Deputy Minister on National Development Agency & Central Drug Authority 2011/12 Annual Reports

Social Development

05 November 2012
Chairperson: Ms P Tshwete (ANC) (Acting
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Meeting Summary

The National Development Agency (NDA) focused on measuring the NDA’s delivery against the strategic objectives of year that under review. Their financial performance was discussed and issues which were picked up by the Auditor General were outlined.

Members asked questions about why the NDA target for raising R200 million had not been achieved it, why the NDA did not pay some vendors within 30 days, the NDA’s non alignment with National Treasury Regulations, human resources policies not being approved and the non-achievement of the Board’s performance assessment. Members asked for clarity about employment opportunities; why more than half of the NDA allocation was going towards salaries; why there was no budget for a new project if it was already in the NDA’s annual plan and if over achievements would affect the budget. Members asked about the monitoring process of partnerships formed by the NDA; requested the names and provinces of the civil society organisations which were involved in the surveys conducted by the NDA.

The Deputy Minister of the Social Development Department said that the NDA was mandated with the huge task of contributing towards the eradication of poverty and its causes. She expressed her satisfaction that the NDA was achieving its mandate. The NDA was transforming organisations from projects to enterprises. She felt that even though the NDA had shortcomings, they were improving year after year and should be applauded.

The Central Drug Authority (CDA) briefed the Committee on its role, trends in defining the drug problem, the world drug problem as it affects South Africa, achievements based on integrated strategies, specific CDA achievements, projects, reports and recommendations.

Members expressed concern and dissatisfaction over the National Youth Development Agency’s late report submissions and non-attendance at CDA meetings which hampered the functioning of the CDA. They inquired whether that was reported to the Minister and if action was taken. The non-co-operation of departments with the CDA was noted. The CDA CEO said it had a very small budget but the Department had to take it upon itself to make the CDA the kind of institution which lent itself to the problem at hand, because requesting other departments to collaborate was evidently not working.

The term of office for the CDA’s Board had expired and Members questioned this. The Committee suggested learners should have substance abuse included in their life orientation curriculum, and asked about the Department of Education’s involvement with that. Members discussed the problem of drugs coming into South Africa and it was agreed that the South African Police Service should brief the Committee on their drug combating strategies. The grading drugs in terms of their harmfulness was suggested but the CDA felt that all drugs should be treated equally because they harmed the moral fibre of society.

Members wanted clarity about the incident of a previous Board member running an unregistered rehabilitation centre as it undermined the Board’s authority.  The CDA pointed out that rehabilitation centres were not approved by the CDA and that the monitoring of those centres was the responsibility of the Department of Social Development.

The CDA stated that matters had moved faster since the establishment of the Ministerial Committee dealing with alcohol and substance abuse. The Department had to take it upon themselves to make the CDA the kind of institution which lent itself to the problem at hand.

The CDA said that treatment needed to be emphasised as an enormous amount of young people were presenting themselves for treatment and it was very expensive. It suggested that the best strategies on how drug abuse was addressed overseas should be considered.

Members suggested that churches, teachers and traditional leaders become involved in order to address the problem of drug abuse. They were also of the opinion that casinos not be given liquor licenses if they were situated close to schools.

The Department of Social Development emphasised that the CDA was not an implementing agency and that they focused on improving what was happening on a departmental level. The CDA was also not a resource agency; it advised the Department and shaped Government to operate better.

Meeting report

Presentation of the National Development Agency (NDA) Annual Report 2011/2012
Ms Vuyelwa Nhlapo, NDA Chief Executive Officer, outlined that the NDA was mandated to contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes by granting funds to civil society organisations (CSOs). The presentation focused on measuring the NDA’s delivery against its strategic objectives:
▪ capacity needs of CSOs,
▪ CSOs involved in NDA targeted sectors,
▪ development orientated research and policy analysis,
▪ monitoring and evaluation of NDA funded projects,
▪ CSO participation in national and international forums,
▪ resource mobilisation strategy approved and implemented,
▪ strategic engagements with key stakeholders,
▪ organisational capacity strengthened and organisational systems,
▪ processes reviewed and improved.

Their strategic goals were met with many achievements:


- Capacity needs of 146 funded projects were assessed.
- Capacity programmes designed and implemented as per the recommendations of capacity assessment reports in line with the target
- 400 volunteers capacitated to support the identified Early Childhood Development projects against an annual target of 200
- 199 CSOs capacity enhanced against an annual target of 40
- 47 volunteer opportunities created in CSOs supporting vulnerable groups against a target of 10.

- 2 079 employment opportunities created against a target of 800

 


- Received a best practice report on ECD capacity building developed for Masikhule ECD centre
- Received a best practice report produced for Super Grand Agric Feed Mill Cooperative

- Facilitated 14 engagements between CSOs and government on poverty eradication and development against a target of 4.

 

 


Their main deviations were:
- 150 members of CSOs supporting vulnerable groups not trained as planned due to project late approval.

- 3 CSO networks supported against a target of 5 as networks planned for support did not complete current funding activities
- R11,7 million raised in cash against an annual target of R200 million.



The financial performance for the year, the process for implementing and verifying the audit turnaround strategy, the significant audit findings, and progress achieved in addressing significant findings to date were discussed (see document).

Discussion
Mr S Waters (DA) referred to slide 20 where the NDA said that they had failed to raise their targeted amount of R200 million. He asked how they decided on that figure, why they did not reach that target and what impact it had on their operations.

Ms Nhlapo replied that the Board had told them to set a high target. Unfortunately, the target they had set for themselves was very unrealistic as R200 million was more than what the NDA received from Government. She added that due to the current economic situation, they had lost a substantial amount of donor funding.

Mr Waters referred to the Auditor General (AG) raising the issue of a lack of capacity to develop user account management policies and procedures to regulate access to financial statements. The AG had also said that the NDA’s management did not implement an Information Technology (IT) Government Framework. Mr Waters asked why the NDA had not done that.

Mr Phumlani Zwane, NDA Chief Financial Officer, responded that the main reason for the IT governance framework and management policies not being reviewed and approved on time was because a system revamp project was coming in the current financial year, therefore the process took longer than anticipated. At the end of the financial year, the IT documents were already approved by the Audit Committee; they merely had to be approved by the Board. They were subsequently approved in April, which fell outside of the financial year.

Mr Waters wanted the NDA to explain why they had not been paying vendors within 30 days, how many vendors that affected and what they were doing to rectify that problem.

Mr Zwane replied that the NDA paid at least 90% of its vendors within 30 days. The small amount of invoices which were not paid on time, were largely problem invoices where documentation was incomplete, or where there were disagreements over the amount. Due to the low level of accounting skills in the NDA’s system and of vendors, some invoices would be inaccurate. He assured the Committee that the NDA were dealing with that problem.

Mr Waters asked why the NDA had only aligned themselves with the Treasury regulations now, what had taken them so long and why had they not been aligned with the Treasury regulations from the beginning.

Ms Nhlapo replied that they underestimated the growth of the NDA therefore they did not feel the need to be aligned. She admitted that they were mistaken. They had learnt the hard way because it had led to an increase in irregular expenditure. Since being aligned, the Auditor General had found a significant improvement in comparison to the previous audit.

Mr Waters referred to the employment opportunities on page 12 and asked what they were.

Ms Nhlapo replied that they focused on four areas; income generation projects, early childhood development, food security and capacity building. Income generation projects had three sub divisions which generated income opportunities. The employment target was 800, but from the three sub divisions, the NDA achieved over and above that.

Mr Waters referred to the expenditure of the NDA. He pointed out that for every R2 given to the NDA, R1 was spent on salaries. This meant that only half of the money allocated to the NDA was going towards projects. The cost of running the NDA made it an inefficient and ineffective organisation.

Ms Nhlapo responded that previously 45% were mandate costs and 55% were administration costs. There was a slow improvement but the NDA was improving in terms of a bigger percentage of their budget going on mandate costs and less on administration costs. 60% of the NDA’s budget was now going towards mandate costs as opposed to administration costs.

Ms N Maluleka (ANC) asked why Human Resources policies were not approved by the Board as that delayed the implementation of those policies.

Ms Nhlapo replied that the NDA had a rule that their policies, including Human Resource policies, needed to be reviewed every two years. Ms Nhlapo explained that they did have policies in place, but all those policies had to be reviewed. These policies had to be approved by the board, but management only took the policies to the Board in April instead of by the end of March. The policies had been approved since then.

Ms Maluleka referred to a new NDA project audit not being finalised due to budget constraints. She asked why it was not budgeted for if it was in the NDA’s annual plan.

Ms Nhlapo admitted that that was one area where they identified an internal weakness. It was bad planning on their part for tabling it in the strategic plan but failing to execute it due to lack of funds. She assured the Committee that the NDA had learnt from that mistake.

Ms Maluleka congratulated the NDA on its many over-achievements of targets, but asked whether it would affect the budget for the following year.

Ms Nhlapo responded that over achievements of the NDA did not affect the budget.

Ms M V Mafolo (ANC) requested that the NDA provide the Committee with the list of names and provinces of the civil society organisations (CSO) which participated in the studies indicated in the presentation.

Ms Nhlapo assured the Committee that the names and provinces of the CSO would be emailed to the Committee Secretary later that day.

Ms F Khumalo (ANC) asked in which provinces the above mentioned job opportunities had been created.

Ms Nhlapo said that the NDA would submit the list of provinces in which jobs were created to the Committee’s Secretary.

Ms Khumalo asked why the Board’s performance assessment was not achieved. She inquired about the monitoring process of partnerships formed by the NDA.

Ms Nhlapo replied that it was due to a delay in the planning process for the board assessment. It fell outside of the reporting time as the financial year ended 31 March. This was an area that was also resolved in April.

Ms Nhlapo added that all partnerships formed by the NDA were monitored according to their normal monitoring processes. They had development managers in each province. Those development managers were doing the monitoring of the implementation of various projects in the provinces. In addition, they had a stakeholder management at head office which monitored whether all the Memoranda of Understanding and of Agreement signed by the NDA were being implemented. She pointed out that those processes were working very well.

The Deputy Minister of Social Development Department, Ms
Bongi Maria Ntuli, said that the NDA was mandated with the huge task of contributing towards the eradication of poverty and its causes. She expressed her satisfaction that the NDA was achieving its mandate. Most civil society organisations in rural areas needed to be trained, funded and assisted. The NDA was doing that, as well as transforming those organisations from projects to enterprises. An example of that was their food security project, which was now a huge agricultural development project – they were even supplying Pick n Pay. She felt that even though the NDA had its shortcomings, it was improving year after year and should be applauded.

Central Drug Authority (CDA) Annual Report 2010/11
Mr David Bayever, CDA
Deputy Chairperson, explained that the role of the CDA was to give effect to the National Drug Master Plan, advise the Minister on any matter affecting the abuse of drugs, promote measures relating to the prevention and combating of alcohol and the treatment of persons dependant on alcohol and drugs. The CDA reviewed the National Drug Master Plan every five years and submitted it to Cabinet for approval. The CDA reported annually to Parliament on progress made in combating substance abuse. They arranged conferences on combating substance abuse in South Africa. They currently oversaw and monitored the activities of 16 national departments and entities. They also ensured effective liaison with the provincial Substance Abuse Forums and the Local Drug Action Committees.

Mr Bayever explained the trends in primary substance abuse and trafficking. He provided a Global Drug Report, looking at regional drug abuse and national drug abuse. Achievements of CDA key integrated strategies were noted in supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction. Also discussed were the link between drugs and corruption, CDA projects, CDA achievements, the Draft National Drug Master Plan 2012-2016, community surveys and the Annual Report.

The achievements included:
- X-ray scanners were introduced to search all parcels and packages in prisons
- Snap shot surveys conducted in all nine provinces
- Life orientation curriculum incorporated substance abuse for grade 12
- School Safety programme
- Referred clients to rehabilitation centres and provided them with a reintegration programme
- 238 drug action committees established
- A hotline on substance abuse was created.

Discussion
Mr Waters referred to slide 57 that listed the government entities from which CDA had not received annual reports. He expressed his concern and dissatisfaction that the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) had not submitted their report on time. International Relations was also of concern for not submitting its report. Mr Waters asked why the CDA’s Annual Reports were late and where the current year’s Annual Report was.

Mr Waters (only re-elected to the Committee in February 2012) asked if the Committee had dealt with the National Development Plan (NDP) the previous year and if it was approved by Parliament. If it had not been approved, Mr Waters asked which plan the Committee was currently working with.

Mr Waters pointed out that the term of office for the current CDA Board had expired, but was extended six months. A new Board had not yet been appointed. He asked what the current situation was and if there was a vacuum.

Mr Bayever replied that the CDA was currently in a vacuum and that their term of office had been extended for a second time. They were awaiting the appointment of the new CDA Board by the Department of Social Development and the Minister. The existing CDA Board had written to the Minister saying they were still prepared to act in their capacity.

Mr Zane Dangor, Advisor to the Minister, Department of Social Development, added that Parliament was finalising the list for the new Board. Interviews for representatives of the Department would take place on the 7 and 8 November. Nominees would be from Parliament and from the Department.

Mr Waters referred to Page 37 dealing with incorporating substance abuse in the life orientation curriculum of Grade 12s. He observed the figures in the presentation that highlighted the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in Grade 6. He asked why only Grade 12s were being focused on. He inquired about the CDA’s engagement with the Department of Basic Education and asked when younger grades would have that in their curriculum.

Mr Bayever agreed that substance abuse was starting at a much younger age and that programs should start at a primary and pre-school level. He said that the CDA was dependant on the Department of Basic Education and regularly implored them to deal with that issue on an on-going basis. SAPS also ran programs within schools at all levels.

Mr Waters remarked that the facts about drugs coming into South Africa on pages 27 and 28 were horrific. He noted that the South African Police Service (SAPS) had done away with the Narcotics Unit, which destroyed expertise at South Africa’s ports. He asked CDA to give an indication of SAPS strength at border posts, airports and sea ports. He suggested that SAPS be invited to explain how it intended to combat the drug problem.

Mr Bayever responded that a new scanner had been put in place in Durban which could identify drugs even in containers. That was done at a huge expense and was difficult to replicate in all harbours and ports. He pointed out that the problem was beyond ports and harbours, as the whole coastline was a port of entry.

Mr Dangor added that it would be useful for SAPS and SARS to give a joint presentation to the Committee because they had only dealt with them independently and the information they gave was very significant.

Mr Waters asked if the CDA had thought of grading drugs in terms of their harmfulness.

Mr Bayever replied that all drugs which had the potential to do harm should be graded as potentially harmful or as a harmful drug to human society. If drugs were to be graded, then people may ask that the ‘softer’ drugs be decriminalised. Mr Bayever felt that all drugs should be treated in the same way because they harmed the moral fibre of society.

Mr Waters stated that drug rehabilitation centres had to be registered. Mr Cooper, a previous CDA Board member, ran a rehabilitation centre on the South Coast which was unregistered. Mr Waters requested some background on that as it undermined the Board’s authority when the Board itself did not adhere to the law.

Ms M Mafolo (ANC) asked whether the CDA funded the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) regarding drug campaigns. If that was the case, did the CDA continue to give them funds despite the non-submission of reports by the NYDA.

Mr Bayever replied that no funding was made to NYDA from CDA.

Ms Maluleka expressed her concern about the NYDA and wanted the reasons behind NYDA not attending meetings, as they were a key stakeholder. She asked what the targets were of the education workshops held in various provinces. She expressed her dissatisfaction that Limpopo was excluded from those workshops as alcohol abuse was extremely prominent there.

Ms Mafolo expressed her embarrassment at the irregular attendance of board members at CDA board meetings. She asked if there was a policy which removed members from the Board if they failed to attend a prescribed number of meetings. She asked if lack of attendance was reported to the Minister and Deputy Minister, and what they were doing about that problem.

Mr Bayever replied that departments like the NYDA had been identified by Parliament as being the constituent members of the CDA. The NYDA was appointed by Parliament, not by the CDA. The CDA reported on a general basis to the Minister through the Ministerial Committee, and to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. The CDA was dependant on corrective measures being taken at that level. One of the reasons the CDA had asked for a Ministerial Committee to be formed was because CDA recognised that its function was being hampered by people not being present. The CDA had tried to appeal to departments to send members to attend meetings who would report on a regular basis. The CDA ran workshops within the different departments, giving them an idea of what was required of them to report on in order for the CDA’s reporting to be more effective. This was met with little success and cooperation. The CDA therefore reported those departments to Parliament. The departments did not release their reports until their Ministers had signed the reports off. He added that the National Drug Master Plan had been prepared and consulted, the CDA was just waiting for it to be signed off. It then had to be submitted to Parliament for acceptance.

Mr Waters asked who was supposed to sign off the National Drug Master Plan and who was responsible for submitting it to Parliament?

Ms Mafolo asked why the paper on cannabis was not published as mentioned in its report.

Mr Bayever replied that the author of that paper had passed away, so the paper had been put back as a recommendation for the CDA to look at again.

The Chairperson asked if rehabilitation centres were monitored because some of them were not safe. She also expressed her disappointment about reports not being submitted.

Mr Bayever replied that rehabilitation centres were not approved by the CDA and that the monitoring of those centres was the responsibility of the Department of Social Development.

Mr Dangor remarked that “a lot had moved faster” since the establishment of the Ministerial Committee dealing with alcohol and substance abuse. The drug problem experienced in South Africa was enormous but was not unique. Requisite resources should be looked at to address the problem. The CDA had a very small budget but the Department had to take it upon itself to make the CDA the kind of institution which lent itself to the problem at hand, because requesting other departments to collaborate was evidently not working.

Mr Dangor acknowledged that due to the late report, some issues such as treatment had not been dealt with. Treatment needed to be emphasised as an enormous number of young people were presenting themselves for treatment and it was very expensive. A significant approach was needed in dealing with harm reduction and management of treatment centres.

Mr Dangor concluded that internationally, the criminal justice approach to the war on drugs had not been successful. He suggested that best practice abroad should be looked at. For example, Portugal had categorised drug abuse under Health and Social Services. This resulted in an enormous decline in drug abuse. CDA was trying its best but it did not have the capacity or standing to do what needed to be done.

The Chairperson pointed out that the achievement of targets was not clearly illustrated in the CDA’s presentation.

The Chairperson and Ms Malukela suggested that churches, teachers and traditional leaders become involved in order to address the problem of drug abuse. They were also of the opinion that casinos not be given liquor licenses if they were situated close to schools.

Mr Bayever replied that that issue, among others, was dealt with in CDA’s 2011/12 report. He said that the Department of Health dealt with liquor licensing and that the CDA had worked with the Ministers to help raise awareness among them regarding that issue.

Mr Dangor added that the CDA was not an implementing agency. The CDA focused on improving what was happening on a departmental level. The CDA was also not a resource agency; it advised the Department and shaped Government to operate better. He concluded that the CDA was presenting information as best as it could, but that they were small players in a much bigger campaign against alcohol and drug abuse.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.

Apologies were received by Ms E More (DA), Ms H N Makhuba (IFP) and Ms Y R Botha (ANC)

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