The Committee firstly heard from the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities that the Fluxmans' Report on the investigation into the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (the Department) was completed. Matters at the Department were investigated as a result, partially, or irregularities in salaries, extra remuneration and other issues uncovered during an audit. A number of employees were implicated and disciplinary action was taken. The former Chief Financial Officer had resigned in June 2012. The former Director General was transferred, as was another official, and others had been dismissed after their disciplinary hearings. There was a full investigation into the running of the Department and new systems had been implemented, and a turnaround strategy implemented, to correct the situation. The posts for a new Chief Financial Officer and Director General had been filled. Other posts were being advertised to strengthen the Department. Members questioned how much the report cost, asked if there was any allegation that people were unfairly dismissed, or had challenged the disciplinary action, noted that the Committee still wanted to call some of the former officials in, questioned who was in authority over them at the time, but resolved that since their matters were still being investigated by the Public Service Committee, the Committee would await its report.
The Department delivered its strategic and annual plan, noting that the vision and plans for 2013 had been tweaked, and that a new plan would be drawn for the next five years, starting from the next year. The main thrust of the work involved investigations into inequality, poverty eradication and health, HIV and Aids, unemployment and Gender Based Violence (GBV). The Department aimed to empower women, particularly through the new legislation. It sought at least 50% representation of women. One o the main challenges was that its budget, at under R1 billion, was small in comparison to the mandate, particularly when the amounts for the Commission on Gender Equality were subtracted. There was as yet no separate budget for the Council on GBV, although its structure and governance were being reconsidered, but it presently sat under Programme 1. Members asked why it was placed there but heard that anything with cross-cutting implications was included under that programme. They asked about the time frames for the legislation, and expressed concern whether the Department, which already had a number of vacancies, would be able to handle the work and fund the activities. Members questioned the wording of some goals on reporting of GBV cases, and asked why there was decreased investment in the Children’s Rights Programme. They were concerned what the Department had done to promote access to education for all, particularly the disabled, and arrangements to transport disabled children to schools. They hoped the question of pay scales had been sorted out and that discrepancies would not recur. They called for proof that irregularities were being sorted out, and asked for certain indicators and reports to be included in future reports. Members also said that the Department needed to highlight success stories. Members asked whether the audit on special schools was finished, wanted details on donations, and suggested that the Committee should invite other departments to present on their achievements and efforts. The Department was asked to increase the monitoring on businesses set up by women.
Fluxmans' Report on findings within the Department: Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities briefing
Ms Lulu Xingwana, Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, briefed the Committee the Fluxmans' Report, which had been tabled through the Speaker of Parliament at the beginning of the year. She said that she was going to focus mainly on the findings of the report. It had looked at the position with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (the Department or DWCPD), and had found gross negligence in respect of execution of duties, issues of overtime and funding issues where discipline had to be enforced. A number of employees were implicated and the recommendation was that disciplinary action had to be taken against them. Those officials had been suspended in September 2012. Ms Bahumi Matebesi, former Chief Financial Officer, had resigned in June 2012 and the former Director General was given a transfer, at her request in September 2012. Another official, Ms Mahobani also had asked for and was given a transfer in May/June 2012. The rest of the officials went through the disciplinary hearings, which were chaired by an external official.
All those brought to disciplinary hearings were found guilty and all of them were subsequently dismissed, at different times from October 2012. Mr Nxele, a DWCPD driver, had a criminal record but the dismissal was as a result of findings in the Auditor-General (AG) report. Ms Bhengu had undeclared external remuneration, also found by the AG.
The Minister noted that there had been an investigation into how the DWCPD was run, and new systems had been implemented that would ensure that this negligence would not recur. Posts for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Director General (DG) had been advertised, and filled, as well as others that the Director General would speak to. The new Director General, Ms Veliswa Baduza, would speak to the DWCPD turnaround strategy and AG’s recommendations to ensure proper management in finance and supply chain.
Ms Veliswa Baduza, Director General, DWCPD, noted that the recruitment process was aimed at strengthening the Department. There had been finalization of appointments for the Deputy Director in Supply Chain management, and Deputy Director for Monitoring and Evaluation in the DWCPD. Internal controls were strengthened by appointing a Risk Manager and Director in the Risk Assessment unit and additionally a Director in the Internal Audit unit. Those appointments would assist the DWCPD with issues of governance in terms of risk management. The CFO would help the DWCPD to put the proper systems in place and ensure that it was compliant with all the relevant regulations in the areas of financial and supply chain management. She was confident that DWCPD had started turning around the situation
Ms H Lamoela (DA) said that the report was very serious, but a number of questions needed to be addressed. She asked whether all officials in the Fluxman report resigned at the same time.
Ms Lamoela asked to whom those officials were supposed to report.
Ms Lamoela asked if there was any suspicion that any officials had been unfairly dismissed and asked if any officials were recalled after being expelled, without any charges or hearing.
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) wanted to know about the whereabouts of former DG, Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize, as she had been implicated at the initial stages of the corruption allegations.
Ms van der Merwe asked if any action was being taken on the dismissed officials.
Ms van der Merwe asked how much the Fluxmans' Report had cost, and whether this as under the amount of R500 000, which would have required a tender.
Ms van der Merwe noted that the Fluxmans' Report mentioned contested appointments, and asked what would be done about those.
Ms Xingwana replied that the officials had resigned at different times. The former Chief Financial Officer had resigned in June 2012, in the middle of the audit process, and the Minister had appealed to National Treasury (NT) to assist the Department, since the former CFO approached the Bargaining Council and said she had been forced out. Most officials had been transferred to other posts.
Some of the dismissed officials were reporting to the DG or the Chief Directors of their sectors, and many had reported to people who were also dismissed at the same time. Any of those dismissed officials could seek assistance from other institutions, as was their democratic right, and should this be done, the DWCPD would comply with any investigation. She was not aware of anyone who had been dismissed and then recalled, as the process had been fair.
Ms Xingwana recalled that there were legal charges against the former CFO and Ms Bhengu, who had sources of other remuneration outside the DWCPD without authorisation, though DWCPD was still seeking legal advice on those issues.
The Minister noted that the total amount paid for the Fluxmans' Report had not been more than R500 000.
Ms Lamoela asked if there was any specific reason that Fluxmans Attorneys was used for the investigation.
Ms Xingwana said that Fluxmans was appointed to deal with the charges as efficiently and as fast as possible, since the DWCPD legal team had been understaffed and overworked.
Ms Lamoela asked if there would be any recourse sought on the part of the DWCPD, and, should any action be taken successfully against the DWCPD, she wondered how it would compensate the officials who were dismissed and from what source.
The Minister noted that she was only too well aware that the State was often criticised for slow processing of corruption cases, while the respondents to those charges were being paid their full salaries whilst suspended, and that also affected the departments who could not employ other individuals to execute their duties during the investigations. The DWCPD had been more concerned with efficiency and fast forwarding the process of prosecuting corruption cases, and hoped the Committee would support that. She believed that much taxpayer money had been saved, by appointing Fluxman, and getting the officials dismissed, as they had not been qualified to do the jobs, and yet were earning high salaries with overtime payments of more than 30%, which was not allowed in the public service.
The Chairperson said that she was grateful to hear that all those dismissed officials had been reporting to the former DG.
The Chairperson noted that the onus was on the Committee to chart a way forward regarding the individual accountable for all the maladministration that took place. The DWCPD had fulfilled its mandate by ridding itself of corrupt officials. She hoped that in future the DWCPD would make sure its officials were aware of all regulations and policies, and fully complied, to avoid a repeat of the past situation.
Ms Lamoela said that the DA was never in favour of corrupt officials, but she was not asking the questions from that stance, but simply as a concerned Member of the Committee.
Ms M Tlake (ANC) said that the Fluxman report was critical. Listening to the Minister it had become obvious that there was a lot of corruption in the DWCPD, and that the decision to investigate and bring to book those officials was correct. The report showed that supply chain and procurement issues were not complied with, and so she was very much in support of the report.
Ms Tlake pointed out that the Public Service Commission (PSC) was the custodian of all state departments. She suggested that the Committee wait for the PSC’s report, which should give more direction, before the Committee took further action.
The Minister said that indeed she had sent the Fluxmans and AG reports, and all other relevant documentation, to the PSC, but noted that some of the officials implicated were no longer under the DWCPD jurisdiction.
Department of Women Children and People with Disabilities Strategic Plan 2013
Ms Baduza reminded Members that the DWCPD had embarked upon a turnaround strategy, where the strategic plan of the DWCPD had to be revised. DPWCD was also in the last year of the current term of office, and was looking at developing a strategic plan for the next five years. The revised plan, on which the DWCPD had received advice from the AG, now took account of the national priorities of the Government, as well as the National Development Plan (NDP). The plan she would table would apply for this year (2013) but thereafter would need revisions for the next five-year cycle.
DWCPD had identified that they would be looking at the rights of people with disabilities, children and women, in terms of inequality, poverty eradication and health including HIV and Aids, unemployment and Gender Based Violence (GBV). Empowerment would be another key pillar of its delivery. Lack of opportunity in the economy was another focal area, and the DWCPD would ensure that it promoted and facilitated, in collaboration with stakeholders and partners, the creation of economic opportunities. Under-development in education, which responded to outcome 1 of the twelve government outcomes, was known to affect mainly women.
Under-representation of woman across all sectors was something that the State noted and it had impressed upon all departments that representation of 50% was needed, despite the fact that women actually counted for 52% of the population.
The DWCPD was guided by a range of legislative frameworks at national, continental and at global levels, and must report to the appropriate structures.
Ms Baduza then took Members through the attached document (please see slides for more detail). The DWCPD acted for the benefit of those mentioned in its title. The vision had been revised (see attached document) to reflect a more positive wording.
The DWCPD had to ensure that it had proper governance structures and proper internal controls, so that it could eliminate any corruption within the organisation.
She noted that the budget was under .R1 billion, but the mandate was large, requiring the Department to deliver on the mandate at national, regional and international level for the year 2013/14 and noted that she would be seeking support from the Committee to lobby for an increase in their allocation. The funding for the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) was channelled through the DWCPD, but its amount of R63.7 million was not actually spent by the DWCPD.
She then set out the budget by programme. Programme 1: Administration was not limited to administration alone but covered the Ministry, research, intersectoral and international relations, in response to global agendas.
There was no separate allocation for the National Council on Gender Based Violence (GBV), but it was housed in the Office of the Director General and its Secretariat was therefore funded under this Programme. The National Council on Aids that formerly resided within the Department of Health was now independent, and the Department intended to ask that the Council on GBV follow a similar route.
She highlighted that under Programme 3: Children’s Rights and Responsibilities (CRR), the Department needed to ask also for additional allocations.
Programme 4: Rights of People with Disabilities had been delayed in terms of making national policy, but the Department was now aiming to develop a policy that would be informed by all the stakeholders and then would present it for consideration and approval.
The Chairperson asked why the GBV issues fell under Administration, rather than under the programme for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE), and expressed concern as to where the money would be sourced.
Ms van der Merwe said that the Committee had earlier expressed their reservations about how the GBV Council would be run. If it was being promoted as the answer to GBV, then funds must be allocated to help it move forward. She asked when DWCPD was planning to approach NT, and how it would include other stakeholders in certain provinces that had not been part of the Multiparty Caucus Workshop for GBV. She asked also if the structure of the National Council had been put together and if there was an intention to include all NGOs in the different provinces.
Ms van der Merwe wanted to know what the timeframes were for finalization of the Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) Bill.
Ms van der Merwe asked how the Department would address the concerns around a second round of victimisation for GBV sufferers, when they were trying to access justice at police stations, a point that had been raised at the Multiparty Caucus Workshop.
Ms van der Merwe asked how the Department was to facilitate access to economic and employment opportunities for women with disabilities.
Ms Lamoela noted that there were already vacancies at DWCPD, and asked how then it could assist the National Council on GBV without those people in place. She was also concerned about the budget.
Ms Lamoela asked about the outcomes from the Minister’s performance assessment, based on the agreements signed by the Minister.
Ms Lamoela asked which of the vacant posts were prioritised for 2013/14. She asked what would be done about the contested appointments noted under the findings of the Fluxman report.
Ms C Diemu (COPE) asked how the Strategic Plan took into account the States’ five year National Priorities and how the DWCPD plan responded to the twelve National Outcomes of the Government.
Ms Diemu asked for the activities for the National Council on GBV so far, and also echoed questions on its budget.
Ms S Paulse (ID) said that ‘reported incidents of GBV reduced’ was a problematic goal, and she would have preferred to see it expressed as to increase the country’s conviction rate in cases of GBV and violence against people with disabilities.
Ms M Nxumalo (ANC) asked what campaign initiatives or programmes the DWCPD had planned on the promotion of access to education for all children, especially those with disabilities.
Ms Tlake also wanted clarity about the National Council being under the Administration Programme, and asked also about the Deputy President’s involvement in the Council. She asked what its objectives were when it was established, and reiterated another Member’s concerns as to whether there were staff to deal with it, given the vacancies and the several other tasks of Programme 1.
Ms Tlake asked the reason for the decreased investment in the children’s rights programme.
Ms Lamoela said that she remembered that the Committee had been told, in the past, that some of the staff were on pay scales higher than those correctly prescribed by the Public Service Act. Now that there was a need for new staff appointments, she wondered if the pay scales and brackets had been rectified, and what the impact would be on the budget. A large portion of the budget still was put to administration.
Ms van der Merwe wanted to know whether the Department’s travel allowances were factored into the budget for the year, noting that the last trip undertaken by the Minister to report to the UN cost over R1 million.
The Chairperson said that she would have liked to see proof that the Department was addressing some of the concerns which had been raised by the AG, especially those of supply chain and record management. She had concerns about the R 6 million under “Strategic Objectives of Administration” and wondered under what sub-programmes it would fall.
Ms Xingwana replied that the National Council was under the administration programme, and the DG’s Office, because it was referring to violence against “women, children and people with disabilities”, which took it outside the ambit of the WEGE Programme. It was, however, a cross-cutting responsibility, and because it was a priority, it was thought that it was preferable to have reports made to the DG rather than the Deputy Director General.
She noted that the Council on GBV was launched after budget allocations had been made and the DWCPD had decided to move funding from other programmes to run the National Council and the campaign against GBV, given its cross-cutting nature. The Council would drive the 365 day campaign. The Department was preparing a business case to prioritise GBV, and was hoping that during the mid-term Budgetary Review in August, it would succeed in getting an allocation to assist in running the Council and campaigning against GBV. The Department was seeking funding also from international donors such as UN Women with whom it had partnered on the Orange Day Campaign. The Department was saying that every 25th day of the month must be a day of no violence against women and children. On those days, there were seminars, talks and dialogues on the rights of women and the Domestic Violence Act. It was seeking men to commit to saying that they would “not in our name” take part in GBV.
The Deputy President was the patron for the Council in running dialogues to say that real men would not abuse, but respect women. He had participated in International Men’s Day, where he had worked with men’s organisations like Brothers for Life and Sonke Gender Justice, and was also guiding and speaking to young boys so they would speak out against abuse and GBV. The Department had met with Lead SA, and South African Football Association (SAFA), who were committed to joining the campaign and would use their resources, together with the Minister of Sport, to popularise the campaign against GBV. UN Women was on board and the Department was still talking to UNICEF, UNFPA and Defeat, an international development aid organisation from the United Kingdom, and other countries who had committed to funding the Council.
She noted that the staffing for the National Council against GBV was still being discussed and would soon be finalised. There was a Chief Director, and it was hoping to advertise soon for posts, with a priority on getting a Chief Executive Officer. She reiterated that the South African National Council on HIV and AIDS (SANAC) was chaired by the Deputy President, and had formerly received funding through the Department of Health, and that had been the model adopted with the Council on GBV. She confirmed that the NGOs from provinces that had not been involved in setting the Council up would be involved when the envisaged provincial Councils against GBV were set up in the future. The Eastern Cape and Gauteng had already started work on provincial Councils against GBV.
The Minister told Members that the WEGE Bill was still being finalized, after the public comments process had been completed. It had still to be processed through National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), but once that was done it would be taken to Cabinet and brought to Parliament.
She noted, in respect of other legislation, that DWCPD was working with the SAPS Ministry and was aware that there was a new curriculum to educate the South African Police Service (SAPS) on the relevant legislation, like the Sexual Offences Act and Domestic Violence Act. The Department had given input to ensure that complaints from women countrywide were considered, when the police, prosecutors and magistrates went through the Justice College training. That would hopefully address the second stage of victimisation that women were suffering in accessing justice after GBV crimes had been committed against them.
The Minister confirmed that there were quite a number of economic opportunities that had been opened up for women. DWCPD had been working with rural women and various Departments including dti, Department of Economic Development, and Rural Development, to ensure that state entities such as Small Enterprise Development Agency, Industrial Development Corporation and Independent Development Trust were accessible to women and people with disabilities. The Department had worked with some of these partners to organise women into cooperatives and encourage them to set their own small enterprises, and some had received funding. The Minister would be traveling on the next day to Eastern Cape, where the Department of Rural Development had funded a large project training 150 women to sew traditional wear, with the hope that they would be able to start their own businesses. The Premier of Eastern Cape had set aside funding to open up a factory for those women. The Minister of Rural Development had given a commitment that the facilitator of that training programme would travel from place to place, training other women, and providing them with machinery after completing the training.
She added that Mrs Matibela from Limpopo was working on studies with Wits on the moringa tree, which was found to have antioxidant properties, and tablets produced from that tree were effective for high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Mrs Matibela was now exporting the capsules abroad and had been travelling to showcase her work. DWCPD was going to India the following week, and would be accompanied by women, including both projects, and another women from KwaZulu Natal (KZN) who was growing potatoes and had a contract from the Simba Chips. She had been promised funding by the Japanese.
Mazondi from KZN was supported by Rural Development to train women countrywide to weave Zulu baskets and to set up their own small cooperatives. There were ready markets in the United Kingdom and the USA and she suggested that these women should be invited to exhibit, and perhaps sell, their wares in Parliament.
The Minister said that the President’s Performance Assessment of the Minister had not been done yet, as there was quite a long queue.
In relation to questions about contested appointments, she said that she was not aware of any. The dismissed officials were now removed from PERSAL, hence their positions were able to be advertised. The law would stipulate what they must do if they wanted to contest the findings, but as matters stood, they were dismissed and their posts were being advertised.
In relation to salaries and grades, the Minister said these were determined by job description – for instance, a certain level applied to a Chief Director.
Ms Tlake noted that the DWCPD had many projects with women but asked why they were not showcased, because it seemed that the Department was not achieving enough.
The Chairperson said the Committee had expressed concern that DWCPD did not report on its activities unless asked, and told the Department that it did not have to be invited, but could request a date to come and report.
Ms Baduza noted that point. She said that the prioritized posts were that of the CFO, who would join officially on 13 May, whilst she had been appointed on 15 April. The Department had also appointed directors in risk management and internal auditing, Deputy Directors in supply chain management and monitoring and evaluation. It had advertised for a Chief Director in the advocacy and mainstreaming, and for the rights of people with disabilities programme. The same applied to human resource development and communications. It was seeking directors for human resource development and strategic planning. They had also advertised for a Deputy Director in Communications.
She noted that the intersectoral coordination and international relations, together with research and policy development performance areas, were still currently located within the Administration Programme, but their work actually related to the core mandate of the DWCPD. The projects questioned under Programme 1 were all placed there because they met the core function of the Department.
Ms Baduza explained the reduction in funding for the other programmes, especially for the Children’s Rights and Responsibilities Programme, as due to the fact that DWCPD had to reprioritise its budget when it received a lesser allocation from NT. It had to augment the shortfall in Compensation of Employees, and in Office Accommodation, to meet rental and audit fees. In all the programmes, the Goods and Services budget was cut to meet shortfalls in other areas.
Ms Baduza explained that, every year, the Department held Child Protection Week, which promoted issues that became barriers for children to access education. This Department, with the WEGE programme, was promoting the sanitary dignity campaign. It had also been partnering with the Department of Basic Education on Access to Education for All Children campaign, focusing on full service schools within municipalities, which would amplify the special schools to ensure better mainstreaming of disabled children into those schools. Additionally, every July, it was working with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to promote issues around children, rotating provinces where the Children’s Parliament was held so that children could raise their issues directly with political leaders.
DWCPD had also launched the Universal Access Campaign, which was ensuring that those with disabilities had access to state facilities, and was working also with DBE to ensure that the inclusive education policy was realised, especially for children with disabilities. She pointed out that not only were the special schools needed for those with disabilities, but the mainstream schools had to be accessible for the disabled, with, for instance, classrooms being moved to the ground floor where necessary. Even tertiary institutions were being targeted. DWCPD was appealing to Committee Members to help them drive those campaigns, as some of the school heads were refusing access to disabled children. Awareness campaigns had to be taken to homes and communities, urging people not to “hide away” the disabled children, and to urge everyone to fight stigmatisation and marginalisation of the disabled children in accessing education.
Ms Baduza referred Members to the places in the presentation and Strategic Plan where the links with the NDP and the twelve Government Outcomes were shown. She said that the Department had a role of monitoring and doing advocacy. One of the monitoring projects prioritized related to education, which was singled out as a government priority. Others related to safety and security, or rural development, or women’s economic empowerment or health and poverty, so those fell under those respective outcomes.
Ms Lamoela said she had thought that line departments were to be incorporated into reaching goals and outcomes set, as she could not see the DWCPD doing that on its own. She asked if the Department would indeed achieve its set outcomes as set out in the strategic plan, and asked what time frames applied.
Ms Diemu raised a point of order, saying that this round of questions was supposed to allow for new questions, not reiterate points already raised.
Ms G Tseke (ANC) wanted to check whether the DWCPD had finalised the audit on Special Schools and what gaps had been identified.
Ms Tseke noted that Members, due to their work on other portfolio committees, were aware of other initiatives similar to the National Council on GBV, and the 365 Day campaign, which had failed due to lack of coordination, funding and capacity, and inadequate monitoring and evaluation. This explained why they were sceptical of whether the National Council would work, even though they supported it in principle, and were concerned about the funding.
Ms Tseke said that Government had achieved much, as attested to by proceedings on the previous day in the Committee on Economic Development, but agreed that this was not being shared with the public. One individual had so many wares from cooperatives that he could not exhibit them all but they were not in the public eye.
Ms Nxumalo suggested that there was a need to involve not only the DBE. She mentioned Foxlake, the only special school in the vicinity of Soweto, in Johannesburg South, but noted that it was quite far from Soweto and there was a need for the Department of Transport to get involved so that children in wheelchairs would be able to access the school. The public transport system did not even cater for adult disabled individuals, let alone the children. There was perhaps a need to consult with DBE, establish how many special schools there were, and liaise with Department of Transport also. The Committee might wish to do oversight on those schools.
Ms Diemu asked if the Deputy Minister had tendered an apology.
Ms Lamoela asked what the DWCPD was intending to do around the needs for transport for disabled people and if, for instance, it intended to arrange for subsidies. Payment by the disabled for transport was a challenge, and there was need also to cater for a carer who was assisting. Those were issues that hindered the disabled from truly being able to participate fully in society.
Ms Lamoela noted that the Minister had said previously that the Motsepe Foundation funded programmes but did not give money as a donation. She asked if there were any other private donors, and, if so, asked for details and amounts donated.
Ms Xingwana responded that it might be useful to prepare a separate presentation on donations, but most had been in kind. As far as she could remember, in 2012, the Department received about R1.4 million, mostly from the UN agencies, but she would include a full report in future. The Department had partnered with the Motsepe Foundation on the Gender Responsive Budgeting Project, and the Foundation had hired a specialist. It had also partnered with UN Women. The Department had prepared a review of what was happening in some departments, including Agriculture, Trade and Industry and Health, in terms of gender responsive budgeting. It was hoping to continue to also cover other departments.
Ms Xingwana confirmed that the Department was working on the audit of special schools and the report was being finalized and would be presented to the Committee shortly.
Ms Xingwana agreed that the funding of the National Council, and even the DWCPD, and the CGE, was a challenge. However, this was the same worldwide, as shown by her recent meeting with her counterpart from Nigerian. She was confident that, with the Committee’s support, the Department would manage to persuade National Treasury to increase the allocation.
The Minister said that she would try to speak to the economic achievements of the State, although this was not an issue on the set agenda. She had asked the Minister of Economic Development to disaggregate the number of jobs for women, young people and people with disabilities when reporting on job creation, but he was still not doing that. It would be helpful if the Committee could invite that Department and ensure that those issues were addressed.
She agreed that the DWCPD had to communicate more through the media, and she had alluded to her trip to the Eastern Cape to launch the project to train young and older women. The Department was concentrating on job creation, opportunity and fighting poverty.
The Minister said she would fully support the proposal that the Committee call the Departments of Transport and Basic Education, and others, to come and share what they were doing to accommodate the disabled citizens. Whilst her Department was consulting with Ministers, it would be more effective if more pressure was brought to bear from different angles.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and hoped that the Bill could be fast forwarded so that it could be implemented.
She noted the Committee’s appreciation for DWCPD partnering with other departments, especially the SAPS, since it had emerged at the Multiparty Woman’s Caucus workshop that police attitudes and actions when women were reporting sexual offence crimes needed attention. There was, in addition to the Council on GBV, a discussion about a plan, as recommended during hearings on domestic violence, to assist with GBV and the Council needed to look at programmes and services.
Ms Xingwana said the 365 days campaign was the DWCPD’s country plan and there was much that she could present. She was, in this session, attempting to focus on the Strategic Plan.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had engaged with Department of Transport but perhaps needed to follow up. It had raised with that Department the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
The Chairperson said the Committee felt that there was a need to intensify the monitoring of the small businesses that were being started up for women. On an oversight visit, Members had seen that officials were not aware of projects they themselves had established for women, had failed to follow up, and some projects were not sustainable.
The Committee was appreciative of the awareness campaigns that the Ministry was running for citizens with disabilities. Members were concerned that DWCPD should share the reports.
The Chairperson said that when she saw the Fluxman report she had noted that unqualified and inexperienced people were being paid, with taxpayers’ money, above their entitlement. She hoped none of this would be repeated and that proper policies would be put in place.
The Chairperson supported the idea that the Committee should continue to urge funding for the Department. The Department had a huge task to monitor other departments and when other departments were not toeing the line, the Committee must take steps.
The Chairperson repeated concerns about the strategic outcome to “reduce reported incidents of GBV” and wondered why it was worded in this way.
Ms Baduza replied that SAPS, every year, released statistics on crimes reported, which included GBV crimes. The Department would like to see the numbers of those crimes reduced.
The Chairperson cautioned that the reason for reduction was also that many cases were withdrawn. The outcomes could be deceptive, as in fact the incidence of the crime was not reducing.
Ms Baduza agreed that there could be a number of reasons why the reported cases were dropping, such as the conviction rate, or the fact that people were no longer reporting because they had become disillusioned with the justice system.
Members of the Department were excused at this point.
Committee deliberations on Fluxmans' Report
Ms Lamoela said that the Chairperson had mentioned that the Committee would decide what to do with the Fluxmans' Report. She believed the Committee must interrogate people mentioned, but wondered if this was possible when the cases were with the PSC. She did not want to accept responsibility, as a Member of the Committee, if matters were ignored. She noted that the person responsible for the Strategic Plan had left in March 2012, but she asked if that person, and two others, could be called to account by this Committee. She did not know if they were put on special leave, or dismissed. She noted that the Acting Director General was in charge when the members implicated were dismissed.
The Chairperson corrected Ms Lamoela, saying Dr Mkhize was holding office at that time.
Ms Lamoela wanted to know how Dr Mkhize, who was not present, could have allowed people working under her to keep on doing things the wrong way, without reprimanding them, but eventually dismiss them. This was not logical, but she had not wanted to get into a dispute with the Minister on responsibility.
The Chairperson said she did not dispute Ms Lamoela’s assertion. However, the Committee should not run parallel processes with the PSC, and this Committee had actually agreed to wait for the PSC report and then proceed. The Committee may well want to subpoena people, but did not want to reopen the matter now.
Ms Tlake said that Ms Lamoela seemed to have forgotten that she had agreed with her that there was a lot of corruption. However, she agreed with the Chairperson that there was nothing this Committee should do pending receipt of the report from the PSC.
Ms van der Merwe said that when the Minister came to the Committee in 2012, Members were told that the Department was taking legal action, but that was six or eight months ago, and the Minister was still now saying that the Department was seeking advice on how to recover the money. The Committee needed to monitor that, and if people were guilty of stealing money and being corrupt, the Committee must ensure that those people were brought to book.
Adoption of Committee Minutes
The minutes for 17 and 24 April were adopted, without amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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