The Deputy Minister of Social Development was in attendance for the 2011 strategic plan presentations by the Department of Social Development (DSD), the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the National Development Agency (NDA) and Central Drug Authority (CDA).
The DSD aimed to ensure the provision of comprehensive integrated, sustainable and quality social development services as protection against vulnerability. It set out the key priorities, which had targets attached to them, both for the forthcoming financial year and until 2014. In 2011, the DSD would be seeking increased levels of resources for organisations that would work to prevent and reduce gender based violence. The Department would continue to develop and implement a range of programmes that promoted investment in building and strengthening community and household capacity towards self-reliance. DSD emphasised that it worked with non-government organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society organisations (CSOs) to try to ensure that the goals were realised. It was placing increased emphasis on education through consultative workshops and information to the public. One of the key projects was the Zero Hunger Programme, which had the potential to effect significant change in the way food was produced and distributed in South Africa, as it had done in Brazil. The DSD aimed to create 750 000 work opportunities by 2014. It noted constant increases in social security. The number of poor households that received social grants reached 15 million in 2010. However, the emphasis was now lying on increasing people’s self reliance, and DSD was attempting also to ensure that those currently in employment were contributing to pension and medical schemes to reduce dependency on DSD once they retired. A tribunal was established to investigate and adjudicate all social grants appeals to maintain integrity of the systems and framework. Some of the longer-term targets, up to 2014, included the profiling of 1.5 million poor households by 2014, having 1 350 youth structures participate in social change programmes, and provincial integration programmes, and social behavioural change programmes that aimed to reduce new HIV and AIDS infections. Unfortunately, South Africa still experienced high crime against women and children, aggravated by rampant alcohol and illicit substance abuse. The severe shortage of social workers remained a challenge and the Department was negotiating with universities and Further Education and Training Colleges to try to address the gap. Some of the projects under the Department’s five programmes were described.
Members questioned how the NGOs were operating in the regions, and enquired about time frames for the Zero Hunger campaign. They asked about monitoring of places that looked after young children, and the policies on Early Childhood Development, noting that many of the development programmes were not being well run, and asked that more trained care givers be assigned to old age facilities and places of safety and asked who would run programmes on crime reduction. The contractual terms of bursary holders were questioned, and the position with Hugenot College courses was also explained.
SASSA noted that it had been established five years ago. The Agency had increased the ways in which it managed to reach rural communities, through mobile units. SASSA had to ensure the provision of comprehensive social security services, to protect the most vulnerable and the most poor, within its constitutional and legislative framework. It aimed to build a high performance institution that complied with good governance principles, while striving for operational excellence via continued service delivery improvements to beneficiaries. SASSA had experienced a steady increase in the demand for its services, with a consequent increase in the workload of its staff, since its establishment. Over 8 million South Africans now received social grants benefits, amounting to over R15 million. Partly as a result of this huge demand, SASSA, and therefore also the DSD, had received a qualified audit opinion in 2009/10. The qualifications, and the efforts taken to address them, were set out. SASSA had also noted continuing concerns about the state of some of its paypoints, and would be closing about 3000 paypoints once it had managed to implement the new arrangements for payouts with the South African Post Office. SASSA was trying to address challenges through improvements in its grant administration and management systems. It would be attempting to reduce fraud and corruption by screening all its employees. It also aimed to automate the grant application policy. SASSA had already improved its financial management. The three strategic priorities were to achieve a good administration and management system, to achieve improved organisational capacity and implement a business process recovery model, and to have increased access to social security services, especially in rural areas. It would be redeploying the mobile trucks. Its challenges were the increased pressure on financial resources, monitoring and evaluation, lack of strategic planning in the past, and lack of systems that could cope with the potential for fraud and corruption. A full report was given on the financial turnaround strategies.
Members asked for, and received an explanation on recent news reports about SASSA offices in Khayelitsha, where clients had apparently been dissatisfied, asked if SASSA hired mobile toilets and carried water to pay points in those areas that did not have these services, queried whether the closing of pay points would not affect jobs and enquired about the mobile trucks and why money was still allocated for maintenance over and above the guarantees. They also noted that the Committee had received complaints about the foster care grants, and asked about the filling of vacancies, the crime prevention plan, more reports on a farm in Ceres that was apparently sold, and the impact on its programmes of lack of funding.
The National Development Agency (NDA) noted its primary mandate of contributing towards the eradication of poverty and its causes, by granting funds to civil society organisations who would implement projects aimed at meeting the development needs of poor communities, and its secondary mandate of promoting debate on development of policy, consultations and sharing of experiences between State organs and civil society. It would leverage strategic partnerships to eradicate poverty, assist poor communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods, and aimed to improve the quality of life of the poor, and to foster self reliance. The six strategic objectives were set out, and these included building and enhancing the capacity of civil society organisations, granting funds to facilitate programmes, manage the programmes, create volunteer opportunities and develop research, create jobs, and mobilise resources. It would also seek to maintain its own organisational excellence, and spend the bulk of its funding. Members asked about collaboration with other bodies, urged that dedicated staff be appointed to deal with poverty, questioned the assistance to illiterate communities, particularly around capacity building, and enquired about sustainable projects. Members expressed their concern that a list of projects had been submitted, but some were apparently no longer in existence.
The Central Drug Authority (CDA) noted that it had built its capacity and was supporting infrastructures at national, provincial, and local levels. Its main objective was to advise the Minister on any substance abuse matters, in terms of the Prevention and Treatment of Drug and Dependency Act, to review the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) every five years, submit it to the Cabinet for approval, and also report to Parliament annually on its progress in combating substance abuse. It also arranged conferences and seminars. It tried to implement holistic and cost effective strategies to reduce the supply and consumption of drugs, and to limit the harm associated with substance use, abuse and dependency in South Africa. It aimed for reduction of supply, harm and demand. It also set policies to deal with the harmful effects of drug, including taking action against suppliers and those who used drug mules. It worked with communities, aimed to maximise its results, and had, amongst others, conducted door-to-door campaigns, community education, mobilised support, and developed reporting tools. It had successfully hosted the Biennial Anti-Substance Abuse Summit. Members were impressed with the presentation, but asked that CDA should do further education about the types of mental illness, with a focus on bipolar disorders, and should also attempt to have substance abusers, those who suffered from mental disease and bipolar sufferers housed separately in institutions. They also suggested that the CDA should be teaching communities about the symptoms of substance abuse, and asked for a list of rehabilitation centres and NGOs.
Department of Social Development (DSD) Strategic Plan and budget 2011/12
The Chairperson welcomed the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Maria Ntuli, and delegates from the Department of Social Development (DSD or the Department) to the meeting.
Mr Rodgers Hlatshwayo, Director: Strategic Planning, Department of Social Development, set out the vision of the Department, and noted that it must ensure the provision of comprehensive integrated, sustainable and quality social development services, to protect the vulnerable.
The Department had identified some key priorities. The first priority was welfare service improvements, which would focus on funding the service delivery partners, who were non governmental organisations (NGOs), to ensure that those NGOs were properly engaged on policy reforms regarding funding and that resources were directed to where they were most needed.
The Department aimed to reduce substance abuse, by leading campaigns to reduce the abuse of drugs and rehabilitate and integrate drug users to become addiction-free and productive society members. The campaign would also oversee policy and legislation changes that would regulate alcohol products.
Mr Hlatshwayo mentioned that South Africa still had a high crime rate, particularly crimes against women and children. DSD had therefore developed and would deliver empowerment programmes and social crime prevention strategies, in partnership with civil society organisations (CSOs) and other government departments. In the coming financial year the Department would seek increased levels of resources for organisations that worked to prevent and reduce gender-based violence.
It was also noted that the number of children in Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites subsidised by the Department had increased, and the Department would continue to accelerate the programme to ensure that every child had been given a good start early in life.
The Department had continued to develop and implement a range of programmes that promoted investment in building and strengthening community and household capacity towards self-reliance. It would further place more emphasis on repositioning its community development area. The mainstay of the Department’s contribution was to reduce income poverty, and that would be done through the social assistance programmes. In January 2011 the number of poor households that received social grants reached a high of 15 million. The Department would ensure that retirement systems were more responsive to the needs of all working people. DSD had established a tribunal to investigate and adjudicate all social grants appeals and had established an inspectorate that examined and tried to maintain the integrity of the Social Security Framework and systems.
Mr Hlatshwayo expanded upon the previous comment on NGOs and said that a key strategic anchor was that DSD would work together with the NGOs to ensure that social development goals were realised. The Department would continue to lead in the registration of and strengthening of civil society organisations that supported service delivery. The Department had put more emphasis on education through consultative workshops and in conveying information to the public.
It also had a priority to achieve “Zero Hunger", and programmes were aimed at improving South African people’s food security by linking the provision of social assistance to programmes that facilitated food production and consumption of healthy food. The Zero Hunger Programme had the potential to significantly change the manner in which food was produced and distributed in South Africa, as had been the case in Brazil.
Mr Hlatshwayo explained that all the Department’s key priorities were linked to targets that had to be met by 2014. He outlined some of these. The Department had targeted that it wanted to profile 1.5 million poor households by 2014. DSD also targeted to have 1 350 youth structures that would participate in social change programmes, and all provinces would have to implement integration programmes. DSD targeted that 80% of poor households should have access to nutritious and affordable food by 2014. The Department also contributed to the reduction of new HIV and Aids infections through social behavioural change. DSD wanted to create 750 000 work opportunities by 2014.
In regard to social security, Mr Hlatshwayo asked Members to refer to strategic documents that were posted on the DSD Website, noting that there were constant increases every year in the numbers being reached. Government wanted to create decent employment through inclusive growth, and where people were employed, the Department had pushed for increased social insurance coverage, through mandatory contribution, during the working years, for pensions, death and disability, so that people would not become dependent on the DSD when they retired.
Mr Hlatshwayo referred to his previous comment that, despite some progress and the best-practice policies of the Department, South Africa still experienced high social crime levels, particularly where there was violence against women and children. Those high levels were aggravated by rampant alcohol and illicit substance abuse. One of the most critical challenges facing the DSD was the severe shortage of social workers to address many of the problems. The DSD wished to motivate for FET Colleges to train social workers to fill this gap.
Mr Hlatshwayo then described the five programmes of the Department. It did its work under five programmes. Programme 1: Administration aimed to provide leadership, management and support services to the Department and the sector. Programme 2 dealt with social assistance transfers, which provided for the payment of social assistance grants in terms of the Social Security Act 13 of 2004. The third programme, of Social Security Policy and Administration, provided for development of social security policy, administrative justice, administrative social grants and the reduction of incorrect benefits payment. Programme 4 created an enabling environment for the delivery of equitable developmental welfare services, through the formulation of policies, norms and standards, and best practices. The fifth programme, of Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery, provided support to community development and promoted evidence-based policy-making in the DSD sector. There had been an increase in the budget in particular for this programme.
Mr Hlatshwayo mentioned that there had been some changes in the budget programme structure. Some of the sub-programmes were shifted around the five programmes. Allocations per programmes, and economic classification had marginally increased, depending on the programmes.
Mr Hlatshwayo briefly tabled the 2011 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocations, and directed Members’ attention to these, as contained in the attached presentation.
Ms J Masilo (ANC) wanted clarity how the NGOs were operating in the regions. She also wanted to know the time frame for the bursaries for social workers. She congratulated the Department for the “Zero Hunger” programme, noting that it was already working well in Kwazulu Natal (KZN) but also enquired about the time frames for this programme.
Mr Peter Netshipale, Chief Director: NPO and Partnerships, Department of Social Development, informed the Members that DSD was revising the NGO policy. He also stated that DSD had a concrete plan for NGOs and had already presented it to all the provinces, where it was well accepted.
Dr Maria Mabetoa, Deputy Director General, Department of Social Development, stated that a new revised NGO policy would be implemented in April 2011.
Ms P Tshwete (ANC) mentioned that substance abuse was not a fight for the Department alone, but NGOs also needed to give support on this programme.
Ms Tshwete asked if there were policies on Early Childhood Development that allowed for the monitoring of operations on places who looked after children up to the age of four years.
Ms N Gcume (COPE) suggested that places of safety and homes for the elderly had to be given more trained care givers, stating also that this was one area that could create job opportunities.
Ms Mabetoa assured the Committee that the Department was looking at the service delivery for places of safety and old age facilities. She stated that DSD also needed to meet with organisations that dealt with old age people.
Departmental Official Mr Davis added that DSD was busy training people in the ECD facilities on proper parenting.
Ms H Lamoela (DA) recognised that there was a shortage of social workers. She wanted to know who was going to run the programme of crime reduction, so that all South African people could be and feel safe.
Ms Mabetoa assured the Committee that DSD was engaging with Universities, and trying to negotiate for increased intake of the numbers of students to register for social work studies. However, there were some problems in getting enough bursaries allocated to fund those students.
Mr Coceko Pakade, Acting Chief Executive Officer, SASSA, added that social workers could be trained, but that consideration had also to be given to the practicalities of how many university places and lecturers were available in the country.
Ms S Kopane (DA) wanted the numbers of social work graduates and procedures used for those who had bursaries with DSD.
Mr Pakade explained that students with DSD bursaries were bound to work for the department for two years after their graduation.
Ms H Makhuba (IFP) wanted clarity on the provision of early childhood development programmes and why the ECD were not well controlled.
Mr Davis explained that DSD was looking at a policy that was going to change ECD especially with the 0-4 year olds. He agreed with the Members that there were ECDs that were opened without proper registration and that there was an ECD campaign that was teaching people about ECDs. Mr Davis informed the Committee that the last week of May 2011 was a child awareness week which was aiming at teaching people about registration of ECDs. He also told the Committee that DSD was busy meeting with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, on children’s protection.
Ms H Lamoela (DA) wanted clarity on the fact that students were leaving their studies in social work after their first year, and mentioned that some students who apparently held bursaries were not able to register at University of Stellenbosch because their registration fees had not been provided.
Ms Mabetoa agreed with the Committee that DSD had picked up on the rate of university drop outs.
Mr Pakade explained that the reason for closing down the social work studies in Hugenot College was because this college was not properly accredited, and it was more expensive than Stellenbosch University. However, the DSD would be doing a full investigation into this.
The Chairperson wanted to know if DSD was looking into subsidisation for NGOs. She raised her concern about who was monitoring and evaluating ECD programmes.
Mr Pakade asked for recommendations from the Committee as to how they thought that the illegal opening ECD centres could best be controlled. He pointed out that many of these opened merely for the purposes of making money, rather than rendering services.
South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) 2011 Strategic Plan Presentation
Mr Cocako Pakade, Acting Chief Executive Officer, South African Social Security Agency, said that the Agency (SASSA or the Agency) was established five years ago and had managed to strike a balance between successfully establishing itself while ensuring the provision of quality services. The Agency had increased the ways in which it managed to reach rural communities, through mobile units. He noted that SASSA had to ensure the provision of comprehensive social security services, to protect the most vulnerable and the most poor, within its constitutional and legislative framework. The Agency was looking at this mandate.
The main objective of SASSA was to build a high performance institution that complied with good governance principles, while striving for operational excellence via continued service delivery improvements to beneficiaries. Most of the social security entities shared this objective. SASSA maintained values of equity, integrity and transparency. SASSA had experienced a steady increase in the demand for its services, with a consequent increase in the workload of its staff, since its establishment. Over 8 million South Africans now received social grants benefits, amounting to over R15 million. Partly as a result of this huge demand, SASSA, and therefore also the DSD, had received a qualified audit opinion in 2009/10.
Mr Pakade then set out some of the qualifications reported upon by the Auditor-General (AG) and SASSA’s progress in addressing them. It had achieved above its targets for the finding of missing files, critical documents, the progress of file destruction and transfer of files across regions. For the future, SASSA had set up a detailed plan that would take control of audit infrastructure requirements. In some regions, he confirmed that SASSA had challenges, because it was sharing offices with DSD where there was a lack of other suitable office space. This impacted upon the levels of staff satisfaction and the quality of service delivery by SASSA staff.
Mr Pakade also commented on the criticisms expressed about some of the SASSA paypoints, and said that SASSA would be closing those pay points that did not meet the required norms and standards around basic facilities, and that SASSA was trying to move to electronic payments wherever possible. Most of the rural pay points required urgent infrastructural attention.
Mr Pakade tabled the strategic plan of SASSA for 2011/12 to 2013/14, and noted that SASSA was trying to address its challenges through improvements in its grant administration and management system. It would be attempting to reduce fraud and corruption by screening all its employees. SASSA also aimed to automation of the grant application policy. SASSA had improved its financial management.
He then set out the three main strategic priorities of SASSA. The first was to achieve a customer-care centred benefits administration and management system. The key projects here were concerned with continued implementation of policies on social assistance, payment system, and implementation of the service delivery model to improve service delivery services, so that the Agency would be enabled to deliver improved, standardised and coordinated services, by multi-skilled staff, to its customers. It also aimed to achieve the automated core business system. The second priority was achieving improved organisational capacity to implement the integrity model in SASSA and to finalise a business process recovery intervention. The third key priority was to maintain increased access to Social Security Services, and this was in line with the government’s key priority of rural development. SASSA had to ensure that its services were easily accessible to all rural populations. SASSA worked with NGOs on this last priority. He informed the Committee that SASSA would be redeploying its mobile trucks, and the main project to implement this priority would be the Integrated Community Registration Outreach Programmes (ICROP).
SASSA outlined its main challenges as the increased pressure on financial resources because of increased demand for social assistance, ineffective monitoring and evaluation, poor strategic planning, lack of appropriate systems and potential for fraud and corruption.
An official from SASSA stated that automated core business system was implemented so the Agency could move gradually away from the manual system. The Agency was working on gaps that were found in its financial system. A Stakeholder Management Strategy was implemented to enhance communication among the stakeholders and the Agency. SASSA needed mechanisms to recover all dormant accounts in the next three years, as it currently had no authority to do this under the provision of the existing legislation. She noted that SASSA had achieved a 50% reduction, however, in its budget deficit and overdraft. Staff debts and social assistance debts had to be recovered, as recommended by the Auditor-General. SASSA assured the Committee that it was reducing the irregular expenditure. SASSA had also reserved money for the implementation of the first step of ITC. In addition, SASSA had renegotiated fees with service providers, so that it had achieved a reduction in these fees. In 2011/12 a business process re-engineering project would be initialised, and this should then reach full implementation in 2012/13.
Ms Tshwete wanted SASSA to explain a recent news report on the situation at a SASSA office in Khayelitsha. She also suggested that this could be something that the Committee needed to investigate by paying a visit to that office.
Mr Pakade confirmed that there had been a problem at one of SASSA offices in Khayelitsha, in Makhaza, but the Regional Manager had sorted out that problem. SASSA had 27 staff members serving the Makhaza office, and they normally helped 400 beneficiaries a day. There had never been a single day where the office had been closed while there were still applicants or customers waiting to be served.
Mr Bandile Maqetuka, Executive Manager: Grants Administration, SASSA, informed the Committee that when he visited the Makhaza office there were 27 employees and three supervisors. He had discussed the news report with the staff and beneficiaries who visited this office. It was found that every beneficiary had been served. However, some of the beneficiaries had raised concerns that it might be useful for there to be days or times allocated for serving older beneficiaries, as they complained that young people were pushing in front of the older ones. The regional manager and his delegates suggested that this office had to be opened for four days a week instead of one, and that pensioners had to be served first, or to be allocated a special day on which they could be served.
Ms Tshwete asked if SASSA hired mobile toilets and carried water to pay points in those areas that did not have these services.
Mr Pakade assured the Committee that SASSA indeed did provide mobile toilets and mobile water points. However, once the arrangements with the Post Office were in place, SASSA should be able to close 3 000 pay points.
Ms P Xaba (ANC) raised her concern that the President, in the 2011 State of the Nation Address, had stated that 2011 was a year for job creation. She questioned why SASSA would be closing these pay points, as this seemed to imply that people working in those pay points would now be unemployed.
Ms H Lamoela (DA) suggested that SASSA had to pursue the partnerships with the Post Office, and leave the question of possible staff unemployment to its paymasters to sort out.
Mr Pakade reiterated to the Committee that SASSA would be closing 3 000 pay points once the deal had been finalised between SASSA and the Post Office, as this would achieve major benefits.
Ms Lamoela wanted to know what was happening to SASSA’s mobile trucks, and what happened to truck guarantees.
An official from SASSA explained to the Committee that SASSA was still making use of the truck guarantees, but he pointed out that SASSA needed financial allocations to maintain other parts of the trucks. He pointed out that the trucks required maintenance not only of chassis and engine, but there were also generators, satellites and other services on board that needed to be maintained.
The Chairperson wanted to know how SASSA’s business review process impacted the filling of the vacant posts.
The Chairperson also indicated that the Committee was concerned about SASSAs foster care grants, about which the Committee had received several complaints.
Ms Lamoela asked SASSA to forward its Crime Prevention Plan Policy to the Committee. She also wanted an explanation as to what happened to the SASSA farm in Ceres that was allegedly sold to the Church, and why was it sold.
Ms Tshwete noted that SASSA was apparently running youth programmes and wanted to know the ages to which these programmes were directed. She also wanted SASSA to explain how it was going to manage these programmes if it had insufficient money.
National Development Agency (NDA) 2011 to 2016 Strategic Plan
Ms Vuyelwa Nhlapo, Chief Executive Officer, National Development Agency (NDA) noted that the entity (NDA or the Agency) was governed by the National Development Agency Act, No 108 of 1998, and the primary and secondary mandates were set out in section 3(1) of that Act. The primary mandate was to contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes, by granting funds to civil society organisations, for the purpose of implementing projects or programmes aimed at meeting development needs of poor communities. The secondary mandate was to promote debate on development of policy and to promote consultations, dialogues and sharing of developmental experiences between civil society organisations and relevant organs of the State.
The NDA hoped to establish a society that was free of poverty. Its values of integrity, dignity and transparency were similar to those of SASSA. The strategic goals included the leveraging of strategic partnerships to eradicate poverty, to enable poor communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods. It also aimed to improve the quality of life of the poor, and to foster self reliance.
NDA had six strategic objectives for 2011. The first objective was building and enhancing the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to enable them to carry out development work effectively .This objective would make it possible for NDA to conduct capacity assessment of CSOs, and implement targeted intervention programmes that had been designed according to capacity needs. NDA should also strengthen institutional and technical capacity of the targeted CSOs. The second strategic objective was to grant funds to facilitate, and then to manage poverty eradication programmes. Sixty volunteer opportunities would be created in the rural development sector, and two Research Think Tank CSOs, and five CSO networks would also be supported. Another objective of NDA related to the creation of jobs, and here it was pointed out that it had 99 vacancies, but there were 9 vacant positions as of February 2011. Another objective related to the support and funding of a number of CSOs. For instance, there were 20 food security projects in Early Childhood Development sites, and 40 CSOs who were funded to support rural development.
NDA also aimed to develop a research agenda, in consultation with research CSOs, and it had to influence policies, practices and strategies through comprehensive research and knowledge management. Comprehensive research and knowledge on a number of policy analysis papers had already been produced and disseminated. A resource mobilisation strategy was to be approved and implemented as the fourth strategic objective, and R1 billion was raised for the mobilisation strategy.
A stakeholder management strategy would be approved and implemented, that should lead to the repositioning of the NDA as a premier development agency.
The final objective was that NDA had to promote and maintain organisational excellence and sustainability, and to achieve this objective its Human Resource (HR) strategy would be approved and implemented.
Ms Nhlapo noted that the NDA would spend the bulk of its funding on projects on the coming years. NDA believed that the challenge of poverty could be defeated through the successful engagement of NDA in poverty eradication initiatives, and the constructive impact it had on the lives of its beneficiaries.
Ms Tshwete had asked SASSA to explain whether it was collaborating with other bodies.
Ms Nhlapo said that the NDA was collaborating with SASSA in regard to those who were claiming the Child Support grants and was helping young mothers to get employment. This was in line with a Ministerial directive that NDA should try to help unemployed young mothers, as they were identified when they applied for grants for their children.
Ms Masilo asked if the manager who had been managing three provinces was still doing so.
Ms Gcume believed that CSOs perhaps did not fully understand poverty, even though they were dealing with it, and she asked NDA to employ dedicated staff instead to deal with poverty issues. She also asked what assistance NDA was giving towards illiterate communities, particularly in regard to capacity building.
Ms Nhlapo explained that many of the funded projects were also targeted to try to achieve capacity building. NDA was targeting most of the poor rural areas by way of its projects. She mentioned that NDA had 117 staff members in all provinces and were not planning to increase the number of its employees.
Ms Lamoela asked if NDA had sustainable projects.
Ms Xaba asked NDA to submit a list of its projects that were already working.
Mr Malose Kekana, an observer, suggested that a list of NDA projects should be posted on its website so that it could be easily accessible and updated when ever necessary.
Ms Lamoela informed the Committee that NDA did forward a list of its projects but some of the projects on the list seemed no longer to be in existence.
The Chairperson asked the NDA to give clarity on its corporate management. She then reprimanded NDA for notifying the Committee of projects that did not exist.
Central Drug Authority (CDA) Strategic Plan 2011/2012
A Board Member of the Central Drug Authority, noted that the Central Drug Authority (CDA) had achieved substantial development and capacity building, and was supporting infrastructures at national, provincial, and local levels. The main objective of the CDA was to advise the Minister on any substance abuse matters, in terms of the Prevention and Treatment of Drug and Dependency Act, No 20 of 1992. NDA had to review the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) every five years, submit it to the Cabinet for approval, and also report to Parliament annually on its progress in combating substance abuse in the country. NDA would arrange conferences and summits relating to the combating of substance abuse in South Africa.
The vision of CDA was the achievement of a drug-free society and its mission was to implement holistic and cost effective strategies to reduce the supply and consumption of drugs, and to limit the harm associated with substance use, abuse and dependency in South Africa. The main pillars of CDA were supply reduction, harm reduction and demand reduction. CDA needed to set policies that would deal with the harm caused by drugs. CDA expected legal action to be effective against suppliers of drugs and those who trafficked drugs by human carriers. CDA had to work with the communities to reduce demand reduction.
CDA tried to approach everything it did to achieve results. The achievements of CDA over the past year had included its participation in provincial summits, in preparation for the National Summit, and its visits to national departments and provinces visits to solicit support from the Minister, from Premiers and MECs. A door to door research campaign was conducted in all nine provinces to collect data on trends and types of drugs used and abused. A National Database and National Clearing House had been developed. CDA had established a reporting tool, called Quick Analysis on Substance Abuse Reporting (QUASAR). A monitoring tool had also been developed and piloted in the provinces.
The strategic priorities of the CDA were then set out. The CDA had to work on the coordinated programmes, support governmental documents, provincial forums and Local Drug Action Committees (LDACs). CDA had to continue research, mass mobilisation and spreading of information. Strategic priorities of CDA were part of the DSD strategic plan. CDA prioritised advising the Minister and Parliament on new trends and types of substance abuse.
Financial resources had been made available to the CDA via the DSD and other national departments and provincial governments had ensured that funds were allocated to support the comprehensive approach to anti-substance abuse. The Minister and the Department had complimented CDA for successfully hosting the Biennial Anti-Substance Abuse Summit. CDA expressed its appreciation for the support of the President, the Ministers, Premiers, MECs, this Portfolio Committee, and Select Committee on Social Services, as well as representatives of civil society.
Ms Tshwete noted that she was very impressed with what CDA was doing, and encouraged the Committee to get involved in this Agency. She also asked the Agency, with Parliamentary support, to put more research into bipolar diseases. Many people did not understand the distinction between many of the forms of mental illness and disorders. There was also a need to learn more about substance abuse. She suggested that even though the government did not have funds to build more institutions, those who were mentally ill should not be housed together with substance abusers and bipolar patients.
Ms Gcume believed that many of those selling drugs were foreigners. She suggested that the CDA should be teaching communities about the symptoms of substance abuse.
Ms Makhuba said that substance abuse affected everyone in the country, and CDA should receive wider support.
The Board Member thanked the Committee for its support and suggested that parents had to support these substance abuse projects.
The Chairperson asked the CDA to forward a list of all rehabilitation centres and NGOs that dealt with substance abuse. She was very impressed with CDA’s presentation and would offer its full support. She would be asking the Committee Secretary to try to identify another slot in the programme, so that CDA could brief the Committee more fully on substance abuse.
The meeting was adjourned.
- SASSA Strategic Plan 2011/12-2013/2014
- Draft Summary and analysis of Vote 19: Department of Social Development
- Summary of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Strategic Plan 2011/2012 – 2013/2014
- Development Budget Hearings and Strategic Plan: Part B
- Department of on Social Development Budget Hearings and Strategic Plan: Part A
- The Central Drug Authority Strategic Plan 2011/2012 Presentation
- SASSA Strategic Plan 2011/2012 presentation
- National Development Agency presentation
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting