Community Work Programme and Local Government Anti-Corruption Inspectorate, with Deputy Minister

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

21 November 2011
Chairperson: Ms D Nhlengethwa (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Community Work Programme in the last financial year 2010/11, had had 89 689 participants. From April to September 2011 the programme had offered work opportunities to 83 791 participants. The work opportunities were created in all nine provinces, across 63 municipalities and covering 480 wards. In terms of the annual performance plan projections for the MTEF going to 2013/14, the projected total number of work opportunities created was set at 87 000 for 2010/11 and the achievement of 89 689 was against this target. For 2011/12 the target was 108 000 and in the first six months, the Community Work Programme had managed to create 83 791 work opportunities so far.

The number of sites implemented per province were: Eastern Cape (26% of total number of sites in SA), Mpumalanga 8%, Gauteng 16%, Western Cape 4% and Kwa Zulu Natal 15% of the sites that had been created. The participation per province was also given: Gauteng and Eastern Cape had each 25% of total nimber of participants in SA, Western Cape 4%, Mpumalanga 7% and Kwa Zulu Natal 12%. Demographics were given for the number of youth and adult participants. Male participants numbered 23 477 in this financial year which constituted only 28% of the total number. Females constituted 72% of total participants and numbered 60 314. In terms of the 370 disabled participants, 44% or 163 were male and 56% or 207 were female.

CWP's track record so far demonstrated that the Department could scale up far faster than its targets suggested. There was a waiting list of over 1000 participants in most of the existing CWP sites and the programme could double the projected numbers per site with little difficulty. Further, there was a significant demand for new sites.

Members were concerned about how the Department defined a “work opportunity”; whether the 100 days were linked to the definition or it was extended; what conditions were placed on the person who received the opportunity; how many of the work opportunities translated in practice to full time work; why sites were clustered in a few areas in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape; why Gauteng had received so many number of sites and work opportunities; why Sedibeng region was not covered; why there were so few sites in the Western Cape; whether work opportunities were only given to people with ANC party cards.

The Committee received the Anti-Corruption Inspectorate briefing for a second time but it requested a further presentation with more detail.

Meeting report

Community Work Programme briefing
Ms Keneilwe Sebego, COGTA Chief Operations Officer, gave an apology on behalf of the Minister and Director-General. She briefed the Committee on the Community Works Programme (CWP) and the Departments annual targets and achievements. For the last financial year, April 2010 to March 2011, 89 689 participants were part of the programme. From April to September 2011, the programme offered work opportunities to 83 791 participants. The work opportunities were created in all nine provinces, across 63 municipalities and covering 480 wards. In terms of the annual performance plan projections for the MTEF ending 2013/14, the target for total number of work opportunities was 87 000 for 2020/11 and the achievement of 89 689 was against this target. For 2011/12 the target was 108 000 and the Department had managed to create 83 791 work opportunities for the first six months. For the years 2012/13 and 2013/14 the targets were 171 000 and 237 000 respectively. The actual participation rate in September was 69 807 and the cumulative participation was 83 791.

A summary of the indicators per province was given. All provinces had met the target for implementing new sites. For example, Gauteng implemented 12 CWP sites, North West 6 and the Free State 7. All the provinces had more than met their targets for number of participants, for example, 121% in Gauteng, 148% in the North West and 129% in the Northern Cape. However, number of person days of work created was below par with Gauteng at 49%, with 46% and 44% for the North West and Free State respectively.

The percentage of sites implemented per province was given. Eastern Cape had 26%, Mpumalanga 8%, Gauteng 16%, Western Cape 4% and Kwa Zulu Natal had 15% of the sites that had been created. The percentage of participation per province was also give. Gauteng and the Eastern Cape had 25%, the Western Cape had 4%, and Mpumalanga 7% and Kwa Zulu Natal had 12%.

The statistics were provided for the target and achievement of number of work opportunities that lasted a 100 days or more, for example, Limpopo achieved 44% of its target and Mpumalanga 41%. The target and achievement for each province was given for jobs termed as full-time equivalent jobs (that is, lasting 230 days or more). The total target for all provinces was 30 004 jobs but only 13 561 (45%) were achieved.

Demographics were given for youth, adult, people with disabilities, male and female participation. A total of 23 477 males had participated in the programme so far this financial year and they constituted only 28% of the total number. Females constituted 72% of total participants and this numbered 60 314. Disabled participants numbered 370 with 63 male (44%) and 207 (56%) female.

CWP's track record so far demonstrated that the Department could scale up far faster than its targets suggested. There was a waiting list of over 1000 participants in most of the existing CWP sites and the programme could double the projected numbers per site with little difficulty. Further, there were significant demands for new sites. In addition there were a range of opportunities to scale up particular areas of work already tested in CWP especially in areas such as school support which involved placing matriculants at public schools, food security, environmental work such as land rehabilitation, erosion control and greening activities and home-based care.

The Department’s target was to implement the CWP countrywide in all local municipalities and metros and to reach 250 000 people by 2013/14. It presented its expansion plan. The target was to ensure a CWP presence in every municipality by 2013/14 and each of the current sites covering five to ten wards per municipality. There was convergence of information on the identification of the most deprived wards in South Africa. The majority of the deprived wards were in areas serviced by disaid local municipalities.

In terms of the CWP rollout and site selection, the Department used a number of criteria such as Provincial Indices of Multiple Deprivation (PIMD) Area based measures of deprivation. The Department used five domains of deprivation: income and material deprivation, employment deprivation, health deprivation, education deprivation and living environment deprivation. Site selection was also aligned with other national and provincial interventions and programmes such as the War On Poverty programme, the Presidential Nodal Areas - Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme (ISRDP) and Local Government Turnaround Assessment Strategy (LGTAS)Assessments in vulnerable municipalities.
In terms of implementation, the Department was going to use lead agents who would in turn use provincial implementing agents and local implementing agents. The Committee was given an annexure with the sites in each province for oversight purposes.

Discussion
The Chairperson welcomed Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim.

Mr P Smith (IFP) said that he had enjoyed the presentation because it was sharp, concise and pointed. He asked the Department to define what a “work opportunity” was, whether the “100 day opportunity” was linked to the definition or it was extended and what conditions were placed on the person who received the opportunity. How many of the work opportunities translated in practice to anything that became full time, whether up-scaling would continue, why sites were clustered in a few areas in KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape and why Gauteng had received a lot of attention in terms of the number of sites and the number of opportunities. He was also interested in knowing who the lead agents were and whether they appointed the local implementation agents.

Ms M Wegner (DA)asked why Sedibeng region had not been covered.

Ms W Nelson (ANC)asked what were Seriti and Teba sites.

The Chairperson asked for clarification on the waiting list of 1 000 and where was the demand. She was concerned that there were few sites in the Western Cape. What criteria had been used to select the projects and she noted that nothing was said about Manenberg in the Western Cape.

Mr Ricardo Hansby, COGTA Deputy Director-General: Infrastructure and Economic Development, responded that in defining a work opportunity, the Department looked at the number of participants. Up scaling would be stopped at 250 000 because up scaling was based on the MTEF projections from National Treasury. The Department was in talks with Treasury to see whether they could get additional budget. He clarified that for 2011/12 the Outcome 9 target was 108 000 and so far for this year the Department had achieved 83 791 participants. However, the Department was not going to achieve its target of 108 00 because they had not received the full budget allocation from Treasury. There was a shortfall of approximately R500 million. A different target had been set in the annual performance plan of 69 000. In terms of the annual performance they had exceeded the target.

Mr Nelson asked why the Department had set a target of 69 000.

Ms Wegner said that if the targets were set low then COGTA would be able to over-achieve its target.

Mr Smith asked how it was possible that the cumulative figures were lower than the figures from the previous years. The asterix on slide 3 showed a period from 1 April 2011-31 September 2011 and he asked if the programme would shut down for six months.

The Chairperson asked why the Department had not received the full amount from the Treasury.

Mr Hansby responded that there was a communication problem with Treasury as to the actual amounts required for CWP. The Department acknowledged that because of that there was need to adjust their targets downwards. 69 000 was a projection. The budget was made up of different components such as project management and site costs. The Department was able to save on programme management costs and plough it back into wage costs. As a result the Department was able to surpass the 69 000 target. The Department had not anticipated that they could generate more savings out of the programme. The 83 000 was not a cumulative figure. During a particular year people would go in and out of a programme. Some people would work the full 100 days and others worked for 10 days only and then they exited the programme. 83 000 was the total number of people who came in and out of the programme for the particular year. The Department was trying to maintain the number of participants at its current level. Government had concluded that the programme was critical hence financial resources would be forthcoming. The concentration of sites was based on the number of indices that the Department used such as poverty and deprivation. The Department combined the indices for deprivation with population figures. This resulted in a very high concentration of sites in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal provinces. Further, when the programme was piloted, the Department targeted areas where it was easy to implement the programme. There was need to reach deeper into the rural areas of South Africa. If the Department had its way, it would ensure that every municipality had a CWP. Sedibeng was not deliberately left out. The Department had appointed three lead agents effective from 1 November: Teba, Ilimaand Mvula Trust. The selection of the provincial agents was an exercise that the Department collectively wanted to do with the current lead agents and provinces. In terms of conditions and wages, if an applicant completed 100 days, the applicants had to wait for the next financial year. The Department however stretched the working days over the year hence participants had to work two days a week. When the programme started, participants were paid R50, then R60 and currently participants were being paid R63.18 a day. It was a requirement of the programme that labour legislation and regulations were adhered to. The Department was aware that some issues had been raised in the Manenbergcommunity but the Department could not respond unless an official request was made. The Department was eager to assist where they could to resolve the problems by asking the implementing agents to look into the matter.

Mr Reckson Luvhengu, Executive Manager: CWP, responded that the over-concentration of sites was based on the historical selection criteria that were dependant on the pilot programme. The Department had not had an opportunity to grow the programme substantially in such a way that they would be able to target sites properly and address the imbalance. The Department had not allocated a site for Gauteng province. In terms of the waiting list, there was a lot of demand for the programme at site level. The Department at times found themselves turning people back. The norm of the CWP was that any person who entered the programme was supposed to work on a predictable and continual basis until they finished their 100 days. “Work opportunity” was defined according to the number of days that individuals had participated in CWP. The Full Time Equivalent (FTE) was an average of the total number of workdays divided by 230. The Department was beginning to consolidate the criteria for selection in provinces that has not been the case previously. The alignment of the CWP with other programmes was critical such as the War On Poverty. The trend was that CWP sites would follow the War On Poverty sites.

Mr Yunus Carrim, Deputy Minister, Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, added that the programme was not supposed to separate from other economic growth programmes. It was extremely hard to create jobs in light of the global economic and financial crisis. Government and Parliament should both have a vested interest for the programme to work. In addition the community was supposed to have a say in the choice of projects and programmes. He was concerned about the lack of political oversight on the sites. He urged the Committee to visit the sites in 2012 and then give the Department feedback on what the Committee thought about the sites. Parliament, government, civil society and other stakeholders had to work together. If the public placed pressure on the Minister of Finance, then the Minister of Finance would give the Department more funds for the programme. There was also a need to consider the demographics, poor white people and Afrikaners across all party lines.

Mr J Lorimer (DA) asked whether the costing was R92.24 per person/job/day, whether lead agents were receiving R29.06 which was the cost per day minus the number of participants received, how the R63.18 was worked out and who got the rest of the money. The transparency in selecting lead agents was important. He brought to the attention of the Department that the work opportunities were only given to people with ANC party cards. The Department was supposed to assure people that everyone would be considered.

The Chairperson reiterated that the selection of applicants was supposed to be across all party lines. It was wrong to select people based on party lines.

Mr Lorimer asked whether it was possible to have a signed public mechanism or declaration that would stress the point that selection would not be along party lines.

Mr M Mandela (ANC) asked how the Department was going to choose suitable sites given that demographics were so broad across racial lines.

Mr Smith said that work opportunities were supposed to be defined by the “100 day opportunity”.

Mr Hansby responded that the Department would support the selection of applicants and sites across all demographics because at the end of the day poverty cut across all racial lines. There was room to accommodate other people with different party political links. CWP had a set of norms and standards that involved communities. There were CWP in municipalities that were run by other political parties. He said that the Department was not biased. There was a need to prevent politicians at the lower levels to buy votes using the CWP. The Department engaged with provinces and municipalities in the selection of sites since the selection was not something that the Department could do on its own. There were however challenges the Department faced such as the late payment of wages. The Department had addressed the issue by paying lead agents three month in advance. The Department was not going to enrich lead agents by paying them the total amount. Other amounts that the Department owed the lead agents were claimed in arrears. The Department was also concerned about ghost workers. They were working on a new information management system that would enable the elimination of ghost workers from information that the Department received from site level. The Department was also looking at narrowing the definition of work opportunity together with that of the Expanded Public Works Programme. In terms of who got what money, he said that CWP was supposed to have 65% labour intensity. Most of the money went to wages, the rest went to site costs which included equipment and materials such as paint needed to operate a site. There were also fees at site level for supervisors. Employing and managing 89 000 people was a big thing which required a huge back office. 10% was allocated to national project management. However the Department squeezed the project management fees in order to plough back the funds into wage costs.

Mr Lorimer said the question he raised on the selection of implementation agents had not been answered.

Mr J Matshoba (ANC) said that it was surprising that the Department did not know anything about Manenberg. The Department was not supposed to expect the Committee to give the Department information on Manenberg.

Mr Carrim apologised for the Manenberg issue. He said that the Department would respond in writing on the issue within two weeks.

The Chairperson asked the delegate from Manenberg who was in the meeting to investigate the issue further.

Ms Nelson highlighted that the problem in Manenbergwas with the lead agent

Mr Hansby responded that provincial agents were appointed in a transparent way. Contractually the lead agents were responsible for provincial agents. The provincial government knew what was happening in provinces. They had to play a role in adding value and ensuring that the right provincial agents were selected. A panel was involved. The Department did not just pick any non-governmental organisation. The Department wanted to get the correct information on Manenberg,not that the Department was hiding information.

Local Government Anti-Corruption Inspectorate (ACI) presentation
Ms Sebego said that the Department had an obligation to support local government in dealing with corruption and to respond to allegations of corruption reported to it. The Department had therefore established a dedicated Anti-Corruption Inspectorate. Its main purpose was to deal with allegations of corruption within municipalities. The inspectorate was mandated to combat corruption, particularly within local government and to promote good governance through training municipal officials and councillors on ethical behaviour in order to proactively combat corruption. The Inspectorate was also mandated to investigate allegations of corruption emanating within its line provincial departments and within the national department. Furthermore it was supposed to promote the codes of conduct for councillors and officials as outlined in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000.

The objectives of the inspectorate were to conduct investigations on reported allegations of fraud and corrupt activities, make recommendations to the Minister, liaise and coordinate the investigations referred to and conducted by province and provide support where necessary such as the Hawks. They were supposed to implement and manage whistle blowing channels and collaborate and complement the work done by stakeholders such as the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), the Presidency, the Public Service Commission and other stakeholders in combating crime.

A breakdown of the presidential cases that were investigated by the ACI was given. There were 5 cases in the Eastern Cape all of which were still outstanding, 5 in the Free State of which 3 were outstanding and 6 in Mpumalanga, all of which were outstanding. Limpopo and the Western Cape were the only provinces that did not have any outstanding cases. The total number of cases from the Presidential Hotline was 57.

Ms Nelson said that the presentation was sent back by the Committee in the previous meeting because there was no substance but the report had not improved, it was still the same. There was need for the Committee to know where exactly the cases had emanated from in the provinces and the content of the closed cases. She suggested that the Committee reject the report and that the Department work on the presentation again.

The Chairperson asked whether the ACI was going to investigate cases that had not been reported through the presidential hotline. Asked whether the Committee was supposed to discuss the presentation or whether the report had to be redrafted.

Discussion
Ms Nelson was of the opinion that the previous briefing report had to be re-drafted. However the Committee was supposed to give the Department clear terms of reference on what the presentation should contain such as when the cases were reported, whether investigations were only on cases reported to the Presidential Hotline. There were a number of corruption cases reported in municipalities in the North West province.

Mr Smith said that the Committee wanted to know the staff establishment, who did what, whether the ACI was fully capacitated and the sources of investigations. There were high profile cases. A Durban court had thrown out a case that involved an R850 million tender corruptly issued by the Durban municipality. In addition all 25 municipalities in the North West were under investigation. The Committee wanted to know whether the ACI would be involved in such cases.

Ms J Segale-Diswai (ANC) seconded the motion that the presentation should be redone. There was a need to guide the Department and tell them what issues the Committee wanted to see in the report.

The Chairperson said that she was under the impression that the Director General, present in the last meeting, had noted what the Committee wanted to see in the report.

Mr Matshoba said the Department was supposed to verify any information presented to the Committee.

Mr Luvhengo responded that the cases reported were not related to corruption but to service delivery.

Ms Nelsonasked whether the ACI did not have any corruption cases that it dealt with.

Ms Sebego humbly submitted that the Department would redo the report. She said that she had not been properly briefed on what the Committee wanted.

The meeting was adjourned.

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