The Commission for Gender Equality was able to obtain an unqualified audit opinion. There had been an increase in overall performance for the reporting period, and 74% of the predetermined objectives had been achieved with a remaining 26% with which the Commission struggled. The Department had four strategic objectives which sought to address and challenge all forms of gender oppression and inequality: Strategic Objective 1: Creating and Enabling Legislative Framework, Strategic Objective 2: Protecting and Promoting Gender Equality, Strategic Objective 3: Monitoring State Compliance to International Conventions, and Strategic Objective 4: Creating an Effective, Efficient, Visible and Sustainable Institution.
Overall achievements for 2012/13 was CGE was able to sustain an unqualified audit opinion, increase and/or achieved all service delivery related targets, launch the Commission’s Fraud Hotline Number, launch the Commission's Gender Complaints Toll - free number, it held Gender Transformation hearings, produced the KwaZulu - Natal (KZN) Ukuthwala and Child Marriages Survey Report, it held policy dialogues to ensure greater accessibility of the Commission's Research outputs and policy findings to policy makers in order to influence policy from a gender perspective. It translated the CGE mandate into five indigenous languages to ensure reach. Its financial report noted funding increased by 7% to R59.1 million in 2012/13 from a baseline of R55.1 million for 2011/12. Expenditure per programme was:
- Commissioner: Governance & support amounted to a grand total of R8.9 million;
- Corporate support services which amounted to a grand total of R22.9 million;
- Service Delivery Programme amounted to a grand total of R26.4 million
Personnel costs totalled R34.5 million, Administrative expenses increased from R12.5 million 2012/12 to R20.7 million in 2012/13; Other operating expenses was down from R2.5 million in 2012 to R2 million in 2013. Irregular expenditure which included corporate gifts, furniture purchases, pest control contracts and the printing of reports, amounted to R1.9 million.
Members asked why the Commission did not have any persons with disabilities in its employ, what measures it had put in place to deal with the safeguarding of assets. They asked the CGE how it worked in collaboration with other government entities and whether it planned to translate its mandate to the remaining six national languages. They asked if the Commission had initiated interventions promoting gender equality in the past year and how it ensured that closer collaboration was fostered with other Chapter 9 institutions and with non - governmental organisations (NGOs). With an overall vacancy rate of 22%, they asked if there was a plan to fill those positions. With expenditure management, they stated that Commission needed to ensure that it complied with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
Briefing by Commission for Gender Equality (CGE)
Mr Mfanozelwe Shozi, CGE Chairperson, thanked the Committee for allowing the Department to present. He apologised on behalf of the commissioners who were absent. The CGE was engaging with civil society organisations to discuss gender equality. It was imperative that gender based violence was thoroughly addressed by the Department and Committee. Both entities needed to push for 50/50 representation of party lists. He asked the CEO to present the CGE Annual Report for 2013.
Ms Keketso Maema, CGE Chief Executive Officer, said the Commission was able to obtain an unqualified audit opinion. There had been an increase in overall performance for the reporting period, and 74% of the predetermined objectives had been achieved with a remaining 26% where the Commission struggled. The Department had four strategic objectives which sought to address and challenge all forms of gender oppression and inequality:
Strategic Objective 1: Creating and Enabling Legislative Framework
Under this strategic objective, the Commission set out to monitor and evaluate policies and practices of the public and private sector. It finalised the National Employment Equity Report and held Provincial Employment Equity (EE) hearings. It administered the gender barometer tool to specific provincial departments and assessed progress on gender mainstreaming. It reviewed and analysed 13 pieces of proposed legislation from a gender perspective and assessed the implementation of the 365 Days National Action Plan and the Victims Charter.
It drafted five policy briefs on previous reports on:
- Land Study which revealed the lack of institutional arrangements to promote gender equality and the restriction of effective participation of rural people and consequently women due to high land prices.
- Widowhood which revealed a number issues that requires the attention of policy makers both in the public and the private sector.
- Water Study which revealed that there was a general failure by the Water Sector to prioritise gender mainstreaming, in particular a widespread lack of understanding or knowledge of relevant gender policy and legislation at local government level.
- Education report which revealed that in spite of the 1996 Gender Equity Task Team (GETT) recommendations, Acts and Policies aimed at eliminating gender discrimination in the education system, indications were clear that the country was falling short of this realisation; and
- Private Sector which revealed that gender equality remained largely a low priority in the private sector and there was a need to consider introducing an incentive scheme similar to the BEE.
Strategic Objective 2: Protecting and Promoting Gender Equality
The Commission investigated complaints of gender discrimination, with 985 complaints for the current financial year, inclusive of telephonic and walk - in consultations. This represented at 17% increase in the number of complaints handled when compared to the last financial year. The Commission also promoted a banner of advocacy, awareness raising and dialogues through its different initiatives such as the:
- Consultative dialogue on sex work - this engagement was held on the basis of complaints received on violations of sex workers. Human rights and different stakeholders had to be engaged with the view to address the plight of sex workers and inform development of the Commission’s response to sex work.
- Women in Political parties - the Commission partnered with the National Democratic Institute South Africa (NDI-SA) to assess the level of participation of women in political parties.
- Maternity Benefits - the CGE facilitated a follow - up meeting emanating for national dialogue in partnership with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on access to maternity benefits for self - employed women and partnered with the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) to develop a full submission on embedding comprehensive protection of maternity benefits in labour legislation.
- Translation of materials - CGE mandate was simplified into a pamphlet and translated into five languages (Sotho, Tsonga, Afrikaans, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa).
- Training on the Africa Gender and Development Index (AGDI) - training on the AGDI for CGE staff members, commissioners and stakeholder was undertaken. The main aim was for the Commission to participate in the AGDI III and access the level of gender transformation since AGDI I which South Africa participated in, in 2006. Campaigns were conducted in each province and interventions were conducted to ascertain and discuss obstacles to women’s economic empowerment.
The Commission had also dramatically increased its outreach interventions through the use of electronic media, through live interviews on mainstream and community radio stations. Its listenership coverage spanned all 18 SABC radio Stations, Lesedi FM, Ukhozi FM, Ikhwezi FM, Forte FM, Munghana Lonene FM, Bush Radio, UNIVEN FM, Kasie FM, Tzaneen FM, Thobela FM, Motsweding FM, Ligwalagwala FM, Zibonele FM, True FM, Umhlobo Wenene FM, Capricorn FM, and Ikwezikwezi FM.
Strategic Objective 3: Monitoring State Compliance to International Conventions
The target outcome for monitoring the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) did not apply for the current reporting period. The country reports would be finalised by 2014 for CEDAW and Beijing and 2015 for the MDG’s. For the reporting period the Committee had complied three draft reports which would be finalised in the next financial year.
Strategic Objective 4: Effective, Efficient, Visible and Sustainable Institution
Out of the 19 targets represented under this strategic objective, 14 were achieved and 5 were not met. Most of the activities not achieved related to unavailability of resources in upgrading IT infrastructure.
Overall for 2012/13 the Commission was able to sustain an unqualified audit opinion, increase and/or achieved all service delivery related targets, launch the Commission’s Fraud Hotline Number, launch the Commission's Gender Complaints Toll - free number, it held Gender Transformation hearings, produced the KwaZulu - Natal (KZN) Ukuthwala and child marriages survey report, it held policy dialogues to ensure greater accessibility of the Commission's Research outputs and policy findings to policy makers in order to influence policy from gender perspective and translated the CGE mandate into five indigenous languages to ensure reach.
Mr Moshabi Putu CGE Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented the financial report:
Revenue and Income
Funding appropriated by Parliament increased by 7% to R59.1 million from a baseline of R55.1 million allocated in 2011/12, the adjustment was effectively due to inflation adjustment. Interest income in 2013 was R693 000 compared to R273 000 in 2012, and this increase was due to the excess cash held in the bank during the year. A significant donation in kind was received from the SABC. Further insignificant income which amounted to R101 000 in 2013 in comparison to R242 000 in 2012 was mainly due to discretionary grants received from the Skills Education Training Authority (SETA).
Expenditure per programme:
- Commissioner: Governance & support amounted to a grand total of R8.9 million, it had a baseline budget of R11 million but saw a total under expenditure of R 2 million (19%). Majority of the expenditure in said category was largely driven by salaries plus travel and accommodation.
- Corporate support services amounted to a grand total of R22.9 million, it had a baseline budget of R17.5 million but the key main drivers of over - expenditure were due to depreciation and amortisation plus assets written resulted in expenses above budget by R1.1 million and the 16 days campaign had contributed to more recorded expenditure than budgeted by R1.3 million
- Service Delivery Programme amounted to a grand total of R26.4 million. It had a baseline budget of R29.1 million but saw an under expenditure of R2.7 million
Expenditure - General Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP) classification
- Personnel Costs which amounted to a grand total of R34.5 million dealt with employee compensation. Due to vacancies existing during the year under review, R6.7 million was underspent. 24 positions were vacant at an average annual package of R279 000 per head, and a performance provision was made at R1 million for the entire year and pay - out was subject to assessment of performance. The Commissioner programme underspent by R2.7 million, and Service Delivery Programme reported an under expenditure of R4.9 million.
- Administrative Expenses increased from R12.5 million 2012/12 to R20.7 million 2012/13. This was due to the doubling of travel expenses to R7.4 million from R3.7 million in prior periods due to overseas trips and heightened Annual Performance Plan (APP) activities. Current spending exceeded the budget allocation by R2.1 million. Publicity functions and conferences were R3.3 million compared to R772 000 in 2011/12 mainly due to campaigns and hearings undertaken in the period and included a charge of R1.3 million for the 16 days of Activism Campaign.
- Other operating expenses was down from R2.5 million in 2012/13 to R2 million in 2013, a favourable variance of R527 000. A result of this was a decrease in legal fees expenditures R703 000 compared to R1.9 million in the previous financial year.
Statement of financial position
The Commission had current assets totalling R18.3 million from R11.5 million in 2012/13 mainly made out of cash in the bank and its total liabilities amounted to R8 million. Overall its net assets were worth R12.1 million, which was due to surpluses accumulated during the past 4 financial years. The accumulated surplus of R8.5 million represented in its overall asset figure of R18.3 million was approved for specific utilisation by National Treasury. Capital expenditure for vehicles and IT infrastructure which would eventually erode the net asset position in future periods.
Irregular Expenditure, which included corporate gifts, furniture purchases, pest control contracts and the printing of reports, amounted to R1.9 million. The Commission was taking disciplinary action to address financial misconduct by officials. The Supply Chain Management (SMC) unit had been strengthened by assigning roles to ensure that irregular expenditure was detected and prevented. Awareness raising and training of officials was made on an ongoing basis and training of SCM officials was ongoing.
The Committee had made significant achievements in resolving audit issues raised in previous periods. Funding that was appropriated was effectively utilised by the Commission, achieving a great improvement on Service Delivery. 69% more of planned targets were met compared to the prior year. Financial management and accountability to oversight bodies showed significant improvements. Special interventions were already underway to ensure full compliance with laws and regulations. It was projected that the excess cash currently at hand would mainly diminish due to the capital projects that would be undertaken for the procurement of IT equipment and vehicles. It was further projected that owing to the filling of the staff establishment, the Commission would not report surplus funds from its operating activities.
The Acting Chairperson, Ms G Tseke (ANC), thanked the Commission for its presentation. She congratulated the Commission on its unqualified audit. Compared to 2009, the Commission's performance had improved significantly and it had shown commitment to tackle to issue of gender inequality in the South African community. She asked if the Committee could receive a time frame by when the Commission would address its vacancy rate which was affecting its service delivery. She asked why the Commission did not have any persons with disabilities in its employ. She warned the terms of commissioners were expiring soon and it was important to start filling those vacancies as soon as possible. On the 50/50 equal representation of women in the public sphere, currently there was a wait for the tabling of the Women Empowerment & Gender Equality Bill (WEGE) which would push for the prioritisation of women in political organisations as well as within the corporate sphere. On the National Council for Gender Based Violence, the Committee was not receiving any information on what its programme of action was. It was important that the Commission work with them in dealing with gender based violence.
Ms M Nxumalo (ANC) thanked the presenters and stated that they were doing a good job, but she wanted to know what measures had been put in place to deal with the safeguarding of assets. She suggested to the Commission that another avenue it could utilise in furthering its outreach was using the local papers in townships which were free to consumers.
Ms P Peterson-Maduna (ANC) congratulated the Commission on its unqualified audit, and asked to what extent were CGE's submissions and amendments to legislation taken into account during the finalisation of relevant legislation and were its amendments mostly retained. On Objective 1, after completing the report on the local government election project, what follow up programmes were planned in light of these findings. After assessment reports of private and public sector organisations were completed, what advocacy work did the CGE engage in with these organisations. Under Objective 3, how did CGE intend to use its review of Conventions, Governance and Charters to encourage compliance, and what advocacy strategies were in place to accomplish this. She asked the CGE how it worked with other government entities. On its mandate which was translated into five languages, what was its plan to translate it into the remaining languages. CGE needed to make sure it did not forget about people with disabilities.
Ms C Mosimane (ANC) congratulated CGE for it unqualified audit. On Objective 2 which was aimed at protecting and promoting gender equality, she wanted clarity on what had been CGE's reach and impact based on its engagements with communities. She asked if CGE had initiated interventions promoting gender equality in the past financial year and how did the CGE ensure that closer collaboration was fostered with other Chapter 9 institutions and NGOs. She asked if CGE had a risk management plan in place and wanted clarification on what it meant when it stated "urgent exercises were undertaken" under Irregular Expenditure.
Ms S Paulse (ID) congratulated the CGE on its accomplishments but stated that the CGE remained very top heavy and wanted clarification on whether CGE had taken this into account. She asked what was the nature of its employee transgressions and the outcomes of its disciplinary actions.
Ms H Lamoela said she approved of the holistic approach taken by CGE in engaging other government bodies. On its legal clinics she asked if it intended to involve any other entities, which could potentially aid in shortening the period of dealing with cases, especially in rural areas. With an overall vacancy rate of 22% she asked if there was a plan to fill those and if so was there a procedure in place that would allow CGE to fill it in time. In terms of annual donors, she wanted clarification on whether CGE had any other projects and whether it had working donors. On the asset register, did CGE have a tracking mechanism in place to help with that. With its excess cash which would mainly go towards the procurement of IT equipment and vehicles, she wanted clarification on what was bought and how many were bought. She asked if there was any criteria set for performance bonuses and noted that CGE did not mention any challenges.
Ms I Ditshetelo (ANC) congratulated CGE on its annual report, she said in the report it looked like CGE had left out the North West Province. She was also concerned about the lack of people with disabilities represented in the report and asked what actions would be taken against political parties who were not complying with the 50/50 gender equality representative framework.
Ms E Moore (DA) congratulated the CGE on its unqualified audit. On expenditure management, the Commission needed to ensure that it complied with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). She stated that although CGE had a Risk Management committee, was it able to pick up on financial risks on time. On its Adjudication Committee, she asked if it was constituted and whether it was functioning effectively. What was the status quo on Equality Courts and what was CGE doing to address the capacity in monitoring courts? On the disciplinary actions taken by CGE she wanted clarification on how many officials had engaged in misconduct and how many SCM officials were being trained.
Ms Thoko Mpumlwana, CGE Deputy Chair, responded that the 50/50 representative framework was not only an issue of political compliance but an instrument that was agreed on at the SADC level. Political parties decided on the steps they would take to achieve such representation but as a Commission its job was only to monitor whether such was being complied to. The frustration about the National Council for Gender Based Violence was also felt within CGE because from its observation the Council was moving at a very slow pace and was also lacking in relevant funds to implement its mandate. CGE would make sure to recheck the status of the Council and figure out how it would push the Council in order for it fulfil its duties.
Ms Maema responded that the CGE Research Department was monitoring the activities of the National Council for Gender Based Violence and by the end of 2014/15 it would be able to share its findings with the Committee. CGE had also noted the concerns raised by the Committee in respect to the underrepresentation of people with disabilities. In filling its vacancies, it was pulling together all disability stakeholders to ensure that it fulfilled the 2% target or bypassed that target. CGE did ask the involvement of pertinent departments in legal clinics in order to increase the number of gender based cases it was able to address, but it was unable to reach some of its cases due to the lack of resources.
Under its banner of promoting advocacy, awareness raising and dialogue, in many instances it received requests from municipalities to conduct training on how to combat gender inequality. CGE would provide the Committee with its advocacy training follow-ups in the next financial year. On the CGE mandate which was translated into five languages, CGE had an initial target of 11. This was unachievable due to financial issues, but by the end of 2014/15, it would deliver on translating its mandate to all 11 languages. It was also working closely with the Blind Society in ensuing that CGE produced an annual report that was in Braille.
When it came to CGE measuring its performance impact, during this current financial year there had been more public outreach even though more work and more measures needed to be put in place to ensure that its impact was far reaching. When one looked into the CGE's mandate, it was imperative for it to collaborate and work with Chapter 9 institutions and NGOs, and it also made sure it consulted all stakeholders to ensure that its issues of capacity were addressed. On the CGE being top heavy, she said the CGE only had five managers and the rest were Deputy Directors General (DDGs) who were running the provinces.
On donor funding, as an institution when it had activities planned it would write proposals to specific UN agencies to see if funding would be approved. For the current financial year, it did not have any donors except the in-kind process. When the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa came to South Africa on their own ticket to train CGE, this it would consider as a donor. On the purchasing of IT assets and vehicle fleet, it had not bought anything yet. It was still trying to ensure that it got a fleet at a decent rate. It had applied to National Treasury to see if it could obtain a transversal contract.
She said North West Province was not represented in the report because it had the same information as other provinces and it did not want to create a duplication of information in its report. The 26% of unachieved targets was mainly due to service delivery issues. It had put in place Information and Communication Technology (ICT) processes to ensure that the remaining 26% was achieved. In terms of the equality courts, those were still being monitored and CGE was hoping to see more changes. CGE currently had two disciplinary cases underway, but there was a setback because the individual currently accused had been hospitalised which made it difficult to continue.
Ms Putu responded that CGE had a policy on performance bonuses, which emphasised that there would be a performance agreement aligned to the Annual Performance Plan, and for the reporting period there would be a performance evaluation. Under that policy those positively assessed would have a monetary compensation. Qualifying criteria was a 70% achievement of set targets. On CGE assets, there was a tracking mechanism, and CGE had also ensured that its policies were consistent with the PFMA. Overall, as a corrective measure, CGE had revised its policy to be in line with National Treasury guidelines.
Ms Nondumiso Maphazi, CGE Commissioner, said some of the challenges still faced by CGE was the ongoing challenge of the budget which negatively impacted staff capacity. CGE still had a low level impact on gender inequality and so mobilisation with NGOs and stakeholders was important to help strengthen gender equality and the importance of it. Patriarchy, especially in rural areas, was impeding the further outreach of CGE’s efforts.
The Acting Chairperson said CGE was doing great work and was confident that in the next financial year it would get a clean audit. She said the Committee would like to receive the Audit Action Plan from the CGE and it should submit it as part of its quarterly report.
The meeting was adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.