Department of Social Development on its Annual Report 2011/12

Social Development

16 October 2012
Chairperson: Ms Y Botha (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

A lot of effort had been exerted in the financial year under review, both in terms of implementing the programmes within the constraints of human capacity, and in terms of accountability and compliance for which there had been a noticeable improvement as indicated by the Auditor General. The Department, together with South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), had made an enormous attempt to get an unqualified audit this financial year, which was not easy given the massive challenges the Department tried to deal with. The struggle was still on and the Department was pushing for better results in financial performance by both SASSA and the DSD in the current year. The National Development Agency had also maintained an unqualified audit.

Social assistance remained the single largest contributor to poverty alleviation in South Africa. The number of social assistance beneficiaries increased by 5.5% to 15.5 million, of which 10.9 million received the child support grant and 2.7 million received the Old Age Grant by the end of the financial year. An impact study of the Child Support Grant (CSG) confirmed that the CSG did reduce poverty and vulnerability and improved the academic performance of the recipients. Adolescents who received the CSG were also less likely to engage in risky behaviour.

On the critical issue of substance abuse, the DSD rolled out the anti-drugs campaign in all nine provinces. The campaign sought to create an awareness of substance abuse such as mental impairness and loss of life. Regulations under the Prevention and Treatment for Substance Abuse were summarised and gazetted for public comment. Technical support was also provided to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Substance Abuse, which proposed that the age limit for alcohol consumption be raised from 18 to 21, and that shebeens near schools or Early Childhood Development services, child and youth care centres, be closed down. The Department developed an integrated programme on the fight against drug and substance abuse.

Challenges experienced by the Department:
- During the year under review the Department achieved 54% of its planned targets. The remainder were either partially achieved or not achieved at all. Reasons for non-achievement of targets included, for example, reprioritisation of projects and dependence on other institutions such as provinces and other government departments. In some instances the Department had to defer implementation of some of its targets in light of new urgent priorities.

- Programme 3 key reasons for non-achievement of targets beyond the Department’s control were that the Department could only adjudicate 37% of the planned target of 80% within 90 days of receipt due to delays in receiving appropriate records from appellants and/or SASSA registry. The Department only adjudicated 11 622 appeals backlog of the planned 20 000 due to some records being either incomplete, some were duplicates of appeals already finalised, or grant application files were missing.

- The task of establishing an Inspectorate for Social Security was hampered by lack of human resources and the relatively late availability of funds. An organisational structure for the inspectorate, as well as the human resources model to support the establishment of the inspectorate; had since been approved by the Minister, and additional resources allocated to gather the evidence and put all the necessary systems in place.

- Programme 4 included lack of provincial capacity that hampered the registration of partial care and ECD facilities and delays in reporting, especially in the HHIV/AIDS areas; reprioritisation; Interdepartmental collaboration: the provision of psychosocial support for the School Health Programme could not be implemented as the project was primarily driven by the Department of Health.

- Programme 5, the Department could not compile the National Household Profile Report due to provinces not being able to access the National Integrated Social Information System. Although the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster approved the Community Development Framework, it was still pending approval by MINMEC.

The final appropriation for the Department was R104 billion, of which 98.90 was spent. The under expenditure was attributed to Social Assistance of R1.1 billion.

The Department received an unqualified opinion for the first time in two years. This was an improvement in record management by the SASSA. Although there were still some challenges the amount was under the materiality level. Both entities under the control of the Department, SASSA and National Development Agency (NDA), received unqualified audit opinions.
 
The Auditor General raised two matters under predetermined objectives:

- Achievement of planned targets: 46% of planned activities were not achieved. Reasons were largely due to capacity challenges and instances of reprioritisation of budgets.

- Material adjustments to the report on predetermined objectives, due to sufficient validated information, especially from the provinces, was not available at the time of auditing the report.
 
Under compliance with laws and regulations, two matters were raised relating to procurement and contract management:

- No sufficient evidence could be obtained for proof that awards were only made to suppliers who submitted a declaration of past supply chain practices such as fraud, abuse of supply chain management system.

- No sufficient evidence could be obtained that contracts and quotations were awarded only to bidders who submitted a declaration as to whether they were employed by the State or connected to any person employed.

Under expenditure management
it was found that effective and appropriate disciplinary steps were not taken against officials who made and/or permitted irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

In terms Leadership the final rating of the dashboard report showed that the Department was still having challenges in terms of oversight responsibility regarding performance reporting and compliance and related controls. Actions have been implemented to address the findings.

Members were particularly interested in the statistics on the adoption of children, and in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse

Meeting report

Mr Coceko Pakade (Acting Director General) tendered apologies from the Minister, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, who was presenting three memos to Cabinet: including the impact study on the CSG, and the Early Childhood Development (ECD) outcomes. Two senior officials accompanied the Minister, the Acting DDG for Welfare Services, Ms Connie Nxumalo, and the Chief Director for Social Assistance. He also apologised for the Deputy Minister who was attending an International Day of Poverty Alleviation event.

The Chairperson said it was expected that the Minister’s Office and the Deputy Minister to have sent an apology to the Committee, no such apology had been received, which was taken in a dim light.

Mr Pakade noted that.

The delegation consisted of Mr Chris Mulaudzi (Director: Monitoring and Evaluation); Mr Johnny Modiba (Acting CFO); Mr Peter Netshipale (Acting DDG: Integrated Development); Mr Osborne Masilela (Chief Director: Entity Oversight); Mr Frank Earl (Acting Executive Manager for Operations:
SASSA); Mr K April (CFO: SASSA); Ms Cathy Hendricks (Head Office: Deputy Minister Ntuli); Mr Raphaahle Ramokgopa (Executive Manger for Business Development: SASSA); Ms Margot Davies (Chief Director: Children); Mr Rodgers Hlatshwayo (Chief Director, Strategic Planning); Mr Xolie Brukwe (Head Administration: Office of the Director General); Mr Steven Maselesele (Director: Crime Prevention); and Mr Mogotsi Kalaeamodimo (Director: Substance Abuse).

Mr Pakade remarked that a lot of effort had been exerted in the financial year under review, both in terms of implementing the programmes within the constraints of human capacity, and in terms of accountability and compliance for which there had been a noticeable improvement as indicated by the Auditor General. The Department, together with SASSA, had made an enormous attempt to get an unqualified audit this financial year, which was not easy given the massive challenges the Department tried to deal with. The struggle was still on and the Department was pushing for better results in the current year for financial performance by both SASSA and the DSD. The NDA had also maintained an unqualified audit.

Department of Social Development (DSD) Annual Report 2011/12 presentation
Mr Chris Mulaudzi (Director: Monitoring and Evaluation) briefed the Committee.
The Department identified and committed itself to addressing the following key priorities:

- Expand Child and Youth Care Services (Isibindi programme);
- Promote Early Childhood Development;
- Combat substance abuse;
- Provision of food to poor households (Food for all/Zero Hunger programmes); and
- The protection and promotion of the rights of older people and people with disabilities.

The DSD contributed to some of the government outcomes, notably:
Outcome 1: Improved quality of basic education;
Outcome 2: A long and healthy life for all South Africans;
Outcome 4: Decent employment through inclusive economic growth;
Outcome 7: Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all;
Outcome 11: Create a better South Africa and contribute and safer Africa and World;
Outcome 12: An efficient, effective and development oriented public service and empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship.

The Social Development Sector delivered its services in an environment marked by high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Although the Department was largely responsible for policy formulation, it also rendered some of its services directly to the public, such as registration on Non Profit Organisations (NPOs). The Department also worked with other institutions within and outside government in the execution of its mandate: critical partners included amongst other the Departments of Basic Education, Labour, Justice, Health, and Rural Development.

Areas of collaboration included critical projects on issues affecting Children, HIV/AIDS, Older Persons, Victim Empowerment, Youth, and Social Security. Given the collaborative and interdependent nature of some of the Department’s work, it could only meet some of its targets if the other institutions delivered on their commitments as well. At times the Department would have to reprioritise some of the issues. The Department often deferred the implementation of some of its targets in light of new urgent priorities, which included for example the hosting of the ECD conference in March, which led to the dedication of funds to the event. The conference adopted concrete policy proposals on how to improve the provision of ECD services with the role of universalisation of ECD services.

Programme 2: Comprehensive Social Security
Social Assistance.
Social assistance remained the single largest contributor to poverty alleviation in South Africa. The number of social assistance beneficiaries increased by 5.5% to 15,5 million, of which 10.9 million received the child support grant and 2.7 million received the Old Age Grant by the end of the financial year.

Mr Mulaudzi informed the Committee that an impact study of the Child Support Grant (CSG) confirmed that the CSG did reduce poverty and vulnerability and improved the academic performance of the recipients. Adolescents who received the CSG were also less likely to engage in risky behaviour.

Programme 3: Social Security Policy Administration
Social Security Policy Development
With respect to Social Security policy, the Department sought to fund resources through the proclamation of the Department of Social Security, the target including draft legislation and consultation. The proposal for the establishment of a new Department of Social Security was completed, and a high level of organisational structure was developed. Bilateral meetings were held with the Department of Labour, Department of Public service and Administration, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, and the Compensation of Employees Fund. The DSD MANCO approved the establishment of an internal task team to ring fence and implement the plan.

The draft policy and legislation for mandatory retirement, death and disability benefits and consultations was approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee and presented to the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster Cabinet Committee.

Appeals Adjudication
The Department sought to promulgate and implement the Social Assistance Act. Regulations were published and implemented.

Programme 4: Welfare Services
Service Standards and Service Provider Management Support
As part of the Department’s recruitment and retention for Social Service professionals the Department sought to increase the number of scholarships awarded to social work students by 30%. The baseline was 3 908 scholarships awarded. 918 social work scholarships were awarded, representing 23.4%. The number of scholarships awarded depended on the number of applications and the number of students accepted by the relevant institutions of higher learning. Some of the students dropped out.

The Department sought to ensure that nine provinces would implement the Social Welfare Services Framework. 932 social service practitioners in eight provinces were capacitated on the social services framework. A draft plan for implementing the framework was developed. Generic intervention processes were implemented in one province.

The Department developed an implementation plan for the Policy on Financial Awards to service providers (PFA), which was presented to the Welfare Services Forum,
Heads of Social Development Sector (HSDS) and MINMEC, and approved.

The PFA was also discussed with line function directorates and submitted to national consultations. The policy and the implementation plan and the NPO Financing Guidelines were discussed with provincial officials and representatives of NPOs in seven provinces. Inputs and comments were consolidated and the policy document was refined.

Older Persons
In order to stem the tide of elder abuse in the country the Department 273 cases of elder abuse were reported and processed. Awareness campaigns were held in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Western Cape. 210 social services professionals were also trained on the management of elder abuse, and 412 residential facilities were provisionally registered in terms of norms and standards.

Substance abuse
On the critical issue of substance abuse the DSD rolled out the anti-drugs campaign in all nine provinces. The campaign sought to create an awareness of substance abuse such as mental impairness and loss of life. Regulations under the Prevention and Treatment for Substance Abuse were summarised and gazetted for public comment. Technical support was also provided to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Substance Abuse, which proposed that the age limit for alcohol consumption be raised from 18 to 21, and that shebeens near schools or ECD services, child and youth care centres, be closed down. The Department developed an integrated programme on the fight against drug and substance abuse. The
Imoja (I’m fine without drugs) programme was also evaluated during the year under review.

Children
- In order to contribute to Programme 1: a quality based education, and improved access to ECD programmes; the Department recorded some achievements. The number of children accessing ECD services and programmes increased by 26.5%, bringing the total number of children benefiting from ECD services to over 900 000.
- 2 344 cases of child abuse were recorded on the Child Protection Register (CPR) Part A. 11 191 employees were screened on Part B of the CPR.
- Guidelines for Prevention and Early Intervention were developed.
- There was a 65% increase in the number of children adopted. There was also a 49% increase in the number of children accessing Child and Youth Care Centres, and 641% increase in children accessing Drop-in Centres.
- The plan to monitor the implementation of the Children’s Act was finalised; all nine provinces submitted quarterly progress reports.

Social Crime Prevention and Victim Empowerment
The DSD sought to train 600 service providers on diversion accreditation systems, norms and standards for secure care, and implementation of social crime prevention programmes. The target was exceeded and 815 practitioners and service providers were trained.

In terms of monitoring implementation of the policy framework for the accreditation of diversion services, accreditation was done in all provinces. 345 assessments were done and 55 service providers and 191 programmes received full accreditation. 44 provincial coordinators were trained to conduct quality assurance in respect of providers and programmes in all three categories.

One national and nine provincial workshops were held, and 220 service providers trained on human trafficking.

Regulations on the Human Trafficking Bill were drafted and the policy guidelines for victim empowerment were vetted.

Families
- The Green Paper on Families was discussed with MINMEC and various clusters and gazetted in October 2011 for public comment. Consultative workshops were held in nine provinces in February and March 2012.
- The Integrated Parenting Framework was approved, and the Manual on Mediation services also approved.
- Research on the effectiveness of services to families was conducted in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga, and a preliminary research report completed.

Youth
1 325 youths participated in the Masupatsela programme in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West. Eight outreach programmes were conducted and a Youth Walk Against Drug Abuse, also Taking DSD to communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. 2 426 youths participated. About 2 426 youths participated in the National Youth Service by the end of the financial year.

HIV and AIDS
- In order to ensure a long and healthy life for all South Africans the DSD contributed to prevention and psychosocial support services for people with HIV and AIDS and other chronic illnesses. About 475 000 vulnerable households were reached through HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, and over 2 million youths were reached through HIV/AIDS prevention programmes run through Love Life. 631 612 orphans and vulnerable children received psychosocial support services. Community conversations were conducted in seven provinces.
- 584 social professionals were trained on HIV and AIDS counselling.
- The first draft of the framework for HIV social behaviour change was completed.

Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery
Social Policy Research and Development
- In order to contribute to Outcome 12 the Department conducted training on social policy making and to promote evidence-based policy making. The Department jointly with Rhodes University and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom trained 50 policy-makers in that respect.
- A Research Coordination and Management Strategy was developed but presented to the policy forum MANCO and HSDS.
- The Green Paper on Families was completed and gazetted.

Special Projects and Innovation
According to the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) web-based system, the social sector facilitated the creation of 152 109 job opportunities, exceeding the annual target of 132 000.

Population Policy Promotion
- A follow-up research report on HIV/AIDS and other key health concerns with demographic concerns was completed in March 2012.
- 32 training sessions were conducted, attended by 732 participants throughout the country, with an emphasis on rural nodes. Evaluation and review of the training course was completed.
- The Department developed a learner workbook and teacher guide to be introduced into the school curriculum, which was completed, edited and reviewed in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education. The workbook ensured the integration of themes on various population concerns including adolescent sexual and reproductive health.
- Capacity building and training workshops were conducted in provinces and urban nodes.

Registration and Monitoring of NPOs
- The Department sought to realise a conducive environment for civil society organisations and rural communities. In that respect the Department sought to capacitate 600 NPOs on the NPO Act and governance. 1 323 NPOs attended 32 workshops in the Free State and North West provinces.
- 144 officials in the Eastern Cape and Free State were capacitated on the NPO Act and governance, and a two-day workshop was held to review and discuss the Codes.
- The target to process 80% of applications within two months was exceeded, as 95% applications were processed within two months.
- The target of increasing the issue of notices by 10% was also exceeded as 85% of NPOs whose reports were due were served with non-compliance notices.
- Programmers were appointed to develop an online NPO registration system.

Community Development
- The Department sought to ensure that communities participated actively in their own development.
18 communities were reached through the ‘Taking DSD to Communities’ campaign and ‘October Month’.
2 520 such communities were profiled and in addition to that about 224 000 households were profiled for impact with such communities. According to the
National Integrated Social Information System (NISIS) about 596 316 clients were referred to relevant departments for appropriate interventions.
- A DSD Strategy on Zero Hunger was developed and over a million people benefited from food security programmes, food banks and food production initiatives.

Sustainable Livelihoods
Guidelines for Community Mobilisation were developed and approved.

International Obligations
In 2011/12, Mr Mulaudzi said the DSD played an active role in promoting the social agenda internationally:
-  Remained an active member of the African Union (AU), South African Development Community (SADC) and United Nations structures, including the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the UN Commission on Narcotics
- Continued participation in the International Social Security Association (ISSA) activities, including strengthening ISSA in Africa
- Participated in Millennium Development Goals review meetings hosted by the AU and the UN Economic Commission for Africa
- Participated in the UN Commission for Social Development and the UN Commission on Gender, Population Development, Crime Prevention and Substance Abuse.
- Continued with its cooperation with the UN on child trafficking and bilateral support to South Sudan
- Actively participated in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA)
- Facilitated technical exchanges with 17 countries including Mauritius, Ghana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mexico, Brazil, the United States and Canada
- Hosted a Partners in Population meeting in South Africa and served on its Budget Committee

All these initiatives served as a platform for sharing social development experiences and provided the Department with an opportunity to help create a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.

Challenges experienced by the Department
- During the year under review the Department achieved 54% of its planned targets. The remainder were either partially achieved or not achieved at all. Reasons for non-achievement of targets included, for example, reprioritisation of projects and dependence on other institutions such as provinces and other government departments. In some instances the Department had to defer implementation of some of its targets in light of new urgent priorities.

- Programme 3 key reasons for non-achievement of targets beyond the Department’s control were that the Department could only adjudicate 37% of the planned target of 80% within 90 days of receipt due to delays in receiving appropriate records from appellants and/or SASSA registry. The Department only adjudicated 11 622 of the appeals backlog (of the planned 20 000) due to some records being either incomplete, some were duplicates of appeals already finalised, or grant application files were missing.

- The task of establishing an Inspectorate for Social Security was hampered by lack of human resources and the relatively late availability of funds. An organisational structure for the inspectorate, as well as the human resources model to support the establishment of the inspectorate; had since been approved by the Minister, and additional resources allocated to gather the evidence and put all the necessary systems in place.

- Challenges for Programme 4 included lack of provincial capacity that hampered the registration of partial care and ECD facilities and delays in reporting, especially in the HHIV/AIDS areas; reprioritisation; and interdepartmental collaboration: the provision of psychosocial support for the School Health Programme could not be implemented as the project was primarily driven by the Department of Health.

- Programme 5, the Department could not compile the National Household Profile Report due to provinces not being able to access the National Integrated Social Information System. Although the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster approved the Community Development Framework, it was still pending approval by MINMEC.

DSD Financial Report 2011/12
Mr Johnny Modiba, DSD (Acting CFO), briefed the Committee on the finances for the year under review.
The final appropriation for the Department was R104 billion, of which 98.90% was spent. The under expenditure was attributed to Social Assistance of R1.1 billion.

In terms of Summary Expenditure per Programme, Programme 1: Administration spent 99.74%; Programme 2: Social Assistance 98.84%; Programme 3: Social Security Policy and Administration 99.86%; Programme 4: Welfare Service Policy Development and Implementation Support 99.41%; and Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery 99.02%. Overall expenditure was R1 144 705 000.

Under spending for Social Assistance related mainly to lower than expected beneficiary uptake rates. Social Security Policy and Administration under spending was mainly due to delays in the finalisation of planned projects under Social Security Policy Development and the Appeals Tribunal Units. Welfare Service Policy Development and Implementation Support under spending mainly related to approved transfer payments not transferred before end March 2012 for SANCA, Victim Empowerment organisations and National Association of Burial Societies of South Africa (NABSSA); and Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery under expenditure was mainly due to funded vacancies not filled in time and related operational costs.

The Summary Expenditure per Economic Classification showed Transfers and Subsidies with material variance of under expenditure. Goods and services related to the projects under appeals that could not be implemented in that financial year. Compensation of employees under spending related to vacancies not filled. Payments for Financial assets related to financial assistance recorded in SASSA managed on behalf of the Department.

Auditor General Report 2011/12
The Department received an unqualified opinion for the first time in two years. This was an improvement in record management by the SASSA. Although there were still some challenges the amount was under the materiality level. Both entities under the control of the Department, SASSA and NDA, received unqualified audit opinions.

Predetermined objectives
The Auditor General raised two matters under predetermined objectives:
- Achievement of planned targets: 46% of planned activities were not achieved. Reasons were largely due to capacity challenges and instances of reprioritisation of budgets.
- Material adjustments to the report on predetermined objectives, due to sufficient validated information, especially from the provinces, was not available at the time of auditing the report.

Compliance with laws and regulations: Procurement and contract management
Two matters were raised relating to procurement and contract management:
- No sufficient evidence could be obtained for proof that awards were only made to suppliers who submitted a declaration of past supply chain practices such as fraud, abuse of supply chain management system.
- No sufficient evidence could be obtained that contracts and quotations were awarded only to bidders who submitted a declaration as to whether they were employed by the State or connected to any person employed by the State.

Actions to be implemented
A structure was developed to report to the Audit Committee, looking at past tenders awarded to try and retrieve and adjust levels of communication, and looking at new tenders to ensure that all the Supplier Bid Document (SBD) forms and documents were attached.

- Bid adjudication and bid evaluation committee members would be inducted on the checklists scheduled to take place before the end of September 2012.
- To transfer the risk of requesting tax clearance certificate and submission of
SBD forms to the line functions for goods or services required in other provinces.
- Create awareness on the Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes for SCM officials and thereafter be rolled out to DSD officials.
- SCM officials to be responsible and accountable as per the checklist requirements. A checklist had been developed to take into account the compliance aspects.
- The CFO issued an instruction that no order or letter of award would be issued before suppliers completed the required forms.
- DSD managed to obtain 60% of documents outstanding during the audit. Of the 36 identified suppliers 22 submitted SBD4 forms. Of the six identified suppliers three submitted SBD8 forms. All tax certificates missing at the time were also obtained.

Compliance with laws and regulations: Expenditure management
-Effective and appropriate disciplinary steps were not taken against officials who made and/or permitted irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Actions taken:
- The Directorate: Internal Control conducted workshops with Programme Managers
- Verify if expenditure was irregular or not by interrogating payment prior to being regarded as irregular
- Fast tracking recommendations of the Loss Control Committee
During the year under review the Department’s Loss Control Committee attended to a number of cases reported and the status was as follows:
- 59 cases were presented at the Loss Control Committee from April 2012 to September 2012 and recommended for action
- 6 written warning letters were issued to the officials
- In three cases it was recommended that the amounts be recovered from the officials, the amount to be recovered was R356 000.
- Three cases were submitted to the Directorate: Labour Relations for disciplinary action to be taken.

Leadership
- The Auditor Generally normally issued a dashboard report and meetings were held with the Executive authority. The final rating of the dashboard report showed that under Leadership the Department was still having challenges in terms of oversight responsibility regarding performance reporting and compliance and related controls. Actions to be implemented to address the findings:
- DSD developed different checklists to monitor compliance with the Department and for the entities.
- Workshops were conducted with business units on Guidelines for Performance reporting, which focused on roles and responsibilities of managers and other officials with respect to performance reporting. This served as an intervention mechanism to assist in improving the reporting requirements and clear inconsistencies. The workshop plan was rolled out for the entire Department, national and provinces.

Way forward
A detailed action plan was developed and implemented to address the concerns raised by the Auditor General in his Management letter with regard to aspects related to compliance and internal control. This was being monitored on a regular basis to ensure through the Audit Committee to ensure progress.

Mr Pakade made final comments on two areas, both under the Auditor General’s report:
- He highlighted that the Department identified a need for improvement on the area of targeting, both for the sector wide reporting in terms of the work done by the provinces and also the work done by the Department itself. Workshops were planned and international experts were coming to look at the issue around M&E and robust state management. Mr Pakade stressed that money was spent fruitfully; in some units there was significant exceeding of targets. The Department was also successful in hosting very important events.

- The Department had a lot of discussion with the Auditor General around the issue of supply chain management. It was important to ensure that the key principles on procurement enshrined in Section 217 of the Constitution that related to competitiveness, fairness and transparency and value for money were always paramount in any procurement processes. Looking at the entire value chain of supply chain there were a number of very important compliance issues. For tenders below R500 000 the Department
ensured that those competitive quotes were indeed invited, and also for those above R500 000. There was an open tender process that was followed. However, the declaration forms referred to by the Auditor General were still important to give assurance that those suppliers were credible and had no internal connections within the Department, and also were not guilty of having had supply chain practices that could qualify them for black listing. It was a recognised in the action plans and the Department would ensure that all the officials ensured that the checklist was completed before award to suppliers, irrespective of whether the procurement was under pressure officials must ensure that before work was awarded those forms were completed.

Discussion
Ms J (Pretty) Ngubeni-Maluleke (ANC) noted that targets were exceeded in many areas, how were they able to do that with the budgets against each target? She suggested the Department planned less and gave more money because they were able to achieve more with the money allocated. She asked for a comparison of the over achievement vis-à-vis the under expenditure.

Mr Pakade responded that halfway through the year when the Department realised there were things that could hinder achieving objectives, it could be matters still to be finalised by authorities, and also the social Security process, but did request approval through the normal Treasury and Parliamentary processes. The issue was whether the Department actually spent the money and was happy in terms of value for money for that spending. Almost all that was spent was spent on matters the Department believed were priority. In instances where those managers running critical projects could exceed some of the targets, the Department directed the money to those areas.

Ms Ngubeni-Maluleke asked why only eight provinces benefited from the social service practitioners training?

Ms Ngubeni-Maluleke referred to the scholarships given to social workers, she was well aware of the shortage of social workers but asked what was the strategy as if was found that social workers were trained and upon completion did not return to their respective provinces. In some cases where they did return the province was not ready to absorb them due to insufficient funds.

Mr Pakade explained that there were challenges in that area. Members were aware of the initiative reported on in the public domain. Provinces and National Treasury were looking into this. The Department had interactions with National Treasury and invited them to meet with the Inter Governmental Forum and also discussed the matter at
MinMec hearings when presenting the Department’s State of Budget Requirements. The Department was meeting with Treasury towards the end of this month to finalise concrete agreements around the absorption of social workers by provinces. The main issue was funding, couple with certain decisions provinces took around moratorium on the appointment of employees. The Department was saying to provincial authorities that the social work scarcity needed special attention; therefore the social development budget must be treated as such. The Department also realised that money had been shifted from Social Development provincial budgets to fund Health and Education in the main, where there had been challenges. That included areas such as Limpopo where there was a section 100 intervention. There was a need for assurance from Treasury that the money that would go to the absorption of social workers would be retained.

Mr Pakade clarified why social workers were trained in one province and appointed by another province. In the interim the Department made proposals to MinMec for the need to look at those provinces that had absorption capacity so that social workers were not constrained in those provinces that were struggling budget wise to be able to move to other provinces. That was an interim arrangement while sorting out a long-term absorption strategy. The Department also looked at other departments that provided critical services, those departments that required social workers. The retention strategy was that no social worker would be out on the street.

Ms Ngubeni-Maluleke was concerned that under challenges that 20% targets were not achieved, some due to missing files. Was that still happening? That was serious as people were supposed to be benefiting.

Mr Earl responded that the question around those files related mostly to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, he thought there were elements of fraud and corruption in those areas that the Department was currently dealing with. Some of those appeal files went as far back as 2002, and by virtue of the time it was record management that those files would have been destroyed because they were over five years old. In those cases the Department may not have been aware that there was an appeal pending. The Department was putting plans in place to be able to audit what was currently on the social pensions system and were doing a cross audit so that it could confirm what was perceived to be missing files or lost files, linking that to any files that might have been ‘missing’ through fraud and corruption, and the registration process would probably give the necessary inter intelligence to be able to know that some of the files did not exist, and to move them off the system, but in this case it was more the litigation files.

Ms Ngubeni-Maluleke noted with concern the Auditor General’s findings about compliance with laws and regulations, the Department could be assisting employees of the State to become criminals in terms of fraud and corruption in terms of procurement.

Mr Modiba responded that that was basically related to external parties such as suppliers. The Auditor General was not happy about the fact that suppliers were not completing the standard bidding documents that had to be completed to declare their practices in terms of supply chain management. The Department developed a checklist and was holding supply chain management practitioners accountable to ensure those documents were completed and signed off by suppliers to ensure the Department did not find itself in the same position again.

Ms F Khumalo (ANC) referred to workshops held and 220 service providers trained on human trafficking. She asked whether there were any awareness and education programmes to reach communities in terms of human trafficking?

Ms Khumalo asked how many women benefited from the 152 000 job opportunities created?

Mr Netshipale responded that 47% of jobs created were for youth and 85% were women.

Ms Khumalo noted under HIV/AIDS that community conversations were conducted in seven provinces, which were the other two?

Mr Netshipale responded that the two provinces were the Western Cape and North West. At the time of planning Western Cape was not interested. The CC meaning creating communities to be aware about their needs so that they were able to deal with them and accept them. I also gave them capacity to deal with HIV/AIDS themselves. People counselled individually. The programme was to get the communities together and let them talk and the end result was communities uplifting each other.

Ms Khumalo also noted that the Department facilitated technical exchanges with 17 countries, surely they also shared experiences, particularly around the issue of human trafficking. She was interested to know whether they had the same programmes and what measures they had in place to ensure they had less human trafficking than South Africa?

Mr M Waters (DA) noted the 65% increase in the number of adoptions, but looking at the 2010/11 report there were 2 236 adoptions in that year, which was actually a 33% decrease in the number of adoptions on the previous year. What were the reasons for the decrease?

Ms Margot Davies clarified that the 5% was on the 2500 adoption cases that were registered annually. The Department was aware that there would be a slight drop in the number of cases coming through due to the impact of the Children’s Act and the many rigid processes that were expected on adoption, such as the RACAP (Register on Adoptable Children and Parents) and the fact that there had to be a 60 day register on that, which delayed the process before the Department could give certification, a certificate to the social worker and to the court. That had a definite impact.

Mr Waters also referred to the target to finalise the implementation plan to monitor the implementation of the Children’s Act. Implementation of the plan was already finalised last year as stated in the 2010/11 report.
When the Children’s Act would be implemented in its entirety? What were the timelines?

Ms Davies responded that the Children’s Implementation Plan had been finalised. In the Act there were areas that gave timelines. In many instances because of the demand placed on the social workers and on the Children’s Act people were not seeing that there was still a process that even the Children’s Act allowed and could start implementing the whole Act with or without resources, but an attempt had to be made and the Department had started to do that. The transformation of Child and Youth Care services one of the areas lacking was the whole issue of being able to resource some of the transformation plans to ensure change. The Department had started the process and was not leaving out parts of the Act for implementation.

Mr Waters referred to Summary Expenditure per Programme; Programme 4: Welfare was appropriated R451 million but Social Security Policy and Administration was appropriated over R6 billion, which was twelve times as much as Welfare Services, the crux of what the Department should be providing for – children, the elderly, and disabled people.

Mr Pakade responded that the budgets of Welfare and Social Security had in the past been a matter for concern but had been addressed by the Department as well as Treasury over the years. Social Security was a national function because it was moved from provinces in 2004 when the new legislation was promulgated. That entire budget now sat in Social Development at national. What was under Welfare Services was purely the national part but provinces collectively managed the Welfare Services budget, the bulk of which was transferred to NGOs. About R4.5 million was transferred to NGOs by provinces over and above the money they held themselves. Collectively the budget for provinces was close to R7 billion. When looking at the national vote it must not appear that Welfare Services were under funded. An analysis of trends had been done, together with Treasury, and because of pressure exerted on provincial budgets a lot of money was shifted from Administration to Welfare Services Programme 2. For the Department that was a positive indication of the commitment put into the core business of Social Development. Over next year and the outer years there would be an additional R1.2 billion for children and child and youth care services, which were part of the ECD programme rolled out by provinces. There was a clear focus on core business in the provincial budget.

Mr Earl added that the R6 billion was SASSA’s budget, not DSD budget.

Mr Waters said the Department failed to report in its notes how many people were on Part B of the Child Protection Register. The last time the Department presented it was about 480, then it went down to 1, and the last he heard the figure was 22. He asked for clarity and whether the concerns raised by Justice had been rectified. There was no protocol to register a person who was unsuitable to work with children. What progress had been made since the May meeting with the Department?

Mr Waters also noted that 11 191 employees were screened against Part B of the CPR, screening did not mean much, he would prefer to see names on the register.

Ms Davies clarified that there were three entities in the Department of Justice, the Magistrates’ Commission and the Justice Commission were separate entities. The Department’s work was within the Department of Justice and quite a lot of these issues had been raised regarding confusion around the two registers, the Child Protection Register and the Sexual Offences Register. They were in the process of providing information to both DGs and to the Minister regarding a recommendation to be made on that part. It was clear that on of the issue of compliance there was also confusion. There were two Acts the people had to comply with and were sending to the one Act without sending to the other. That was also an issue that had to be raised.

In terms of the numbers, Ms Davies monitored them on a daily basis, especially on Part B of the register. On convictions and unsuitability the Department had not yet received a quarterly report. Due to the confusion and in other instances lack of the Magistrates and particularly the Presiding Officers sending information through, the Department was hamstrung. The numbers remained still at 41 provided to date.

The intention of the register was to protect children. In letters the Department sent out to everybody there was a statement that said ‘if we find with the information given that you are part of that we will come back to you and possibly you are unsuitable to work with children’. It was very clear in that letter. As to what could be done about it, the Department had gone to every magistrate in every province and spoken to magistrates and asked them to please ensure that their clerks provided the Department with that information. The Department sent letters to all the different departments, including another letter to the Department of Justice. The Department had communication with the Social Service Professionals Registrar, and communication to the educators to say please send that information, the Department could not work effectively without it. That remained a priority and was tracked on a daily basis.

Mr Waters said the previous year’s report talked about an audit being conducted on ECD, completed in four provinces and were going to be rolled out. He asked for feedback on the audit and what happened to the other five provinces this year.

Ms Davies responded that the Department did the first four provinces and was now doing the next four. The issue was around access to money; last year there was no additional funding. The audit was going to be rolled out and the Department would continue with the process.

Mr Waters said this year’s and last year’s annual reports and the presentation were very vague about the impact and the quantitive progress made in combating substance abuse and reducing levels of usage.

Mr Kalaeamodimo confirmed that drug and substance abuse was on the increase. When certain substances went down a new one emerged. In 2010 there was a drop in hard drugs but during the economic meltdown people moved to other substances and those figures went up. A comprehensive impact study had not yet been done that would tell whether all the government interventions were winning or not. The Department was dealing with policies and legislation, as policies and legislation were not responding to the current challenges. The Department also had inadequate funding for that; in depth studies were expensive, it was better to come up with interventions in the legislation being developed. The Department had started monitoring and evaluation of both the impact of its interventions. Note was taken.

Mr Pakade responded that the Department was aware of the non-compliance on the tabling side and was following up on that.

Mr Waters said the Committee still did not have an Annual Report for 2011/12 from the Central Drug Authority, the Department should ensure it complied with legislation.

Mr Kalaeamodimo responded that the Central Drug Authority was a coordinating body; it coordinated the work done by various departments. The report by the Department through the CDA was based on information from those departments and it was usually a challenge to gather that information. The report would be presented to the Committee very soon.

Mr Waters referred to the Elder Persons abuse register. 273 cases of elder abuse were reported, were those cases that had gone to court, where people had been convicted, or just someone reporting abuse against an individual in a home? Was that register run similar to the CPR where every individual working with elderly people had to have their names verified against the register?

Ms Davies responded that the Older Persons Act was very broad in terms of reporting elder abuse. The majority of reporting was from people coming forward complaining about the abuse of their grant, older persons abused in the home that lodged their grievances on the register. Although the Act made allowance for cases of elder abuse to be reported that was the minority of cases that came through.

The Chairperson asked whether research conducted on the effectiveness of services to families had been completed; if so, the Committee would welcome the report, it would be useful in the Committee’s oversight visits. What did the sector plan to do with that research report and where would it go?

The Chairperson referred to Population Policy Promotion, HIV and AIDS, the target to conduct four training sessions – what was that training on?

The Chairperson asked that a copy of the workbook and teacher guide be made available to the Committee. Where was that workbook and teacher guide currently, had it been implemented, and what was the status?

The Chairperson asked why it was said to be a 5% increase in the number of children accessing adoption services; she felt that should be reformulated to read parents accessing adoption services. She asked whether the figures included international adoptions.

Ms Davies clarified that of the 1 620 adoption cases 1 426 were national adoption. The policy was run to say national adoptions rather than inter country adoption; inter country adoptions were 194. The figures were down for inter country adoption and there were a lot of issues around finalisation of adoptions within the courts in terms of social workers who worked for the State from the courts. There was an issue in the Act where there was a contradiction of social workers registered within the child protection organisation and social workers registered to do adoptions. That had to be assessed. That was some courts, not all the courts. That definitely slowed down the adoption process. Ms Davies met with the National Adoption Coalition the previous week where one of the issues raised was the whole process and the fact that in trying to prevent possible trafficking issues and more inter country adoptions the Department may have put in a lot more adoption processes and that was an issue that the Coalition asked the Department to seriously look at with the amendment of the Children’s Act. There were issues in drafting the Children’s Act that caused problems in terms of adoption.

The Chairperson asked when the Department would have an active communication drive to desensitise adoptions, especially in black communities? Did people prefer to go the foster care route?

Ms Davies said the issue of adoptions was also stigmatisation. The Department had a strategy on adoption to ensure that the Department went out and have dialogue with communities. A lot of work was done with Traditional Leaders, particularly around the perception of adoption. The perception was adoption was just taking children and not looking after them without following the legal process. The Department had meetings with them and met with the House of Traditional Leaders, and also with the Cultural and Gender Commission to discuss the issue in heavy debate.

Foster care was a deterrent to adoption. The Department was looking at the numbers of children in foster care and identifying those that were possibly adoptable. A start was made in KwaZulu-Natal to look at children that had been in foster care for a length of time but the issue was access to finances. The Department was looking at that in terms of a possible grant that may come through. It was acknowledged that people preferred foster care instead of giving a child a proper solution to home care. Research showed that more and more people from the black communities were coming forward to adopt children.

The Chairperson was also interested in the question raised by Mr Waters, which is why she asked the question on international adoption.

The Chairperson referred to South Africans in prison in other countries and asked whether there were people doing international social work, and whether there was an increase in interaction where people who were pregnant were arrested and imprisoned, where Social Development had to step in with facilitation of transferring the child back to the family in South Africa? There seemed to be an increase in South African drug mules being arrested.

Mr Pakade responded that the Department was still taking responsibility for those children stranded in other countries such as Brazil.

Ms Davies added that a number of children had been fetched from overseas countries due to drug mules being imprisoned in a foreign country. The cases were referred to the Department of Foreign Affairs then to the ISS and to the Department. There were no requests of that nature this year.

The Chairperson linked that with the drug awareness and substance abuse programmes and programmes for social crime prevention. She did not see a specific focus area where South Africans were warned ‘drug trafficking this is where you will end up’. DSD had a role to play in stressing what the implications were for the family and for oneself, besides losing your freedom and being locked up in a foreign jail for many years, as a deterrent. That was missing in the awareness campaigns in terms of prevention.

Mr Pakade said the recent incident in Thailand that lady did not have a clue of the kind of syndicates and trapping that people found themselves in, they still took the normal promise of a job as a genuine offer. The Department did a lot of things that were not reported but were guided by the settings.

Mr Kalaeamodimo added that the Department had not done much in terms of education on the impact on families, but it had involved SAPS and its colleagues in that area. In 2010 a person who was involved in drug trafficking was invited to give the Department an insight, and also had people who were once involved in drugs in the programmes. More had to be done in that area.

Ms H Makhuba (IFP) referred to the 2 426 youths that participated in the National Youth Service and asked which provinces were involved?

Mr Netshipale responded that the provinces were Mpumalanga, Free State, Gauteng, North West and Northern Cape. The highest number participated in Gauteng and North West. The information would be forwarded.

Ms Makhuba noted that 85% of NPOs were served with non-compliance notices. She recalled previous discussions where it was said that the NPOs needed to be monitored and assisted in order for them to be sustainable. She asked what were the reasons for the non-compliance?

Mr Netshipale responded that the report related to the implementation of the NPO Act, which did not touch much on the funding. It was the DSD’s responsibility to register all NPOs in the country as a whole. Once registered, each NPO had to comply with annual financial statements and narrative reports to substantiate its existence. A lot of NPOs did not comply year after year, which warranted the Department to deregister them or some wrote for voluntary cancellation. There would be more reports next year in terms of compliance to that Act.

Ms Makhuba asked, of the 2 520 communities that were profiled, which provinces were involved?

Mr Netshipale responded that all nine provinces had profiled their communities. The best was the Northern Cape that profiled every community to account where poverty lay in the area.

Ms Makhuba asked how many people with disabilities the Department employed, and whether targets had been raised in that respect?

Mr Rodger Hlatshwayo responded that the target for people with disabilities was 2% and the Department currently had about 16 people with disabilities, so it did meet the target.

Responding to a question on targets in general, Mr Hlatshwayo clarified the issue of under targeting; sometimes over targeting was also a challenge. When one over targeted the predetermined objective was not achieved. At the same time with under targeting there were challenges of over achieving that. Targeting was a very complex exercise that the department was vigorously addressing. It was a function of Human Resources, Financials, processes and such. The Department was looking at promoting evidence based plans when doing targeting; there had to be informed planning. The Department also had to look at the demand as a population, such as how many people were, for instance, exposed to substance abuse, and work backwards from there to determine realistic targets for the system. The Department worked on a demand model.

The Chairperson noted that only two females were in such a large delegation, was that a reflection of the top management of the Department? How many female DDGs and Chief Directors did the Department have?

Mr Pakade responded that more than 50% of the delegation was in Acting positions; there had been a high turnover at senior management level. He referred to female senior officials who were were
committed, Dr
Maria Mabetoa and Ms Connie Nxumalo occupied DDG positions. Ms Patricia Maloka was the DDG responsible for the Inspectorate not able to join the delegation due to health challenges. The matter had been discussed with the Minister and in the process of new appointments would replace those who left the Department that would be taken into consideration. The Chairperson’s point was acknowledged.

Mr Kalaeamodimo responded to the question on policy and regulations. The Prevention and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act was developed and had expected it to be implemented by 1 October 2012. The Department was waiting for proclamation by the President and promulgation by the Minister of Social Development.

 Mr Waters commented on the adoption register. He heard the comments that the Department faced with the new Act but it did not answer the question as to why in the presentation and in the report it was claimed a 65% increase and there was a 32% decrease. That was the Child Protection Register. On 15 May the Committee was told there were 458 names on the register, now there were 41. There was no progress. He did not think that the two departments took the issue seriously at all.

Mr Waters referred to an incident in Limpopo where three children went missing from a home and found dead. He asked what was the protocol for reporting missing children to the police, was there a protocol in place and, if there were, why was it not followed?

Mr Pakade responded that there was a protocol in place. Sometimes it is the nature of circumstances between the centre, the home, and the parents.

Ms Davies responded on the circumstances under which the court underpinned what happened to those children. There was immediate reporting the next day. There was a protocol in place; it was not always followed between both parties. They went missing on the Friday, it was reported on the Sunday. When they found that the children had not returned it was reported to the head of the institution and only reported to the police the next day and the three bodies were found. The issue of the length of time to report a missing child the Act said must report to the police within 48 hours. There was a protocol within the police and Social Development regarding reporting of missing children. That was something that needed to be beefed up to improve how quickly the police took cognisance of the report.

Ms Khumalo commented that Mr Kalaeamodimo had stated that a study on the issue of substance abuse would be expensive. What could be done to ensure that such a study could be conducted? She understood the issue of funding but it was something that had to be looked at.

Mr Pakade responded that Mr Kalaeamodimo had raised that as a comment. It did not mean that government should not do it. Generally an evaluation must be done over a certain period, it could take five years, and provision would have to be made in the bill through National Treasury. There was a Substance Abuse Summit in Durban two years ago that came up with a number of solutions and interventions to be implemented. There could be an interim evaluation through the M&E in the Presidency, which was putting up a budget for in depth studies. Substance abuse was a very critical study that would tell the Department what was happening in the country and whether in fact we were winning the battle or not.

The Chairperson thanked Members and the officials. It was an interesting meeting but there were time constraints. SASSA and the NDA would still be presenting so some of the questions could be for those presentations. The Committee looked forward to seeing the CDA in the near future.

The meeting was adjourned.


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