of Distress faster and to be more efficient administratively. It was highlighted that 6000 students were currently studying towards degrees in Social Work, making use of scholarships provided by the Welfare section of the Department. 3000 auxiliary social workers were also in training. Job and training opportunities were being created in child care as well as home based care programmes under the auspices of the Department.

Members asked questions about the Department’s family policy and Early Childhood Development programme. The Committee discussed whether there was enough money to cater for the demand for the social work scholarships and whether the Department recruited students from the rural areas. They also asked the Department to elaborate on the fraudulent grants that were terminated. 

The Department also presented an analysis of its financial status in the third quarter. The Department had achieved 79% of its outputs up until the third quarter of the year. The Department spent R 67.3 out of R 86.5 billion rand which amounted to 77.82% of its budget. It would however have a huge saved/unspent amount for two reasons. Firstly , the termination of fraudulent grants and secondly, money requested to supply the expected new applicants for old age pensions when men started to qualify for pensions at 60.The unspent amount could amount to R1 billion rand.

Members asked questions about cost saving measures, virements and the use of the term rallies in the report. They also discussed whether the Department would overspend or underspend its budget allocation.

Meeting report

Reflecting on the State of the Nation Address (SoNA)
Mr Dangor, Chief Operations Officer, DSD, presented the Department’s response to the State of the Nation Address. The Department had delayed its strategic planning session until after the outcomes document was finalised and the SoNA was delivered. This was done to ensure that the Department’s strategic plan responded to the needs expressed in both these documents.

In the SoNA it was called the Socio- Economic Effects of the Global Economic Crisis but it had another dimension in South Africa. In the South African context, the global economic crisis was not a temporary issue as it was in other countries. Instead, it was a chronic crisis that had been discussed at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) level. Due to the nature of the challenge in South Africa, the response of the Department was both short term and long term. One of the major contributions was the extension of the child support grant to children up until the age of 18, which made two million more children eligible to receive it. This would make a major difference in the current economic climate where there were massive job losses and families become economically vulnerable. It emerged from the discussions in the NEDLAC forums that the child support grant encouraged participation in the economy. Because the recipient families could buy basic needs, it stimulated the economy. It also created the possibility of forming saving clubs and gave poor families, in a small way, access to the financial markets. In a few cases it was a catalyst for the formation of micro enterprises. The social grant thus helped in providing in the direct needs of the people, but also had positive spin-off effects in that it stimulated the economy.

Mr Dangor highlighted the Department’s Social Relief of Distress Programme. This programme was designed to provide temporary assistance to those persons who were in such a dire material need that they were unable to meet their families’ most basic needs. The Department had to apply for additional funding from Treasury as a result of the uptake. The Department planned to co-operate more closely with the provinces in order to deliver the Social Relief of Distress faster and to be more efficient administratively.

The social insurance component, the second leg of the comprehensive social security intervention, was about preventing poverty. In this instance, the working poor would be focused on. These were people who worked, but earned very little and thus did not have pension schemes or unemployment insurance benefits. When they were unable to work, they become indigent and then became dependent on social grants.  The Reformed Pensions Framework would address the systemic nature of this situation and put systems in place to prevent it from happening. This included adjusting application of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. It would ensure that there would be economic assistance for people who were unemployed temporarily or on a more permanent basis, due to the economic shocks and stresses.

The creation of job opportunities was another component. The Department would continue to work with the Community Works Programme, innovated by the Department of Social Welfare over the past two years. This programme was currently funded and would be handed over to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), which was better placed to manage it as it had a closer working relationship with municipalities. The Department would still be part of the program in an advisory capacity to make sure that the programme delivered on its social goals.

Over the past two months, the Department had been engaging with business to gage what the potential was for partnerships. The Department had specifically targeted the mining and financial services sectors and was in the final stages of an agreement with the former. There were 431 mines in South Africa. As part of the agreement, mining companies would have to participate with government in social development programmes in the communities where they operated from. The expectation was that if the mining companies could meet their social responsibility commitments towards the communities, supported by the Department, over a number of years, the impact on those communities could be dramatic. The agreement between the Department and the mining sector would be finalised within a week. The Department saw this as a very important intervention. If it worked as planned, it would provide a much bigger resource base and better targets for communities. It would also serve as a model for future partnerships between the Department and business entities.

Mr Dangor explained that Grants Plus was a programme where recipients of grants were linked to either job opportunities or training opportunities in order to assist them to become more self sufficient, particularly young mothers who receive the child support grant. This would be done in collaboration with the Department of Labour, which would draw on models at work in other countries, to build a coordinated referral system. The jobs envisioned would be decent work, not menial jobs. This would feed into the decent work agenda. The Department was often questioned on the decent work agenda, although it was driven by the Economic Cluster Departments, and not the Department of Social Development.

The Masupatsela Programme was aimed at addressing youth development and unemployment. It was also charged with building the capacity of NGO`s that delivered services to youth The Department had a good relationship with the National Development Agency (NYDA) and was trying to identify its unique roll in this process. Intermediary organisations that were doing development work in communities have weakened over the last ten years, in part due to a lack of funds. In consultation with the greater Department, the NYDA had made adjustments to its strategic plan in order to become a grant maker for these development services. These were organisations working in the fields of youth development as well as gender based violence.

In the case of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the Department had complete control over the value chain from policy development to implementation. It was not the case with welfare services or community development where the Department worked through the provinces. The Department was discussing with the municipalities, strategies how the Department could have more control over the quality of the services and capacities at the point where the services were being delivered to the end user.

In 2009, the Department had initiated the Kwanda Social Mobilization in partnership with Soul City. It was a TV series linked to community development. It brought together municipal managers, global community development forums and government from all three tiers to work together on local issues. The Department aimed to refine and roll the programme out further.

The SoNA also referred to a new way of doing things in terms of the three stages, planning, monitoring and evaluation. The Department had tried over the last three years to build an Internal Consulting Approach to doing planning and monitoring. The Department aimed to improve on sector wise institutional planning where the Department not only planned for the National Department, but in partnership with the provinces. It was a collegiate arrangement in the sense that the provinces were not legally bound to these agreements, but it created a seamless approach to planning. There were joint and agreed indicators for delivery in terms of their Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks. All of this was being done in a results based strategic framework. When the strategic plan is tabled, it would focus on outcomes as it was a better guide to gage success than mere outputs. This was how the Department planned to approach its mandate into the future.

Ms Sadi Luka, Chief Director: Community Development, DSD, added a few aspects around youth development with reference to Masupatsela. She mentioned that most of the Masupatsela pioneers were beneficiaries of social grants for their children. The Masupatsela programme was accredited by the University of Fort Hare and served as a bridging programme towards Tertiary Education. There was also a programme to renew intergenerational solidarity to strengthen social cohesion. With regards to building sustainable communities, the Department had developed a toolkit for Community Development Practitioners. It would be launched and rolled out to all provinces. What the Department aimed to achieve through it was a co-coordinated approach to community development. It also aimed to build capacity in Community Based Organizations to make sure that communities were empowered to participate actively in its development.

Dr Maria Mabetoa, Deputy Director-General: Welfare Services, DSD, said that that her unit had made scholarships available for youth to study work. 6000 students were busy studying towards a Social Work Degree. 3000 young people were in a Learnership program as Auxiliary Social Workers. The Department had a learnership through the HIV and AIDS Programme for Child and Youth Care Workers. These young people were assisting in supervising adults who were taking care of children who had been orphaned through HIV and AIDS. The SoNA referred to the fact that women, children and people with disabilities should access developmental opportunities. Through the Early Childhood Development Program, the Department was providing to children of 0 to 4 years old the opportunity to have access to a good start in life and to prepare them for primary education so that they were in a position to later contribute to the development of this country. During the next financial year, the New Children’s Act would be implemented, to make sure that the country supported and protected its children throughout their childhood.

Dr Maria stated that the Older Persons Act would be implemented within the next financial year and the Department would be launching campaigns to combat the abuse of the elderly in the country. Young people with disabilities would be prepared through the Expanded Public Works Project (EPWP) programme to gain access to the opportunities offered through the youth development programs of the department. The Department recognised that it could make a contribution in the reduction of violent and serious crimes. To this end, it plans to introduce its Social Crime Strategy within the current financial year. The Department would intensify the campaign against substance abuse, especially the Ge- Moja campaign. The Department would also finalise regulations for the substance abuse legislation. The DSD would improve the quality of life for families by the full roll out of the family preservation programs. When it came to the criminal justice system, the department developed a responsive secure care model for children in conflict with the law. The department developed a blue print for secure care facilities. As contribution towards the implementation of the child justice act, the department was working through the regulatory framework for the diversion program to make sure that as many as possible children have access to these diversion programs. The Department was also working towards improving the quality of victims support services. When it comes to the integration of gender equity into the program of action, the department would develop and implement the program to prevent gender based violence. The program would focus on men and boys. This was a summary, Dr Mabetoa said. The detail would be made known in the strategic plan.

Ms Luka said that the Department was in the process of finalising the National Community Development Policy Framework. It was aimed at promoting the effective co-ordination of community development programs at a local level, but also to ensure that there was improved participation. In this regard, the department was working with COGTA to develop a mechanism that would ensure that there was full participation at the community level.

Discussion
Ms H Lamoela (DA) asked what Dr Mabetoa what role the Department would play in respect of the Child Justice Act.

Dr Mabetoa explained that the Child Justice Act would come into operation from 1 April 2010.The Department had made contributions towards the implementation of that Act. As part of its duties, the Department had to make sure that the secure care facilities worked very well and that children who were referred there were well looked after and protected. The Department had developed a blueprint in order to ensure that all facilities of this nature have the same infrastructure and that their operations are standardised. The facilities would be accessible to the police and the Department of Justice when children were remanded there. The second issue was around diversion programmes. Only about 10% of children went into awaiting trial programmes while the rest went into diversion programs. According to the Act, there should be properly accredited diversion programmes to channel these children into. The Department would develop these programmes during the current financial year and it would be implemented during the next financial year. All NGO`s that might run these diversion programs would have to be have the proper accreditation and would have to run these programmes as developed by the Department.

Ms H Malgas (ANC) asked about the fraudulent grants that had been terminated She wanted to know whether the department could elaborate on it and inform the meeting what punitive measures were in place to deal with those who benefited from it.

Ms Lamoela followed up on the previous question by asking whether there were any departmental officials amongst the people who would be charged. If any, how many were involved? Would they repay only the money that they received illegally or would they pay interest.

Mr V Magagula (ANC) asked if the Department was investigating cases where parents were separated and the father was supporting the child, but the mother was receiving a child support grant. Because the father did not register the child, he could not deregister the child. He asked the Department to investigate all angles of the situation.

Mr Selwyn Jehoma, Deputy-Director General: Social Security, DSD, replied that it had been recently discovered that there were people on the system who did not qualify for grants. Their names will have to be removed the system. The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) had failed to do so because of a lack of capacity. The Minister of Social Development had given an order to take action against these people and the process was put in place to terminate the grants. As a result, 32000 fraudulent grants were terminated and this would result in a saving of over R200 million. From the current period onwards, there would be regular terminations due to the tools developed by the Special Investigations Unit that made it possible for them to compare the databases of PERSAL, the South African Revenue Service and other systems with the database of SASSA. This would be done on a monthly basis and the people whose names would be generated would be sent letters warning them about the impending termination of the grant. If they had objections or could prove that they were still eligible, they could contact SASSA. If there was no response the grant would be terminated. They would then be charged with receiving the grant illegally.

Ms Malgas said that she could see the links with the moral regeneration project and asked whether these initiatives were part of the moral regeneration programme.

Ms Luka replied that the Department was looking at partnering with the Department of Arts and Culture to develop an intergenerational programme for youth which would encompass the issue of moral regeneration

The Chairperson reminded Members that the presentation was only a reflection on what was said in the SoNA. All other issues would be discussed in detail when the Department tabled its Strategic Plan.

Ms Lamoela expressed delight with the Department’s strategy to help people become self-sufficient. However, she asked whether there were time frames attached to the implementation of these programmes.

Mr Dangor noted that the question of timeframes was important. All the strategic plans and the areas of intervention had been developed and decided upon. All that was needed was for the three departments to sharpen it, through a more detailed strategic review to prioritise projects in terms of the resources. The model used would be high impact low cost if possible. The Departmental approach would be to rather do a few things really well, rather than doing many things without depth or intensity. The Department would return to the Committee with a more detailed plan about what issues should be prioritised. This was where the results based evaluation fitted in. The approach was, for example how can a certain result be obtained within 3 years or within 5 years. In this scenario, output does not qualify as a result. The result would be the change that it effected.

Ms Lamoela pointed out the fact that there were shortages of social workers and that they were overloaded. She questioned the ability of the department to implement the plan successfully with the limited resources it had.

Ms Dudley (ACDP) wanted to know whether was enough money to cater for the demand for the social work scholarships. She asked whether more people applied than could be accommodated as well as how many social workers were needed to implement the acts and plans.

Ms Mofolo (ANC) wanted to know about the learnerships. In her understanding a learnership lasted for a limited period of time. She wanted to know whether the contracts of the learnership participants who started last year would be extended or whether a new group of people would start training in the 2009-2010 financial year.

Dr Mabetoa replied that there would never be enough social workers in the country, but that the provinces made implementation plans which were costed and made sure that it had the resources to implement all the programmes that were planned. Every province had an implementation plan with targets stipulating how many auxiliary social workers they would train per year and they budgeted for those learnerships.

Mr Magagula asked whether more effort could not be put into recruiting young people from the rural areas to become social workers who would go back and serve the populations of the rural areas. He stated that social workers from the cities find it hard to remain and serve in rural areas. He mentioned that information in this regard could be disseminated from a constituency office.

The Chairperson cautioned the Member not to confuse political constituency offices with the offices of state departments. However, constituency offices could serve as points from where information can be disseminated. He advised Members not to ask for too much detail as some of these questions would be answered in the financial report. She suggested a separate meeting to deal exclusively with the cleaning up of the system of fraudulent grants. She also suggested that Ms Lamoela be supplied with the figures and a provincial breakdown thereof in the special meeting.

Dr Mabetoa stated that the Department intended to recruit social work students from rural areas.
during the next financial year, the Career Fairs of the Department would go to the high schools in the rural areas to make learners aware of career choices, study opportunities and application processes.

Ms Dudley commented that the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme did not receive the attention that it deserved.
 
Dr Mabetoa answered that through the ECD Programme; the Department was providing to children of 0 to 4 years old the opportunity to have access to a good start in life and to prepare them for primary education so that they were in a position to later contribute to the development of this country. During the next financial year, the New Children’s Act would be implemented, to make sure that the country supported and protected its children throughout their childhood.

Ms Dudley asked about the current status of Department’s family policy.

Dr Mabetoa replied that the policy framework was presented to Cabinet last year. Cabinet had requested that the department develop it into a Green Paper, because it was a national family policy. It was not limited to the work of the Department and covered government in its entirety as well as all the relevant stakeholders in its implementation. The Department was in the process of developing the green paper.

Ms P Tshwete (ANC) thanked the Department for an informative presentation. She commended the Department for their strategy of getting mines to contribute to the development of the communities they operated in. She also asked whether there was an age limit for the Masupatsela pioneer program.

Ms Luka replied that the programme worked with the definition of youth to mean 18-35 year olds, But it was a big programme and was not really restricted by age. Eventually it would start with the grade R`s.

Ms Tshwete wanted to know whether the Department had a budget for the accredited programmes that it intended running in the secure care facilities.

Dr Mabetoa said that the provinces were ready for the provision of these accredited programmes. There were NGO`s presenting programmes already. When they received the funding, they would have to make sure that they were registered and and that they were presenting the prescribed programs.

Ms Tshwete asked what the relationship was between the Department and Koega regarding youth development.

Mr Dangor replied that there was no relationship with Koega. He said that the Department would follow up with their provincial counterparts to establish whether there was an existing relationship unbeknown to the national office. Sometimes the provinces worked on projects that fell outside the general strategic agreements of the Department. He added that he would answer that question in writing.

Third Quarter Analysis
Ms Dorothy Snyman, Acting Chief Financial Officer, DSD said that the presentation was divided into 6 headings namely : Purpose, DSD Overall Performance, Challenges, Actions Implemented, Conclusion. It covered the third quarter (from October to December).

The purpose was to inform the Committee of the Department’s performance for the third quarter for the 2009/10 financial year as well as the state of expenditure of the Department for the 09/10 financial year as at 31 December 2009.

The Department had achieved 79% of its outputs up until the third quarter of the year. The Department spent R 67.3 out of R 86.5 billion rand which amounted to 77.82% of its budget.

In respect of Administration, 59 outputs out of a total of 83 were achieved, 14 were in progress and 10 were not achieved. This meant that 85% of the budget was spent. Under the Strategy and Governance programme, 30 out of 43 outcomes were achieved, 11 were in progress and 2 were not achieved. So, out of 271 outcomes, 213 were achieved, 40 were in progress and 18 were not achieved. Under the Comprehensive Social Security programme, 11 outcomes out of a total of 16 were achieved, 4 were in progress, and 1 was not achieved. There documented contained tables with expenditure breakdowns per program and per economic classification (see document).

The Department had listed 3 items as financial challenges:
•the current financial year inherited R104 million worth of commitments from the previous financial year
•the operational expenditure
• the higher than projected increases in tariffs and service fees.

The Actions Implemented were cost cutting in the areas of trips, transport services, venues and facilities, communication, outsourced services for example consultancy services. The Department also reviewed key processes to improve internal controls.

Mr Dangor explained that the report was basically an analysis of the outputs based on the strategic plan. A report on the detail of the outputs was available and would be sent to the Committee Secretary for circulation.

Discussion
The Chairperson emphasised that the Committee would indeed need the report on the detail of the outputs, in order for the Committee to get a complete picture of the achievements and failures of the Department. She also asked for clarity on the 18% of outputs that were not achieved.

Mr Dangor answered by quoting the example of the Rollout Strategy around Customer Care, which was an item that was not reported on in the second quarter, and which the Department decided it had no money for. However, it was still part of the strategic plan and thus became part of the “Not Achieved” statistic. The 18%across the organization were small outputs related to the finalisation of the bigger outputs that had already been achieved in the first three quarters of the year. He also gave examples of documents that had not been finalised, that formed part of this statistic. He continued to say that the output based reporting could generate a false sense of achievement and underachievement, because the Department could achieve a statistic of 100% output, but when the outcomes are measured the picture could look very different and vice versa. The output could be a very low statistic, but if the impact of that low output was high, then the low output statistic could give a false picture of the reality in that instance. That was why the Department, along with the whole of government, was planning to move away from this method of reporting to instead measure the outcome of spending in terms of quantitive change. He said that the 18% although listed as not achieved, did not detract from the assertion that the department achieved what it set out to do in its strategic plan.

The Chairperson said that a strategic plan was not a static document. It was a dynamic document that changed and was adjusted according to the needs of the time. She asked whether the management of the Department recorded the decisions they made to postpone or delay the processes that gave rise to the 18% not achieved statistic. She expressed concern about how this was going to reflect on the Department when it conducted its annual audit.

Mr Dangor replied that the Department had not made any material adjustments. The changes were small operational changes that affected only the Department and did not detract from the outcomes of any of the plans.

Ms Lamoela asked whether the Department would overspend or underspend its budget allocation.

Mr Jehoma forewarned the Committee that the Department would not spend all the money meant for social grants transfer. There would be a significant saving/under spending for 2 reasons. When the means test was raised there was an expectation of a large number of people coming into the system. The old age grant was extended to men from the age of 60 whereas it was 65 before. The real number was significantly less than was expected over the last two years. The other reason was that the integrity measures taken by the Department caused the termination of 32 000 fraudulent grants, which caused another saving. In total it could amount to R1 billion rands in savings, not underspending.

Ms Snyman reiterated what Mr Jehoma had said about the large amount that would be saved.

Ms Malgas noted that the allocation for capital expenditure was not being used, and asked whether there would be rollovers.

Ms Snyman replied that there could be rollovers on transfers, which was money that was meant for social grants. This would not be completed during the current financial year, which would have to go through during the next financial year.

Ms Malgas observed that no mention was made about virements in the report.

The Chairperson commented that the spending pattern of the Department looked very healthy thus far. The full picture would emerge when the Department submitted its financial report at the end of the financial year. She added that should virements happen, it would happen at the end of the financial year.

Ms Snyman replied that the observation about virements was correct. The Department had done the first set of virements in the adjusted estimate process, but the final virements would be done before the closure of the financial year.

Ms Lamoela asked the Department to elaborate on their cost saving measures.

Mr Dangor replied that there had been a notorious circular that was circulated in the Department that stipulated the cost cutting and savings had to be made. The CFO together with the Chief Director of Strategy had formed a task team to evaluate the impact of the circular and the saving it affected. The task team would generate a detailed report on the saving achieved. It would also reflect the impact it had on the ability of the Department to deliver services, because the Department also could not cut cost at the expense of service delivery.

Ms
Tshwete asked whether this detailed document about the cost cutting and savings could be made available to the Committee.

Ms Snyman explained why she could not give a breakdown of the exact amounts saved for example on consultancy fees, because there were old commitments from the previous financial year and there were new commitments, as well as budgets that were scaled down. This would need further analysis.

Ms Tshwete asked whether there were any unforeseen expenditure.

Ms Snyman said that there were sometimes unforeseen and unplanned expenses in which case the Department applied for more money in the adjusted estimates, which they did not always get. There were demands for unforeseen expenses on a continuous basis. In the case of the Department, it mostly for additional office space for interns and contract appointments. There were contingency plans in place on an ongoing basis and the department find money for that internally. Litigation was another source of unforeseen and unplanned expenditure.

Ms Tshwete referred to the presentation where it refers to cost cutting around communications. She was worried about the use of the word rallies. She stated that she preferred the word imbizo`s, not rallies. If rallies were the preferred word, she wanted the CFO to explain why. She pointed out that sometimes the ANC is accused of using government money to hold its rallies.

Mr Dangor said that rallies just referred to events, not political rallies.

The Chairperson said that the Department normally had huge celebrations in stadiums to accommodate all stakeholders. The word rally did not belong to the political domain, but could be applied to different situations.

Ms Mabetoa said that the 16 days of no violence against women and children celebration normally takes the form of a rally, a social not political rally

Ms Snyman explained that she used the word to mean large communication campaign events which the Department shared with other stakeholders, so that they could assist in carrying the cost.

Ms Lamoela was worried about the National or Central Appeals Tribunal. She wanted to know whether provincial tribunals would not be better because there would not be a bottleneck effect and cases would be processed quicker. She suspected that these appeals would have a negative impact on implementation and strategies.

Mr Dangor said that this issue had been discussed within the Department and there was a move towards a provincial model. The tribunals were sitting in the provinces where the biggest problems occurred, such as KwaZulu-Natal. In the provinces where the scale of the problem was smaller, the provinces were clustered in groups of three. The Department was moving towards decentralising the service to make it more efficient. The Department was also looking at ways to make the appeals management less costly, in other words moving away from the panel approach, where members of the panel had to be put up in hotels, to attend hearings, to a documentary approach, where the case would rest more on documentary evidence. This possibility depended on the way in which SASSA collected evidence. If the documentary evidence was good enough to make a fair judgment, then this model became possible. If the documentary evidence was not enough to make a fair judgment, then it became necessary to draw in independent investigators to collect verbal evidence, which then had a cost implication. There was a review underway taking into account all these factors.

Mr Jehoma felt that it was fair to say that the Department was working harder and smarter. The provinces were divided into clusters as follows, the Western, Eastern and Northern Capes formed one cluster, the Free State, KZN and Gauteng formed the second one and the final cluster was comprised Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Northwest province. This made the process faster, but it was costly, because the tribunal used hotels where there were no office buildings available. It had become smarter in the sense that the members of these panels were specialists in their fields, doctors and lawyers, but they were not trained in Social Security Law, and they had to be educated and trained. At this point the area of concern was to get the decisions that the tribunals made, implemented by SASSA.

Ms Malgas asked how the impact assessment would be done.

Mr Dangor replied the department had a Monitoring and Evaluation system that was in possession of tools and methods to measure the impact of its services. Work was being done on the impact assessment of the child support grant. Sometimes a period of time needed to elapse before the full impact of a particular service become apparent, 3 to 5 years in the case of the child support grant.

The meeting was adjourned





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