The Committee was briefed by the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) on its third quarter 2014/15 performance and financial report. Apologies were received from the Minister and Deputy Minister. At the outset, Members expressed their dismay that the ITB was reporting from a document that contained different figures to the one sent through to Members earlier, and it was difficult to follow the presentation. Secondly, several commented that the reporting format was problematic, as it did not conform to standard practices nor terminology as used in the Public Finance Management Act. This was something that the Committee had previously pointed out and it again asked it to seek assistance in the reporting format from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR). The Board was left in no doubt that its professionalism was in doubt when the documents were not checked before being sent to Members and when queries on figures could not be answered up front.
The ITB went through the report and tried to explain the figures and what it had been doing. The ITB obtained its funding from two sources: transfer payments from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and funding that was self–generated. In this quarter it had spent R6.07 million, or 13.37% of the total budget for the year, but spending to date was at 44.48% of the total annual budget. R1.7 million was spent on compensation of employees and R3.3 million was utilised on goods and services, and one satellite office in Ulundi cost R82 500 in this quarter. A matter that later was interrogated by the Committee was the payment of R12.9 million, from a budget of R17 million, on compensation of employees. Revenue generated in this quarter was R8.8 million or 14.03% of the total budget for the year. 262 tenure rights were granted by the Board and signed by both parties. No land management projects were identified and implemented. Six Traditional Council workshops were held on land management issues. Some rights had not been finalised because of documents being delayed in postal strikes, but the ITB planned to finalise them soon; several with government departments also had to be returned. Projects that were not finalised had been identified and consultations were being held with local authorities. ITB listed some of the factors that could lead to delays. The ITB presented further detail on its efforts to assist disabled people, and the bursary awards, as requested at the last meeting, but also noted that the bursary and other policies were being reviewed by a service provider. Following up on previous questions, the ITB also reported that the staff structure was 27 posts of which 25 were filled permanently, and 31 contract posts.
Members asked for clarity on who was now employed by the ITB and heard that the previous CEO had been investigated, challenged the ITB and then resigned, so the post was officially vacant and could be filled. They asked why the full Board was present, a costly exercise, particularly since they were not answering questions, and the ITB said that this was done because a previous Committee had questioned the absence of board members, but the ITB would adopt the position that the Committee wanted. The ITB was questioned on where the different figures had been inserted, and why some figures had been consolidated. Members questioned what exactly the Board saw as its mandate, and pointed out that it did not actually appear to have implemented anything in this quarter, nor did there appear to be a specific budget allocation for it to do so. Members asked why the compensation of employees was so high and their contractual status, pointed out that only one project was specifically costed, and asked why such high amounts were paid to traditional leaders and what exactly the ITB was doing for them; also whether it was acting in their interests or the interests of the country, and specifically questioned statements by King Zwelithini that appeared to suggest that the Board was complying with his proposals on land, an impression that was corrected by the ITB Chairman. Members asked what specific actions the ITB had taken to improve the quality of people’s lives in this quarter, and commented that the Annual Performance Plans and quarterly report did not speak to the same targets. Members were generally not happy with the answers to their questions. One Member suggested that the political heads must be invited to the next meeting and another suggested that since the Board did not appear to be doing anything, its continued existence could not be justified and said that the only people benefiting were the staff, traditional leaders and accommodation and flight providers for the meetings. The ITB assured the Committee that it had no intention to ignore any suggestions from the Committee and called for guidance on the structure of future reports.
Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
The Chairperson said that the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB or the Trust) was present to present its 3rd Quarter Performance Report. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR or the Department) was also supposed to submit quarterly reports to the Committee as a lead up to the Annual Performance Report. The Annual Performance Plan and the Strategic Plan would provide the guidelines on what the ITB and Department were supposed to do in the financial year. The Committee would then be able to check whether the ITB had been able to achieve its planned objectives. The Committee intended to make sure that whatever it did was done efficiently, effectively and cost effectively. The Committee had requested that when it invited entities, the Accounting Officers should be part of the meeting unless the Committee requested the presence of other members.
Apologies were received from the Minister and Deputy Minister. There was a standing apology from the Content Advisor.
Ingonyama Trust Board 3rd Quarter 2014/15 Performance Report
Mr Mduduzi Shabane, Director General, DRDLR, said that the Ingonyama Trust Board was led by the Chairman, Mr Justice Jerome Ngwenya, to whom he would hand over.
Judge Jerome Ngwenya, Chairperson, ITB, noted that Mr Amin Mia, Acting Chief Executive officer, would present on a number of areas especially on finances and would be assisted by Mr Duncan Pakkies, Acting Real Estate Manager for the ITB. He would deal with certain aspects of performance regarding the projects of the ITB.
Judge Ngwenya outlined the vision, mission and mandate of the Trust (see attached document for full details).
Mr Amin Mia, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ingonyama Trust Board said that the additional comment to the slides presented was that the transfer payment received from the Department was first utilised by the Trust for expenditure. The Board obtained its funding from two sources: transfer payments from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and funding that was self – generated by ITB.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked if it was correct for the Trust to make the presentation in this way because he was unable to follow it.
Mr A Madella (ANC) said that he thought Mr Mia should actually just refer to the number of the slide and not the page number.
The Chairperson asked if reference could be made to slide numbers rather than page numbers.
Mr Mia said that the total amount spent in the third quarter amounted to R6.07 million and this represented 13.37% of the total budget for the year. R1.7 million was spent on compensation of employees. R3.3 million was utilised on goods and services. The Trust paid R82 500 for one satellite office leased in Ulundi.
Mr Mia explained that the total amount spent up to the end of the third quarter amounted to R27.9 million. This represented 44.48% of the total budget for the year. Out of a R17 million budget, R12.59 million was spent on compensation of employees. The total revenue generated for the 3rd Quarter amounted to R8.8 million and this represented 14.03% of the total budget for the year.
Mr Duncan Pakkies, Acting Real Estate Manager for the ITB, referred to the strategic plan performance of the ITB. He said that 262 tenure rights were granted by the Board and signed by both parties. No land management projects were identified and implemented. Six Traditional Council workshops were held on land management issues.
Mr Pakkies said that the challenge experienced with regard to the tenure rights performance indicator was not being able to get the documents in time, because once the leases were approved these documents had to be posted. There was a shortfall of 38 tenure rights, which was partly due to the postal service strike. The remedial action plan in place was to conclude the signing of 210 leases in the Uthungulu region, and 80 leases with the Department of Public Works (DPW).
Judge Ngwenya said that he would also deal with the challenges encountered in land management. One of the key performance areas was to achieve a number of leases. The main beneficiaries of the ITB were various government departments. The process had not been as quick as was hoped for as a number of leases from government departments still had to be returned.
There was a shortfall on three projects. They were identified and were under discussion. At the end of the 3rd Quarter they had not been finalised and implemented. These projects were sometimes longer than expected because they involved land that was vacant. This required detailed consultation with the relevant local authority so that the best land could be agreed upon, and then the planning processes could be activated. This point was clearly illustrated by Slide 23, with the project in the Mpophomeni area. Sometimes this process had to be done with private investors and local authorities. Whilst in the process of preparing a project it was sometimes found that the land had been invaded, then the ITB had to enter into negotiations. It also often happened that the land invaders could not be identified. The project in the Mpophomeni area should have been completed some time ago but unlawful occupations prevented this from happening. Sometimes the land was controlled by Traditional Authorities, but this was not the case with this project so oversight fell to the ITB. Once projects were completed it was easy to make formal allocations.
Judge Ngwenya said that the area where the Enyokeni Precinct Development Plan (slide 27) was located had been formalised by the local municipality. The reason for this was because the area was strategically located between Nongoma and Ulundi, an area occupied by a poverty stricken community of the uSuthu Tribe. Provincial and Local Government were already constructing a number of public infrastructural sites in the area. This process was taking place at a slower pace because the National Department of Arts and Culture had a bigger project underway where the traditional area was being upgraded. Also, the Department of Public Works had to be dealt with, because this department had to ensure that all other government buildings were in place. Added to this was the challenge of land invasion. The process was taking longer than expected, for all these reasons, and this impacted on the Board achieving the number of leases hoped for.
Mr Mia said that the Committee had asked if the Board could establish a database that showed who the Board was paying for, with regard to educational awards and disability. The Board did have a database showing interventions to assist disabled persons. In addition, there was one for educational awards. 51 males and females had received educational awards for the following fields of study: Nursing, Bachelor of Science Agriculture, Bachelor of Arts, Medicine, Bachelor of Commerce Accounting, Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Education, Tourism and Public Relations qualifications.
In the previous meeting the Committee had requested information about the human resources position of the ITB. Mr Mia reported that there were 27 permanent posts of which two were vacant and 25 were filled. There were 31 contract posts and all were filled.
Mr Mia reported on the 3rd Quarter Accounting Authority Meetings as requested for by the Committee. He said that Executive Committee (EXCO) meetings were held on 1 October 2014, 5 October 2014, 18 November 2014 and 10 December 2014. Board meetings were held on 24 October 2014, 3 December 2014 and 2 December 2014. The Board held Tenure meetings on 1 October 2014, 7 November 2014 and 5 December 2014. The Board had to explain outstanding issues.
The Chairperson asked for clarity about ‘who was who’ in the ITB. She asked further about self-generated income. The way it was written in the presentation, expenditure seemed different from the transfers. This was creating confusion.
Judge Ngwenya replied that the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position was created by circumstances. When the Board reported to the Committee the last time it had reported that the then-CEO had been suspended pending investigation. Technically, in terms of employment laws, one had to get someone to perform those functions without being called a CEO. The suspension was related to the accuracy of minutes for the Board had observed a level of tampering with the minutes. It then asked an independent service provider to undertake an investigation into the matter so that it could lay charges of tampering. Charges were formulated. The CEO challenged the Board and took the matter to the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Subsequently he resigned. The investigation had been completed now, so therefore the position had become officially vacant, in March 2015. This was done in consultation with the Department.
Mr P Mnguni (ANC) asked the ITB to take the Committee through the current document because the Committee had prepared the questions on the basis of another document that had been sent to the Committee earlier.
The Chairperson said that an amended document was then sent after the first document. She asked the ITB to highlight the areas where changes or amendments were made, and provide reasons for the amendments.
Mr Mia said that when he looked at the document again, he had found some errors and corrected them. These errors were:
- In the last line of the table in slide nine: 52.03% - this was 53%
- Slide 14 under Software and Intangible assets: 900 000. The figure put in by the accountant was incorrectly recorded as R500 000.
- The figure for buildings and other fixed structures was changed from R3 million to R2.6 million.
The Chairperson said that these amendments should have been indicated in the document.
Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC) said that when documents were sent they should be checked first, because professionalism was at stake. He asked how the ITB could be reporting from documents that had been changed on the day of the meeting. It had been discussed, the last time that there was a meeting, that both parties had to account in terms of the law. Parliament used the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and accounted in terms of those formats. He commented that the usual terminology used was ‘income’, but the ITB referred to ‘self-generated’ funds. The ITB should change its reporting format to what had been agreed upon in the past. The Committee would have to see how to take the Board through the process of how to report. The ITB should at least get the Department to help it to report in a user friendly format, or one more closely aligned to the PFMA. The ITB was established by Parliament, which meant it could disestablish it, so it was particularly important that the ITB must listen carefully to the Committee and its advice.
Judge Ngwenya said that some of the Committee Members seemed to be regarding the report as deliberate non-compliance. He said he would like to place on record that the Board, as well as the Secretariat of the Board, had no intention to defy any directive that came from this Committee. He said that the Board had been told, two weeks ago, to appear before this Committee. Mr Mia and Mr Pakkies were in Pretoria and they advised the Board about the invitation. The Secretariat was asked to get the report ready, since both management members were in Pretoria and they thus had delegated responsibility and were unable to check the format of the report until their return from Pretoria over the weekend. He asked the Committee to understand, therefore, that there was hardly time to meet collectively to interrogate the information in the Report. This was not acceptable, but it was not deliberately done. He could not recall exactly what was said with regard to general income from the Board, so the Board felt it was important to describe the source of income. The ITB was a statutory body and could be dissolved, so it therefore sought guidance as to how to describe income in the normal sense. By ‘Transfer’, the Board meant money transferred from the Executive Authority. The Report was not prepared at the last minute. The Board had also received the amended version this morning.
Mr Madella (ANC) aligned himself with the comments of Mr Nchabaleng. The errors that were pointed out were merely calculation errors, where very simplistic errors were made with subtractions. This referred to what the Chairperson had said in the beginning about the two processes of accounting, self-generating funding and transfers.
On the issue of the lease for the satellite office, Mr Madella said that if the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Quarter amounts were added, then the total amount paid was R148 500, but if the 3rd Quarter loan was singled out, then the amount was R82 500. He asked what the lease amount was per month, saying that there were discrepancies; if it was averaged out for three quarters then it came to R49 500. The lease should be the same for each month in one year; it should not vary the way it was reflected here.
Mr Mia said that he wanted to emphasis that the rental of Ulundi satellite office was R148 500 for nine months. It was possible that this could have been paid for the previous quarter, or paid early for the quarter. There was no intention to misrepresent any figures.
The Chairperson asked for further clarity on the lease amounts.
Mr Mia replied that the leasing amount was R16 500. It was R148 500 for 10 months. This amount would have to be investigated because it should be R49 500. He was not sure if the amount was paid late, and reiterated that he would have to investigate it.
The Chairperson said to Mr Mia that if there were issues relating to the figures, he, as the accounting officer, should be able to explain.
Mr Mia replied that the R148 500 was R16 500 multiplied by ten months. Hearing some murmurings from the Committee, he corrected himself and said it was for nine months.
The Chairperson said that this was the 3rd Quarter Report. The Committee was not talking about ten months but talking about the specific three months of October, November and December. She asked how much the rental then was, for the quarter, if it was R16 500 per month.
Mr Mia said R49 500.
The Chairperson then asked Mr Mia to explain why this was not reflected in the report.
Mr Mia said that the figures were prepared by accountants, so there may be a reason why this figure had been put in here. Figures came directly from the General Ledger.
Mr Mhlongo registered his anxiety at this point, and said that he was not satisfied even with the explanations. There seemed to be a flaw with regard to how accounting principles were applied. Monthly reports had to be submitted to the Department and quarterly reports also had to be submitted to the Department before they came to the Committee. He asked if this meeting could be postponed and if the political heads could be invited to the next meeting with the Committee. The Members were not happy with explanations given by the ITB.
Judge Ngwenya replied that, in previous discussions with the Department, the ITB had never been directed to a specific format which this Committee wanted it to follow in presenting reports. At the end of the day, the ITB’s channel to this Committee was not direct, it was through the Ministry. The ITB humbly requested guidance as to how to prepare reports as it meant no disrespect and merely wanted to comply.
The Chairperson said that Members Nchabeleng and Madella had asked questions and had not made any follow-ups, so she was not sure if they were not satisfied with the explanations.
Mr Nchabeleng said that he was still listening to the answers to the questions.
Ms N Magadla (ANC) said that she wanted clarity on the apparently very high figure for compensation of employees. She asked if they were permanently employed.
Judge Ngwenya replied that employees were permanent or on contract. The Board was in the process of looking at what the ideal organogram was so that the capacity of the Secretariat could be increased. In the meantime, with the transition, the Board took people on contract and extended these until such time that an approved organogram allowed for the employment of more employees.
Ms Magadla said that when the two projects in Mpophemeni and Enyokeni were presented no budget costs were attached. She asked if budget costs could be provided for these two projects.
Judge Ngwenya replied that most of these projects were initially initiated from inside and therefore the costs were integrated into employees’ administrative costs, depending on the level of the project. Service providers had been identified and discussions were in progress as those projects were still in the initial stage.
Ms Magadla asked if the tribal authorities were paid by the ITB or local government. She had noted that a high amount went to tribal authorities.
Judge Ngwenya replied that this had to do with the ITB being a land management board and the revenue generated from land which was administered by particular tribal authorities. Where there was payment from the Board directed to any tribal authority, it had to do with revenue generated. The only concern was about revenue from land. This could be related to leases, telecommunication leases or mining materials.
Ms A Qikani (ANC) said that she was not happy with answers given to Mr Nchabeleng’s questions. The Committee had asked the Board to provide answers about which institutions it financed.
Mr Mia replied that slide 29 reflected the gender of those who received educational awards, but did not reflect the names of institutions where students did “crash courses”. A list of the institutions where students studied for their degrees would be made available to the Committee.
Mr T Walters (DA) said he agreed with Mr Mhlongo’s concerns, as there were more questions emerging than answers. He was also looking at these figures and trying to reconcile them with the Board’s mandate and what it was trying to achieve. He suggested that the Committee should deliberate further on what it expected from the Board.
Judge Ngwenya replied that the questions from both Mr Walters and Ms Qikane related to the mandate of the ITB. This was set out in the Act, which was attached to the document before the Committee.
Mr Mhlongo asked whether, given that R84 500 was paid for the satellite office, the monthly payments were only R27 500 per month.
Mr Mia said that the rental amount was R16 500 per month.
Mr Mhlongo said that only a few members of the Board were answering the questions despite a full board component being present. He commented that this was wasteful expenditure. For the ITB, its travel and accommodation expenditure ran into millions. He also commented on his concern that there were too many contract staff in the ITB.
Judge Ngwenya replied that in the past the ITB had sometimes been accused of disrespecting this Committee when not all board members attended the meetings. He was not aware if that resolution had now been rescinded. The Board was just trying to comply. He felt it was unkind that this Committee ordered all Board members to attend as a Board, when the legislation prescribed that there was an accounting authority who could come and account. The reason why all members who attended did not speak was simply because of the way that the presentation was structured. If the Committee wanted to take or had already taken a resolution that the full Board no longer attend, but only himself and the Deputy Chair, he would follow that ruling. He said that this also seemed to imply that the Board members were flying all over the country and that all accommodation expenses related to the Board. This was not what was correct, and he could not understand how this impression arose. He was aware of the flights of board members only because they came to these meetings.
Mr Mhlongo said that the Consolidated Income represented on slide 19 should be one figure, R12.61 million. He asked why there were two figures.
Mr Mia said that in the last few years, when the figures had been combined, the Committee had said that it wanted to know specifically what was being spent from the monies that were received from the Department. This was now reporting in line with that request; the Board itself had no particular desire to combine these things. In the financial statements, it should be noted that these reflected the way money was spent, and income from the Department, as well as income that the Board generated itself. The Board also gave a consolidated expenditure figure there. It made more sense to present it in this way as it gave more information about what was being spent on these two sources. One entity reported to one Committee, and therefore the Board reported in this manner.
Mr Mia said the R8.8 million in slide 18 represented the total income for that quarter. The total budgeted for that quarter was R62.7 million. The manner in which the Board structured the presentation was specifically chosen to show the Committee what income was received in terms of transfer payments and what income was received from self-generated income. He said that slides 18 and 19 were the same with regard to total income that Trust had generated, hence the consolidated figure.
Mr Mhlongo said that the outstanding issues should have been attached to the presentation. He asked why the ITB was underspending.
Mr Mia replied that a significant amount was budgeted to pay to traditional councils. 90% of ITB’s income was accrued to payment of traditional councils. Traditional councils normally sent the Board requests for payment, and the Board would consider whether projects would be approved or were viable, and if it concluded that payments could be made, it would approve. The Board refused in instances where it found that the reason for payment of the traditional council was not in line with the Board’s practice or policy. There was an interactive method of approving payments, However in 2015/16 the Board planned to engage communities via the Training Officer, building capacity, looking at how budgets were prepared and subsequently recommendations from communities to the Board on dispersal of funds.
Mr N Matiase (EFF) felt it important to remind Members that they represented different political views on the future of the country, and so they had a keen interest in the land reform process. He wanted to check the Board’s compliance under the Act that established it, as it was the custodian of the Ministry and the Act in its conduct and the way in which it did business. He noted the reference by the Chairperson to King Zwelithini ‘s intention to claim land in parts of KwaZulu Natal. He asked if the Board acted in the interests of the King and not in the interest of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. He thought that, legally speaking, this was problematic. The Chairperson of the Board’s posture that the Board might facilitate such claims on land meant that the Board would be acting in the interests of the King. The implication of a blanket land claim had some consequences for the country and for posterity. It had financial implications too. The Committee would also want to get a sense of what the intention of the Board was about, in facilitating a claim with such dire consequences.
He reiterated that this proposal could carry serious financial implications for the future if land was transferred through restitution processes from private individuals to tribal authorities or the ITB in the interest of the King or the people he represented. This would be regrettable because that land, as a matter of principle, would have had to be placed in the hands of the State on behalf of all South Africans. A Member of the Committee had said that the Minister or Deputy Minister should have been here if that proposal was considered, so that they would also be in a position to reply to it.
Mr Matiase said that on the budget presentation, the ITB had accrued R62.7 million as an annual allocation from government transfers, and through its own revenue sources accrued about R45.4 million. It would seem that the ITB only accounted for the R62.7 million that came in the form of a government transfer, and not that much was accounted for in terms of its own revenue income of R45.4 million. The Committee held the ITB fully accountable, and ITB held the Committee accountable, so the ITB should come clean about the R45.4 million. Accountability was important for prudent financial management. There was so much to discuss, but it seemed that the Committee was dealing with a system of administering affairs which would not have any positive result because it was "a maze of systems, procedures and protocols". He concurred with the Member who recommended that a full report on the state of the ITB’s finances should be presented to the Committee on government transfers and revenue income.
Mr Mia said that the R8.8 million on slide 18 was the total income for that quarter. The total budgeted for that quarter was R62.7 million. The manner in which the Board structured the presentation was to show the Committee what income was received in terms of transfer payments, and what income was received from self-generated income.
Judge Ngwenya added that ever since he had been a member of this Board, not once had the Department given even R20 million, so there was a need to clarify the figures that Mr Matiase had cited. His recollection was that the transfer payment had vacillated in the life of this board between R8 million and R17 million. This was usually unrecoverable. He would look at the figures that Mr Matiase had cited before he left the meeting.
Mr Matiane added that Mr Filtane had just brought to his attention where he had gone wrong in citing these figures, and apologised to Judge Ngwenya.
Judge Ngwenya spoke to the issue of land claims. It was not the mandate of this Board to entertain any land claims and as a board it was not its intention to do so. On 3 July 2014, when the King opened the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders in KwaZulu Natal, part of his speech had been directed to commending the President for reopening the opportunity for land claims for the people of KwaZulu Natal. In the same speech the King said he would take the opportunity to place the land in the care of traditional institutions in KwaZulu Natal, and requested the support of all traditional leaders in the province. In so doing he would ask his Board for assistance. Judge Ngwenya said that the King did not say it would be done by the ITB. The King had not done so up to now.
Mr M Filtane (UDM) said that slide 4 set out and explained the purpose and mission of the ITB. He wanted to deal with fundamental points, since other Committee Members had dealt with the specifics. The Committee had been consistently dissatisfied with the reports that were given. He referred to slide16, where 92% of expenditure was reflected - 47% for support services and 45% for Compensation of Employees – and said that 92% of funding had therefore been used for business that was not even the core business for which the ITB existed. This would be used as a point of reference to his presentation: 92% for support services. The fundamental question was what exactly was the ITB doing to change people’s lives (besides the personal lives of the Board members) as well as traditional authorities?
He said those two institutions got their monthly or quarterly remuneration quite regularly. He did not see anything in the budget about activities or initiatives that were planned for implementation in the 3rd Quarter. The reason why the ITB had not implemented was due to external factors which would not have cost anything. If one looked at all the slides for justification for the poor performance in implementing, it was clear that the ITB had never planned definitively, from a budget perspective, to implement anything. He therefore questioned the reason for its existence. He said that it had displayed inability to comment, the inability to manage projects, things not budgeted for, things not done. Therefore, the Board itself was undermining the reason for its existence. The ability to manage projects could have been the instrument used to achieve the stated purpose in slide 4.
Mr Filtane said that his recommendation was simple – and he wondered if anyone who was serious about government money would disagree; he would listen to any counter-arguments with interest. He suggested that either the Board must go back to the legislation and start to operate strictly in compliance with it, or it should be closed down and funding stopped. He did not believe that anyone who was serious about public spending would oppose this view. Government was not getting any value for money here. There were just two institutions that benefitted plus hotels and airlines, but certainly not who should be benefitting. He reiterated his recommendation that the Board be closed down and because it was unable to deliver on its mandate there was no prejudice attached to that suggestion.
Judge Ngwenya said that it must be remembered that the Board's mandate was derived from the Act. The Board was mindful of intergovernmental relations and the need to work with other stakeholders. The Board’s intention was ‘to improve on the quality of life of the members of traditional communities’ . It conceded that it could not evaluate that in isolation but accepted that its contribution could be measured in the context of other contributions and core functions of other institutions. The Board’s responsibilities rested around land. One of the responsibilities here was infrastructure which the Board had to provide. It made land available, and that was its contribution. He submitted to the Chairperson that it was be unfair to say that the Board was failing. He asked Honourable Members to give themselves adequate opportunity to observe the context in which the Board operated and begin to get more information about the role the Board was playing.
Mr Mia wanted to speak to the figures. He agreed that slide 16 showed that 92% of the funds were used for administrative purposes, and it was also true that 45% of the expenditure had been incurred for the year as administrative or for operating expenditure. For Goods and Services, there was a total payment of R3 336 863 for which R 1 489 455 was made to traditional councils. Although this was reflected under Goods and Services, he reiterated that the amount of R1 489 455 million was paid for administrative expenses of traditional councils, so the Board was giving them legal support.
Judge Ngwenya wanted to speak to the comment that the only beneficiaries of the activities of this Board were the traditional councils and board members. The functions the Board carried were straddled across the province and it operated as a working board where responsibilities were shared. The Board gave preference to certain matters when there was an urgency shown for those. He wanted to make it clear that none of the Board members intended to cheat the public or spend the valuable time of the public doing untoward things. It was not for the Board to say whether there was a need for it or not. There was no vested interest if, somewhere in the political process, there was a decision to do away with the Board, and ITB had nothing to say for itself on that matter.
Mr Mia said that in a previous meeting, a question on bursary policy was raised, that he now wanted to address. At the moment the Board had taken a decision to employ the services of a service provider, not only to look at the bursary policy, but all policies across the board, and to review them. The tender had gone out and the Board was in the process of reviewing expressions of interest so the bursary policy would be included in that. Previously, the Board had a bursary policy under which it had awarded to certain traditional councils. What normally happened was that the traditional council interrogated the bursary applications and a report was then made to the Board, with recommendations from the traditional council. This had been
interrogated by the Management Committee, then it went to the Executive Committee, then to Board itself for finalisation. The Board did not want to pay for institutions that were fly-by nights.
Mr Filtane said he wanted to ask a question about the budget for implementation. He was concerned that the ITB was not budgeting to implement specific things. He wanted a detailed and specific answer on that. because the ITB did not budget to implement and he would like to get that as a specific answer. He also wanted the ITB to show the Committee the budget line items that would show that it intended to implement in the third quarter, and to explain what it would be doing. The Committee had already heard the reasons why the ITB had not implemented. He also asked what action the ITB had taken to improve the quality of people’s lives in this quarter.
Mr Filtane asked the ITB for the names of its auditors.
The Chairperson said that some of the issues in the Annual Report did not appear in the quarterly report. The quarterly report was supposed to be based on the Annual Performance Plan and Strategic Plan. She said that the ITB was taking long to fill positions which impacted on their operations. She hoped that the Board would attend to all issues raised by Members.
The following questions were asked but not answered:
Mr Madella said that less than 45% of the income had been spent by the end of the third quarter. He asked for an explanation about this.
Committee Minute adoption
The Minutes of 4 March 2014 were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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