PC Social Development: Committee's Annual Strategic and Business Plan

Social Development

21 March 2011
Chairperson: Ms Y Botha (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Content Advisor presented the mandate of the committee, which included the following: oversight, public participation, the enhancement and development of capacity, processing of legislation and International protocols and monitoring the Department of Social Development. She pointed out that the Committee’s framework emanated from the 2011 State of the Nation Address and would guide the work of the Committee and highlight key issues that needed to be addressed. Members were informed that the method adopted by the Committee would be more action based; hence more oversight visits would be carried out.
Members commented about vacancy rates, training for Members and the lack of implementation of legislation. They also emphasized that the issue of substance abuse needed to be addressed more urgently.
The Chairperson concluded that the content advisor should include the amendments and come back with the revised copy for adoption.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed the draft strategic and business plan and thanked the Content Advisor. She further suggested that the capacity of Committee Members could be advanced through training and attendance of International conferences.

Ms H Lamoela (DA) agreed that it would be an added advantage for Members to receive training. She further specified that it would be useful for Members to receive instruction on how to amend legislation.

Ms J Masilo (ANC) commented that between 2004 and 2009 a number of Acts were passed by the Committee but were not being followed up on. She stressed the implementation of theses Acts as people form rural areas were not aware of the services that must be rendered to them.

Ms Lamoela stressed the need to include social workers in the processes of the Social Development sector.

The Chairperson agreed and said that the Committee should look into the issues raised in more detail. She added the issue of substance abuse under the strategic plans of the committee’s draft plan as she felt it had been omitted. Lastly, she highlighted that the issue raised by Ms Lamoela about social workers was covered in the filling of vacant posts.

Ms Lamoela raised her concern about the filling of vacant posts and the time frame which was involved with the filling of those posts.

Ms Masilo stressed the important role the SONA should play in the development of the strategic and business plan.

The Chairperson agreed with Ms Masilo and said that the Committee should keep it in mind when they dealt with the budget vote. She asked whether under key issues emanating for the Committee work Social relief of stress should not be included.

Ms Masilo raised her concern on how many people did not know of the stress relief fund, and asked how possibly it could be marketed.

Ms Lamoela strongly supported the issue of marketing the fund by Ms Masilo and stressed the access to information especially in the rural areas.

The Chairperson agreed with the remarks on the access to information. She believed that Chapter 9 institutions should be engaged together with child and union representatives as a way of gaining insights to the challenges. She highlighted the importance of women and children, UNICEF and international bodies as a means of cooperation’s with other institutions.

Ms Lamoela suggested that the committee meet directly with NGO’s and the social sector to ensure that better service delivery.

Ms Masilo commented that the issue of monitoring and evaluation had been mentioned for some time. She suggested that members provide reports with the work done in respective constituencies as a means of monitoring the NGO’s.

The Chairperson suggested that the burning issue of population development policy be included. She asked that under the heading of budgeting and funding there needed to be an engagement with the presentation of the department’s budget. She also raised the issue of the committee’s budget. The chairperson noted that the committee had an oversight of 94 Billion Rand yet only R 500 000 was set aside for the committee. She suggested that the committee be presented with quarterly financial reports.

Ms Lamoela noted that the Committee planned to go to the Eastern Cape, especially with the feeding scheme problems in the province. She suggested that the remaining balance of the committee budget be spent on going to the Eastern Cape Province.

The Chairperson said that she would look at the budget and inform the committee on the funds available.

Ms Lamoela commented that it was not wise to invite the department on pending bills.

The Chairperson suggested a comprehensive visit the provinces of North West and Limpopo and the NDA offices.

Ms Masilo said that Board Members of the NDA should appear before the Committee.

The Chairperson said that the NDA was going to appear before the committee for the budget vote. She also highlighted the importance of the study tours at national and international level.

Mr V Magagula (ANC) asked whether national study tours should be viewed as study tours or whether as oversight

The Chairperson answered and said that the tours also provided a learning prospect.

The Chairperson asked the Ms Yolisa Nongenge to include the amendments to the draft and present them next week for adoption.

The meeting was adjourned.



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