The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities presented its Strategic Plan, Annual Performance plan and Budget to the Committee, highlighting the Department’s four distinct programmes, namely, Administration, Women Empowerment and Gender Equality, Children’s Rights and Responsibilities, and Rights of People with Disabilities, and activities and estimated expenditure. It noted that the strategic and annual performance plans now aligned themselves with the five key priorities of the national government. The Department outlined the purpose, objectives, institutional support and capacity building, monitoring and evaluation for each of the programmes and also touched briefly on the national campaigns that fell under the responsibility of the Department and the departmental activities undertaken in the various provinces. The Department provided a brief outline of the budgets for each of the departmental programmes, highlighting estimated increases from the 2011/12 baseline figures to the expected figures for 2014/15. status of critical positions still vacant within the Department was discussed in detail.
Members expressed satisfaction that there had been a marked improvement from the previous year’s strategic plan, noting the alignment to the key priorities of national Government. Members asked for clarity on the status of the various plans and initiatives mentioned in the presentation and their estimated roll out dates. Members asked if increases represented the filling of vacancies within the Department. Members asked about the Department’s internal auditing capability, the status of the National Disability Bill and Disability Job Fund and the non compliance of Government departments in achieving the targeted employment rate of 2% of people with disabilities. Members noted with concern the increasingly high levels of violence against women and children within
The Chairperson welcomed all and noted the apologies of the Minister and Deputy Minister, who were both attending a funeral, and the apologies of the Director General (DG) who was on sick leave.
Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD) 2012 Strategic Plan/Budget
Mr Mzolisi Toni, DWCPD Acting DG, presented the Department’s Strategic and Annual Performance Plans, noting that they now aligned themselves with the five key priorities of the national Government. The Department operated through four programmes, those being Administration, Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE), Children’s Rights and Responsibilities, and Rights of People with Disabilities. Mr Toni outlined the purpose, objectives, institutional support and capacity building, monitoring and evaluation for each of the programmes (see attached presentation for full details).
Mr Toni also touched briefly on the National Campaigns that fell under the responsibility of the Department and the departmental activities undertaken in the various provinces.
Ms Bahumi Matebesi, DWCPD Chief Financial Officer, provided a brief outline of the budgets for each of the departmental programmes, highlighting estimated increases from the 2011/12 baseline figures to the expected figures for 2014/15.
The Chairperson congratulated the Department for the marked improvement in the Strategic Plan, particularly as it was now aligned to the key priorities set out by the national Government.
Mr G Mokgoro (ANC,
Mr Toni answered that the Department was moving forward in implementing its mandate as a department.
Mr Mokgoro asked why the budget for the Administration Programme was projected to increase from the 2011/12 baseline of R42.8 million to the estimated 2014/15 figure of R83.6 million.
Ms Matebesi noted that the high increases in the budget for administration was due to many factors. The programme housed many line functions like compensation of employees, human resource management, internal auditing and finance and office accommodation. In addition there were also cut-across functions like research, inter-secretarial and international relations and the Council against Gender Based Violence. The budget was also increased following the appointment of a Deputy Minister within the Department and the filling of positions to ensure compliance of the human resource and financial systems.
Mr Mokgoro noted the recent increases in incidents of violence against children in
Mr D Worth (DA,
Mr Mbhazima Shiviti, DWCPD Chief Director (CD): Human Resources Management, answered that positions filled were those identified by the Minister as being crucial to the auditing of the Department; the majority of those positions were CDs and Deputy Directors-General (DDGs). A human resource plan was submitted to the Department of Public Service and Administration that would see the remainder of the positions in the Department being filled over the next five years.
The Chairperson asked for further clarity on the critical positions that were still vacant within the Department.
Mr Shiviti answered that the following critical positions were vacant within the Department:
⚫Media Liaison Officer within the Ministry
⚫A director within the DG’s office
⚫DDG for WEGE: the preferred candidate was currently undergoing competency testing
⚫DDG for Corporate Management: the candidate for this position had been appointed and would start with the Department on 01 June 2012
⚫In the WEGE Program all the directors had not yet been appointed
⚫In the program for Children’s Rights and People with Disabilities, the positions of CD: Monitoring and Evaluation, Children’s Rights and CD: Monitoring and Evaluation, People with Disabilities
The Chairperson suggested that as the position of DDG for Corporate Management had been filled it should be reflected as such on the Departmental Organogram.
Mr Shiviti agreed to do so.
The Chairperson asked if the position of director for internal auditing within the DG’s office was among those identified as critical and, if so, had it been advertised.
Mr Shiviti confirmed that it was.
The Chairperson asked what the total numbers of vacancies were in relation to the full complement of staff in terms of the department organisational structure.
Mr Shiviti answered that there were 74 vacancies out of a full complement of 200 staff as per the structure.
Ms Matebesi noted that those vacancies reflected unfunded posts.
Mr Worth asked for clarity on the National Disability Bill and Disability Job Fund, both of which had been mentioned in the Strategic and Performance plans of the previous financial year, but not in the current presentation.
Mr Toni answered that the Department was in discussions with members of the disability sector to discuss the proposed National Disability Bill. This was being done to ensure that the Department was not seen to be imposing legislation upon the sector. These discussions would result in a greater understanding of what type of bill was required, where gaps existed in current legislation and how enforcement would be carried out.
Mr Worth asked if the Department had established an internal auditing unit.
Mr Shiviti answered that an ad hoc internal auditing committee was set up within the Department in December 2011, but was expected to be fully functional by 01 July 2012. A preferred candidate for the position of internal audit unit was undergoing competency testing.
Mr Worth noted the high levels of non-compliance across many Government departments in achieving the targeted employment rate of 2% of people with disabilities and suggested that the Department had a specific priority to ensure that the target was met.
Mr Toni answered that the Department had been given a clearer directive to ensure that the target was met by March 2013. The reasonable accommodation strategy for people with disabilities had not been clearly articulated but the Department was working alongside the Department of Public Service and Administration to overcome this.
The Chairperson noted a request from the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities (the PC) for clarification on two points, those being a request for a breakdown of the campaigns that the Department was expected to undertake and clarification on the expenditure figure for advocacy and mainstreaming. This information was required so that the Portfolio Committee could complete its report. Any written answers would have to be submitted within two weeks.
Ms Matebesi answered that the breakdown of the campaigns would be submitted to the Portfolio Committee in writing
Ms Matebesi answered that the expenditure figure given in the Portfolio Committee meeting was a typographical error and that, following the presentation the Department had consulted with National Treasury and the figure was amended from R27.5 million to R20.7million. This correction had been relayed to the secretary for the Portfolio Committee.
Ms A Qikani (ANC,
Ms Rose September, DWCPD CD for Monitoring and Evaluation, Children’s Rights, noted that the Department shared the Members concerns regarding the high levels of violence against women and children and stated that it represented not just a governmental issue, but a societal one. The DWCPD had partnered with the Department of Social Development to commemorate Child Protection Week from 27 May, which would be launched by the President in
Ms September noted the difficulties faced by children and families in rural areas particularly as they related to access to medical and legal support. The Department was partnering with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in establishing child friendly community initiatives in this regard. The Department had identified three new child friendly community initiatives to be established in rural areas.
Ms September noted that the Department had a particular focus on violence against adolescents due to the increased levels of HIV infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and teenage pregnancies. The Minister would be focusing on sexual violence against adolescents and engaging especially with those still at school.
Ms September noted that Cabinet had approved the National Council against Gender Based Violence, which would form the operational arm of the Department. This body would monitor and advocate against the scourge of violence within society. The Department had partnered with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to produce a study that analysed existing research conducted on violence against children, including homicides. This report would form the basis for the DWCPD to engage other Government departments to critically examine where gaps occurred and interventions were failing the victims. A document would then be developed to address these shortcomings. This would enable Government departments to measure progress against violence towards woman and children.
Ms September suggested that the Department would need to return to both the Select Committee and the Portfolio Committee to discuss the proposed Monitoring and Evaluation strategy so that MPs would be able to take key messages back to their wards and constituencies.
Mr Toni asked Ms September to update Members on the status of the Department’s Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy.
Ms September noted that the Department initially had to determine who was collecting data on woman, children and people with disabilities, how often this data was collected and what was done with the data. This diagnostic review was completed in partnership with the Human Sciences Research Council and placed the Department in a position where it could develop its own framework on monitoring and evaluation. This framework had two important aspects, firstly tracking Government performance and secondly including the voices and experiences of the constituencies on the ground. Government generally was falling short of translating experiences on the ground to policies and programmatic interventions and would require the help of members of both the Select and Portfolio Committees. The Department had hoped to be able to report back to both committees within the following month.
Ms Mary Mononela, CD: Advocacy and Mainstreaming, WEGE, DWCPD, reiterated the Department’s concern at the high levels of violence against women and children, noting all members of the Department were affected, as they had to deal with the personal appeals of the victims for assistance. The Minister had instructed the Department to establish rapid response teams in order to deal with gender-based violence in an integrated way. This was done in partnership with The South African Police Service and the Departments of Justice & Constitutional Development and Social Development. This reflected the mandate of the Department, not one of implementation but rather one that created an enabling environment for other departments to intervene and support the victims.
Ms Mononela noted that the Department held a holistic view regarding the rights of rural woman, not just as related to violence against women. An example of this was the engagement by the Minister with her cabinet colleagues on the Traditional Courts Bill. The Department, assisted by NGOs and civil society, helped various provincial legislatures and municipalities to ensure that woman in rural areas would be able to engage in the public participation hearings of the bill.
Ms Mononela highlighted two pilot projects in the rural areas that had been facilitated through the Department. These were in the Limpopo and
The Chairperson noted that there was a general outcry among MPs regarding the lack of coordination between the Ministry and the Committee Members. The Chairperson requested that the Department provide the Committee with a list of events, programmes and projects being undertaken by the Department and the Ministry within the constituencies represented by the Members.
Mr Worth noted that there was no DWCPD representation at a provincial level and asked if any memoranda of understanding (MOUs) had been signed to ensure that there was adequate functioning in the provinces.
The Chairperson suggested that the Department provide the Committee with a breakdown of the agreements and working relationships between itself and all the provinces.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Analysis of Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities’ Program 4 for 2012/13
- Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2012/13
- Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Strategic Plan 2012/13 – 2016/17 and Annual Performance Plan Presenta
- Vote 8: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.