The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), with the Minister and Deputy Minister in attendance, presented its report to the Portfolio Committee on the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP).
The Minister gave a brief overview on the initiatives of CRDP. It was adopted by the Cabinet in 2009 and developed into four basic programmes to initiate a comprehensive rural development programme that would test the implementation of rural programme initiatives. The programmes were the Animal and Veld Management Programme (AVMP), River Valley Catalytic Programme, Youth Employment and Skilling (National Rural Youth Service Corps - NARYSEC), and Rural Enterprises and Industries.
The CRDP was initially piloted in Giyani and Limpopo Province, but had since been rolled out to all the provinces. The vision was to establish vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and the strategy to achieve this vision was agrarian transformation involving a rapid and fundamental change in the relations of land, livestock, cropping and community. The first phase of the CRDP was the incubating or nursery stage, which would meet the basic human needs of people. The second phase was the entrepreneurial development stage, involving relatively large-scale infrastructure development. The third phase saw the emergence of industrial and financial sectors, driven by small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) and village markets.The key drivers of the programme included Rural Enterprise and Industrial Development (REID), Rural Infrastructure Development (RID) and Skills Development. Details of the reach of these programmes, by province, were provided in the presentation.
Members asked if the DRDLR had any relationship with the Department of Labour regarding job placement. Was there any working relationship with the University of Fort Hare, which claimed it was the best agricultural university in the country? Concerns were raised on the methods used for consultation purposes and for disseminating information about the programme, as there was a perceived gap in the initiatives of the CRDP, especially with regard to the rural women programme. Two members were interested in knowing what qualifications would be given to the beneficiaries of the programme after their period of training. Could the cost of the programme be ascertained in relation to the impact or the outcome of the programme?
Members were of the opinion that the challenges of the CRDP had not been well enumerated. Was the NARYSEC programme accredited? It was suggested that the Department should explore a similar project to the CRDP which was already being practised in Rwanda. The Unemployment Insurance Fund had funding options for cooperatives which could be explored by the Department. The Portfolio Committee should schedule a time at which it could visit the highlighted programmes of the DRDLR. How would the Department handle the effect of competition between pre-existing cooperatives and the newly formed ones? What was the budgetary allocation for the project? A Member felt that the objectives of the CRDP were quite ambitious. However, the programmes itemised by the Department did not give a holistic view of the comprehensive rural development programme that would alleviate poverty in the country, but were just piecemeal interventions which could not solve the real issues. Various departments had to team up so that a piecemeal programme was not established. The Department agreed that the biggest challenge involved the effort being made by the DRDLR to get all Departments to work together, and not parallel to each other.
The Chairperson welcomed delegates from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR). She specifically acknowledged the presence of the Minister, Mr Gugile Nkwinti, and the Deputy Minister, Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini, and expressed appreciation for their attendance. She asked the Minister to give a brief background to the programmes of the Department to assist Members of the Committee to understand what the DRDLR was all about.
Briefing on Comprehensive Rural Development Programme
In his introductory overview of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP), the Minister said that the CRDP was adopted by the cabinet in 2009. It had been developed to initiate a comprehensive rural development programme, which would test the implementation of rural programme initiatives. As a result of the pilot programme in a few areas in the country, the programme was further expanded through the lessons learnt.
The CRDP was developed into four programmes. They were:
1. Animal and Veld Management Programme (AVMP)
2. River Valley Catalytic Programme
3. Youth Employment and Skilling (National Rural Youth Service Corps - NARYSEC)
4. Rural Enterprises and Industries.
The Animal and Veld Management Programme (AVMP) was implemented in 2013 and was working quite well. The programme helps to de-congest overgrazed land by identifying farmers who have the courage to move to rural areas. These farmers are then moved to other acquired lands where they could grow their crops and rear their animals.
The River Valley Catalytic Programme impacts strongly on food security. It focuses on the value chain among other things. It was implemented in 2013 and would be one of the highlights of the CRDP.
The Youth Employment and Skilling (NARYSEC) is an initiative of CRDP that partners with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). One of the aims of the initiative is to see the emergence of young black farmers. These youths are also trained in several other areas for skills like the Defence Corps, where the youths are deployed to build character development, patriotism, discipline and training. Presently, the two sites used are the South African naval base in Saldanha and the army base in Kimberley. He acknowledged that the Portfolio Committee should have been invited to witness some of the graduation ceremonies, but the Committee would be invited so that they could see the impact the training of these youths had had on them. He explained that the training had improved them and instilled confidence in them. He said that about a thousand graduated at a time. The Department also partnered with the Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. After this training, the youths form cooperatives so that they can stand on their own. They each contribute an amount which they use as a capital base to start off. Some of them were sent to Kenya -- like a week ago -- to acquire more skills.
The Rural Enterprises and Industries comprise of women who work with craft. These women also come together to form a cooperatives.
Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC) wanted to know how many youths had been trained so far in the NARYSEC programme. How would all the trainees get a placement after graduation? Does the DRDLR have any relationship with the Department of Labour in terms of job placement? In most rural areas, people have issues with access to learning -- where and how would the issue be sorted out by the DRDLR?
Mr M Filtane (UDM) commended the Minister for taking time out to be at the meeting. He asked if there was any working relationship with the University of Fort Hare, since the university claimed that it was the best agricultural university in the country. In his opinion, a partnership with the university would close the gap between the rural people and the university, and would increase knowledge acquisition. Were there any steps that had been put in place regarding this?
Ms N Magadla (ANC) displayed her excitement about the initiatives of CRDP especially as she was hearing about the programme for the first time. She added that she was most trilled about the NARYSEC programme which focused on the youths. She wanted to know whether the Department had established appropriate measures had would ensure that only youths from the rural areas were being targeted.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) raised concern on the methods used for consultation purposes and for disseminating information about the programme. He noticed a gap in the initiatives of the CRDP, especially on the rural women programme. He hoped that the presentation to come would clarify the issues and the gaps that he had noticed in the introductory address of the Minister.
Mr T Walters (DA) wanted to know what qualifications the beneficiaries of the programmes would have after their period of training. What were the methods used in selecting beneficiaries for the programmes? Could the cost of the programme be ascertained in relation to the impact or the outcome of the programme? What relationships or linkages did the DRDLR have with colleges, infrastructure, development, farming and agriculture? How would the expertise or the knowledge developed be utilized?
The Minister said he would reply as best as he could to the questions in the time he had available, and the Deputy Minister and the Director General would respond to the other questions. The training period for the NARYSEC is four years. The cooperatives were being established because they have different streams that could absorb the youths after graduation. In addition, the youths would not need to depend on the Department but they would be able to stand on their own, based on the skills acquired.
The CRDP has standing relationships with several schools, where more than 40 000 students benefit from the programme in high schools across the country. The Department acquires farms, and the provinces are then also asked to acquire about 25 farms each, where the produce from the rural farms could be offloaded. There had obviously been areas of opposition, which until now had been handled well. Another challenge that must be overcome was the method of selection. It was observed that in Mpumalanga, for example, that some youths selected for the programme were from Nelspruit and not from the intended rural area.
It was very difficult to rate the cost effectiveness of the programme now but if the unemployed youths in the townships and the training received by them are rated -- especially the impact on the confidence and skills the youths posses after the training -- then whatever the cost incurred would be appreciated. The Minister explained the impact training had made in the rural areas and gave several examples. For instance, on 19 December 2013, he was invited by the youths in the programme to commission a building that the youths had built for two elderly people. They even organised a company to supply the furniture for the house. The youths had been requested to assist in building schools and clinics in some provinces, but the Department wants them to be organised into cooperatives so as to solidify their structures. It was quite rewarding when such laudable outcomes were observed as a result of the skills acquired by the youths. In addition, he hoped that even if the cost effectiveness of the programme could not be ascertained now, it would certainly be obvious in the long term, say in 15 to 20 years’ time.
The Chairperson invited the Deputy Minister to make her own comments.
The Deputy Minister clarified some of the issues concerning the rural women initiative. Presently, there were 93 women who had formed cooperatives, but they were trying to recruit more women so that they could reach 100. Their plans included being involved in the international market, to establish a warehouse and to establish to a cooperative bank. All of these initiatives would subsequently yield income for the cooperatives. The women had decided to contribute R1 000 per person so that they could start off with a large capital base.
The Chairperson invited the Director General, Mr Mdu Shabane, to brief the Committee.
Mr Mdu Shabane thanked the Chairperson and the Members of the Committee for the opportunity to speak about the initiatives of the DRDLR. He invited the Deputy Director General, Ms Leona Archary, to make the presentation.
Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP)
Ms Archary stated that four documents had been distributed to the Members but only one would be presented. The other three documents were to assist the Members to gain a better understanding of the programmes of the DRDLR. The presentation was categorized into five sections:
A. CRDP background and objectives
B. CRDP management system
C. CRDP progress since 2009
D. NARYSEC progress
E. Lessons learnt.
The CRDP was approved by cabinet in July 2009 and piloted in Giyani, in Limpopo Province. It has since been rolled out to all the Provinces. The vision of the CRDP is to establish vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities. The strategy to achieve this vision is agrarian transformation through rapid and fundamental change in the relations of land, livestock, cropping and community. The CRDP proposed an approach that would address the needs of the individual, the household, the community and space.
The first phase of the CRDP could be regarded as the incubation or nursery stage, which would meet the basic human needs of people. The second phase could be considered the entrepreneurial development stage, which involves relatively large scale infrastructure development. The third phase sees the emergence of industrial and financial sectors driven by small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) and village markets.
The key drivers of the Rural Development Programme include Rural Enterprise and Industrial Development (REID), Rural Infrastructure Development (RID) and Skills Development. REID focuses on poverty mapping, and the establishment and support of co-operatives, enterprises and industries. This support includes market access, education, financing, skills development and mentorship. RID focuses on ensuring strategic and deliberate investment in the revitalisation of old, and creation of new economic, social, information and communication technology infrastructure, public amenities and facilities in villages and small rural towns. The aim of RID is to address basic human needs, improve access to services and enable communities to engage effectively in economic activities.
The programmes implemented as part of the CRDP are:
Sustainable Rural Settlements
1. Revitalisation of Rural Towns
The revitalisation of rural towns and villages is a key concern in the Government’s efforts to regenerate the economies of rural towns. Rural towns are vital in urban-rural linkages and must be turned into active players and contributors to regional economies. The revitalization of rural towns would be one aspect of developing the rural space to address social challenges, the creation of economic opportunities and ultimately vibrant rural societies. In Beaufort West in the Western Cape, for example, a youth hub and other infrastructure development was already in process as part of the revitalization of rural towns. In Witzenberg in the Western Cape, various infrastructure developments -- including a walkway, swimming pool, recreation facilities, stormwater and sewage works -- were underway, while support in planning the Mthata revitalisation is in process.
2. Village Revitalisation
Developing villages and settlements to become sustainable had been a key component of the CRDP and focus had been placed on the development of sustainable human settlements that include rural industries, agricultural development and agro-processing, access to basic services (health, education, water, electricity), improved road and rail networks and information and communication technologies that are cost effective and appropriate for use in rural areas. The first “green” village was developed in Diyatalawa in the Free State, and development was still ongoing in various other villages across the country. Other village revitalisation projects include Riemvasmaak in the Northern Cape (houses, roads, community facilities, health facilities, and recreation), and Jabulani Village in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga (houses, energy, early child development and fencing).
Meeting Basic Human Needs
The CRDP focuses on creating an enabling environment as observed in Phase 1, in which the focus is on providing the required social infrastructure for improved access to services, including access to clean water, energy, decent housing, proper sanitation and education. This phase will contribute significantly to food security, dignity and an improved quality of life for each rural household.
Rural Enterprises and Industries
Rural households are organized into cooperative enterprises that participate in agricultural and non-agricultural commodity value chains, from primary production to processing activities involving industries. The leading assets at the disposal of rural communities include fallow land, which could be brought into production, indigenous livestock, minerals, other natural resources and social capital. These assets are instrumental in attracting external investment into the area and through enterprise and industry development, communities are able to grow their asset base, improve their standard of living and invest their surplus income through a community owned investment and development arm.
Youth Employment and Skilling (National Rural Youth Service Corps)
The main goal of the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) is to enrol and develop rural youths between the ages of 18 and 35 years to be trained to work in their own communities and municipalities, which would eventually lead to the creation of permanent employment opportunities, enterprises and industries in the medium to long term. Character development and patriotism is a critical component of the programme. The strategic outcomes of the programme in the long term are expected to produce a decline in rural youth pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, a decline in the level of youth unemployment in the rural areas, increased literacy and skills, an increase in disposable income for youths in rural areas as a result of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, and a decrease in dependency on social grants, child-support grants and family members having to work in urban areas.
Animal and Veld Management Programme (AVMP)
The goal of the AVMP is the reversal of the legacy of the 1913 Natives Land Act, which is to create sustainable productive linkages between communal areas in the historical 13% of our land and the commercialized urban and farming land in the 87% space, to create a platform and opportunity for communal economies to take full advantage of and to exploit, develop and preserve the human potential and natural endowments, including landed resources at their disposal. The programme has three projects, which are integrally linked. These are soil rehabilitation, re-greening the environment and de-congesting the space. The programme had already been rolled out in all the provinces in the country.
River Valley Catalytic Programme
The River Valley Catalytic Programme was intended to create a platform for integrated planning and development along rivers in South Africa. It encompasses a range of projects, including irrigation schemes, economic infrastructure, improved market access, social infrastructure and skills development, among others. It is meant to promote integrated, optimal development of natural resources, agriculture, infrastructure, social services, economic development, and initiate job creation. It also encompasses skills development and food security, re-greening the environment and integrating environmental dimensions with other aspects of planning and management, integrating land and water management, focusing on natural resource benefits for regional development and serving as a regional planning and management strategy, to attract development into the river valley area and to promote sustainable rural development. The programme was not a really new concept but had been implemented in other parts of the Africa.
The DRDLR functions as an initiator, facilitator, coordinator, catalyst and implementer of the programmes of the CRDP.
Between 2009 and 2014, in all the nine provinces across the country, 980 200 households had been profiled by REID. A total of 153 councils of stakeholders had been mobilized.. The skills development covered a total of 20 639. Households that had been assisted with food security interventions amounted to 10 277. A breakdown by province was provided.
The total number of youths developed (NARYSEC) in the nine provinces across the country between 2009 and now, was 13 999. The number of cooperatives supported was 889. The total number of enterprises and industries initiated were 200, while the total jobs created amounted to 17 080. Additional information on the figures for the provinces is available in the presentation.
The RID programme has delivered over 3 000km of fencing, 107 cattle handling facilities, 28 boreholes, 18 stock water dams/facilities and eight silos/storage facilities over the period from 2009 to 2014. In terms of improving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) access in rural areas, three ICT centres were established in 2010 and a further 26 solar-powered digital doorways, providing computer training and access, were rolled out across the nine provinces. Approximately 27 000 learners in 88 schools had been supported with tablets to improve learning and support teaching, thereby closing the digital divide between the rich and the poor, while preparing them to partake in the rapidly developing knowledge economy.
The following socio-economic infrastructure had also been provided to rural households over the past five years: 34 Schools were renovated and/or upgraded and seven health facilities were provided; water was provided to 7 014 households (hh); eight bulk supply schemes were constructed; 3 929 hh received energy packages, five bulk energy supply projects were completed; 6 802 hh received sanitation services, 29 families received houses, 1 009 hh were supported with emergency disaster accommodation and 11 were undertaken and completed. The most significant road and bridge construction project was the Nkosi Dalibhunga Mandela Legacy Bridge which is a 10km access road and 140m bridge across the Mbashe River linking the villages of Ludondolo and Mvezo (Nelson Mandela’s birth place) in the Eastern Cape.
The RID programme has delivered a number of infrastructural projects in rural communities through the provision of water, sanitation, energy infrastructure and providing better access to social, economic and public amenities, and ICT infrastructure, during the past five years. The total number of households that had benefited from the RID initiatives were 54 342. The total jobs created were 7 677. Statistics on the various provinces were provided in the presentation.
As at 31 August 2013, a total number of 14 400 youths had been recruited into the youth programme. No recruitment had taken place since then because it was essential that that the recruitment and selection strategies and the existing structures be standardized. Proper recruitment methods must be initiated to curb erroneous selections from the urban areas, instead of from the rural areas.
The lessons learnt so far were highlighted. Infrastructure maintenance initiatives must be established. There was a need to improve contractor monitoring, with increased technical capacity to assist municipalities, and the management or operations of facilities such as ICT. With regard to community mobilization and community profiling, information was not always made available, and this undermined integrated planning and created unclear links to prioritisation. There were weaknesses in community representation and consultations which had to be improved. There was sometimes resistance to the Council of Stakeholders (COS), tensions with traditional authorities and unclear definition of roles. Other issues included leadership training. The lack of adult basic education and training (ABET), career guidance, a CRDP management system, the need for improved vertical and horizontal coordination, and improved monitoring of roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, were all issues that must be critically examined. The recruitment of NARYSEC youths from the villages that the DRDLR was working in, and linking them to the skills required for the projects being implemented, was also essential.
The DRDLR would seek to facilitate the formalization of a clear and integrated strategy for supporting marketing cooperatives rather than just primary cooperatives, in partnership with the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and Trade and Industry (DTI), and provide funding for value chain pilot projects and possibly in partnership with DAFF and the DTI, test various value chain development approaches. It would also establish smallholder farmers and provide comprehensive extension support working with the DAFF, initiate scoping studies, establish a food procurement programme in partnership with the DTI, facilitate access to institutional markets, such as schools, prisons and hospitals by purchasing products and foodstuffs directly from smallholder farmers and land reform settlements, and increase delivery on basic needs and other infrastructure. It would implement protocol agreements between the DRDLR and other national departments, provincial governments and municipalities. These were needed to commit, amongst other issues, responsible organisations to develop operational and maintenance plans for all funded infrastructure, and to make budgetary provision for infrastructure maintenance and complete a process with relevant departments and stakeholders so as to ensure that national norms and standards for the delivery of infrastructure in the rural areas was developed by all relevant sectors or departments.
Mr P Mnguni (ANC) pointed out that the challenges of the CRDP had not been enumerated. This was essential, as it would assist the Committee to have an indication of how they could assist the Department. Was there any white paper or green paper in existence? In what ways was the system being abused and what gaps had been observed that needed to be tightened up? Was the NARYSEC programme accredited? What qualifications would be received after training, since society rated individuals based on the certificates received? What was the organisational structure of the Department?
Mr Nchabeleng emphasised that the challenges of the Department were not clearly spelt out, especially regarding the CRDP. The Department should explore a similar project to CRDP which was already being practised in Rwanda. A few lessons could be learnt that the Department could build upon. What steps were being taken on the removal of foreign trees and alien plants from rivers? What steps had been put in place so that the society would not end up with contaminated water and dead rivers? The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) had funding for cooperatives, and this should be utilized by the Department, including any other available funding options. He raised concern over the issue of women in the rural areas who had to perform some traditional rituals at the rivers. How did the Department guard against clashing with the women or traditional rulers in this regard?
Mr Mhlongo suggested to the Chairperson that the Portfolio Committee should schedule a time when it could visit the highlighted areas of the DRDLR programmes. Who was in charge of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? Who was taking the credit for KPIs? Were the KPIs productive?
Mr Filtane said the presentation was very informative. He asked for clarification to be given on the sort of skills that would have an impact on the community stakeholders as a result of the training. How did the Department close the gap between the individuals who had been trained, but who did not measure up to the required standard? What circumstances would persuade the Department to build a bridge in a community? In 2010, there had been an exciting pilot programme by the DRDLR in the Camdeboo and OR Tambo municipalities. What had happened to that project? Was it still in existence? Were the jobs being created from these skill acquisitions sustainable? How would the Department handle the effect of competition between pre-existing cooperatives and the newly formed ones?
Ms Magadla sought clarification on what “de-congesting the space” meant?
Mr A Mngxitama (EFF) wanted to know the budgetary allocation for the project. In his opinion, the objectives of the CRDP were quite ambitious. Were the projects enumerated still at the pilot stage? What sort of impact was to be expected from the programmes? Could the outcome of the programmes be rated with figures? Where was the land that was being bought and used for all the listed purposes, including the relocation of the farmers from the overgrazed lands? The Department should take a cue from China, Japan and South Korea, who had started with radical land distribution and not skill acquisition. The programmes itemized by the Department did not give a holistic view of the comprehensive rural development programme that would alleviate poverty in the country, but were merely piecemeal interventions which would not solve the real issue.
Mr Walters commented that as much as his intention was not to decry the efforts of the Department, he noted that these were “transversal issues,” which signified that there was no one programme or one Department that could entirely deal with it. He agreed with Mr Mngxitama that the programmes of the CRDP may not necessarily bring an ultimate solution to rural development issues in the country. Various Departments must team up so that a piecemeal programme was not established. What mechanisms were being put in place in this regard? How were all these issues measured, including budgets in terms of continuous interventions and implementations? In his opinion, enterprise development and not cooperatives should be the starting point for the graduating youths. Cooperatives thrive better with existing models that have a more competitive advantage in the value chain. As much as the programme had a broad positive concept, his concern was how to pull together the various related Departments so as not to have a fragmented programme. He agreed that a total holistic picture would be needed to get a better understanding of the CRDP.
Responding, Ms Mashego-Dlamini said that although it seemed that the challenges of the Department were not clearly spelt out in the presentation, they were included in various areas in the presentation. She assured Members that the Department would definitely consolidate on the issues raised. Rural development was one of the five priority programmes of the country and as such, all hands were on deck to accomplish the set goals.
Currently, there was no green paper established by law or a policy from Parliament on how to roll out the programmes of the Department, Very soon, however, they would be in place. It was the responsibility of the Department to coordinate the 27 million people in the rural areas out of the South African population of 63 million, and this was achieved by coordinating with all the relevant Departments. The NARYSEC programme covered about four to five years, but the issue of accreditation was not yet fully finalised. The District Land Reform Forum dealt with all matters of land in that district, whether of farmers or departments. This forum had been established so that there would be a rallying point regarding the issues of land in each community. The DRDLR partnered effectively with other Departments, especially on overlapping issues like the rivers.
NARYSEC was ready to benchmark with Rwanda or any other country that would assist in the accomplishment of the set goals. For example, the Department had just returned from Kenya. The Department had a good relationship with traditional leaders and women committees regarding women’s rituals, so there were no controversial issues regarding rivers in the communities. The Department funded the iPads for rural development and had spent R 7.4 million in this financial year on this. However, the DRDLR still partnered with the Department of Education, as the actual training and ICT facilitators came from them. At the moment, the Department had recruited 40 students per school for this exercise. The Department could embark on building a bridge for a community if, after the community submitted its application for assistance, it was seen that the tax base of the community was too small to allow them build the bridge on their own. Most of these bridges were those linking communities together. The Department could also assist with the purchase of machines, such as big fridges or large stoves, which would facilitate the businesses of individuals. Land redistribution was accomplished even in communal land, by helping women to build their fences for the purpose of livestock farming and the like.
Ms Archary said that the graduates from the NARYSEC programme graduated with the equivalent of National Qualifications Framework (NQF) 2 and 3, while for those who signified the ability to continue with the training process, would definitely walk away with a higher qualification. As previously indicated, various aspects like agriculture, construction, hospitality, tourism, farming, and the like were being taught to the youths. The skills imparted to the community were agriculturally based, and involved wood growers, poultry and craft professionals. These youths after being trained were expected to pass the knowledge on to others. Others were trained in business and finance, depending on the leadership positions they occupied in the community.
An example of the impact made, based on the bridges built, was the Nkosi Dalibhunga Mandela Legacy Bridge in the Eastern Cape, which serves about 30 000 households. The bridge had significantly lessened travelling time and assisted access to schools. The project in the OR Tambo and Camdeboo communities was still ongoing. The council of stakeholders hold their meetings once a month. At the moment, they have ongoing agricultural and road projects.
The Animal and Veld Management Programme initiative is involved with soil rehabilitation, which involves de-bushing, the removal of alien species, re-greening and the like, Therefore when land is considered overgrazed or the soil has been eroded by the animals, the animals and the family involved could be moved to other land. This exercise broadens and widens access to better quality of land.
The budget allocation for the present programme (Programme 3) which is inclusive of the three programmes under Rural Development -- which are RID, REID and NARYSEC -- adds up to R2.3billion. As the Department understands the need for a more comprehensive picture of the CRDP, a more integrated rural development plan is being worked upon for the whole district that would ensure a more holistic view of the initiatives of the DRDLR. The DRDLR works in partnership with the Department of Education, but at the moment it is working in different schools, so the 80 schools and 4 000 learners reported by the DRDLR are basically those implemented by the Department.
Mr Shabane placed emphasis on the coordinating functions of the Department. Although the DRDLR had a vote dedicated to it and its mandate, its responsibility is to coordinate all the rural efforts of the Government. The DRDLR would report twice in a year to the Cabinet, and would at the same time report to this Portfolio Committee. The biannual report would give a broader picture of what the Government had been doing in alignment with other departments in the country. The biggest challenge in his opinion was the effort being made by the DRDLR to get all departments to work together, and not parallel to each other.
Adoption of minutes
The Chairperson requested that the last issue on the agenda -- the adoption of the minutes of previous meetings -- be considered.
The motion for the adoption of the minutes of the meeting of 9 July 2014 was moved by Ms N Magadla (ANC) and was seconded by Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC).
The motion for the adoption of the minutes of the meeting of 10 July 2014 was moved by Mr Nchabeleng and seconded by Ms Magadla after few issues were raised. Amongst the concerns raised was one by Mr Filtane, who queried why objections raised at the meeting on minority views had not been included. He emphasised that objections raised must be reflected in the minutes.
The Secretary of the Committee, Ms Phumla Nyamza, responded that the objection raised had already been reflected in the previous minutes, before 9 July.
The motion for the adoption of the minutes of the meeting of 30 July 2014 was moved by Mr Walters and seconded by Ms Magadla.
The motion for the adoption of the minutes of the meeting on 20 August 2014 was moved by Ms A Qikani (ANC) and was seconded by Mr Filtane.
Mr Mhlongo expressed his displeasure at the lateness of reports being sent to the Members. He said that he had received the report for this meeting only the day before.
The Chairperson acknowledged this. She said that this meeting was an exception, however, because the second day of the training that the Committee Members were to attend had been cancelled at a late hour, thereby facilitating the fixing of this meeting.
Mr Filtane asked whether it was possible to have a revised timeline of when reports would be sent to Members.
Ms Nyamza replied in the negative. She said that the time when reports could be sent to Members depended on several circumstances. However, she assured them that as long as the timetable of the committee meetings was not interrupted, the Members would have the presentations at least two days before the meeting.
Mr Walters noted that that Point E of the meeting of the 20th of August should be rephrased to which there was a consensus.
Ms Nyamza informed the Members that there was an invitation from the DRDLR to a Land Summit between 4 and 6 September in Johannesburg. The trip had been approved for all the Members, but each Member must indicate their availability. She emphasised that if, after the plane and hotel bookings had been made, any Member who failed to attend the summit would be expected to pay back the amount incurred for the trip.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for the presentation and the engagement with the Members. She particularly commended the Deputy Minister for being available for the meeting from its beginning to the end. She reminded the Department that their quarterly reports must be submitted in time. She agreed that an oversight visit was needed in order to verify all the issues raised in the presentation.
The meeting was adjourned.
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