Department of Rural Development and Land Reform on gender equality (cont)

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

11 August 2015
Chairperson: Ms T Memela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform briefed the Committee on key programmes and policies intended to benefit women and persons with disabilities in South Africa, as well as contracts awarded to entities where women are directors and members. This was a follow-up meeting to the one held the week before, in which the document regarding the Department’s key programmes and policies had been presented. The Committee had been unhappy with the answers to its questions, and had asked the Department to address them again the following week.

Two documents were presented. The first contained the same information that had been presented the week before, as well as the additional information that the Committee had asked for. This document outlined programmes implemented by the Department to empower women in general, and rural women and people with disabilities specifically. The Department confirmed that there were some challenges regarding the land distribution and recapitalisation projects, but that it had made progress in these respects.

Committee Members said they were anxious over the fact that farmers of small holdings were still losing land, and that land redistribution was occurring very slowly. They wanted to know how long it was going to take for land to be completely redistributed. There was also concern over the fact that statistics regarding the employment and training of women in different provinces fluctuated. It was asserted that mentors for the Department’s rural development programmes seemed to be benefiting more from the programmes than the farmers that they were meant to be helping. However, the Committee’s greatest concern was that, while the Department seemed to be doing a lot to empower women, it was not nearly enough.

The second document listed the companies that had been awarded contracts, as asked for by the Committee at the last meeting. The Department was constrained to a large extent by National Treasury directives, such as the prohibition on public sector supply chain management institutions from implementing set-asides that would have made a practical impact in terms of advancing targeted groups of society for empowerment. If the Department were to go against these directives, it could end up in court and its work would not get done, so it was very careful about adhering to those directives. The total value of contracts issued in the 2014/2015 financial year to companies that were 100% controlled by women, had been R55 million.

Members expressed disappointment over the lack of measurable targets, and the fact that a budget had not been set aside specifically for empowering women. However, the Chairperson ended the meeting by saying she believed that the Department was a partner to the Portfolio Committee, and could help them to empower women. 

Meeting report

The Chairperson started the meeting by saying that this was a follow-up to the meeting that the Committee had had with the Department the week before.

Mr Eugene Southgate, Deputy Director General (DDG): Corporate Services, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), said the Committee had asked for additional information, so two presentations would be delivered. One dealt with the Department’s land reform programme and, as requested, a list of the farms had been put together. The other dealt with procurement in the Department, indicating where business or contracts had been given to companies which had some female control.

The committee had also asked for details regarding the DRDLR’s employment equity (EE) programme. The Department’s project focused on people with disabilities. It had started engaging with the disability sector to see how they could assist in attracting more persons with disabilities to apply for jobs in the Department. The DRDLR would then ask them to help develop a plan for its various programmes, to reserve certain posts for persons with disabilities so that when these posts were advertised, it was specified that only persons with disabilities may apply to these posts. This would provide an exclusive list of jobs for which, if people without disabilities applied, the Department will not even look at their application. The Department would start publishing vacancy lists on the electronic bulletin board of the disability associations across the country so that persons with disabilities had access to them, which had been identified as a problem.

With regard to gender, the DRDLR wanted stricter control over deviations from the employment equity plan, so that if the male:female ratio at the senior management level is not 50:50, there needs to be provide a strong motivation for why one is not able to appoint a female in the post. The Department also wants to provide more support to women for bursaries for development, and to send them on training courses both internally and externally. The majority of people in the current pipeline need to be women.

Mr Southgate provided information on the Department’s support for rural women, with a list of organisations that are women-owned and manage rural enterprises in the agricultural and non-agricultural value chain. As a result of the DRDLR’s engagement with the Committee last week, its monitoring and evaluation components would be starting to establish data bases from which this information could be extracted far more easily.

With regard to support for rural women for infrastructure development, the Department insisted that the contractors that were used to do the provision of water and sanitation. etc, must employ a certain percentage of women to do some of the construction work. With regard to the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec) programme, there is a 50 50 split in terms of the men and women who join the programme. At 30 June this year, there were 7 758 candidates, of whom 4 618 were women, so there are more women coming into the programme than men at this stage. The minimum is a 50-50 split.

The Committee had asked for information about agri-parks. The agri-parks model envisaged farmer control and ownership, of which at least 50% would be female farmers. The Minister had been quite clear in his directive to the Department, that it must be unemployed women and young people in the rural areas that must benefit from this programme. Weekly meetings are held with the national parks team, and every province also has a provincial task meeting once every two weeks. One of its responsibilities is to track the employment and uptake of women and young people in all the agripark projects across the country. The good thing about this is that the M and E department has started to track this from inception, so the moment it becomes evident that it is not having an impact, the Department will be able to raise the red flag. Through the programme, the Department envisages increasing the number of women and small holder farmers who come through to the agri-park programme as well. The development of small holder farmers is crucial for the country in terms of food security and many other programmes that the DRDLR is going to depend on. Of the 89 000 jobs that the Department envisages to creating, 60% should be women, and the majority of these would be within agro-processing. All enterprises within the supply chain would also be targeting at least 60% women’s ownership and participation. Various enterprises and skills development opportunities included people with disabilities. One example was the Selebi school, which had blind beneficiaries who underwent training. These were just a few of the projects where the Department involved the disability sector in terms of the rural development programmes.

Mr Southgate referred to land acquisitions and recapitalisation projects. The Department had issued a media statement a week or two ago with regard to recapitalization, stating it was focusing on and targeting women and persons with disabilities. The examples he extracted from the recapitalization and acquisitions programmes were a game and livestock farm, which was acquired for R6.3 million by the Department for a female farmer with 21 years of farming experience. There were other examples, such as the young woman for whom a farm had been hired -- she had developed the farm on her own and the Department was supporting her through the recapitalisation programme. The purpose of acquiring farms was to support small holder farms in communal areas. He went on to give another example, with a R3.8 million land acquisition for 22 farmers consisting of women and children in the Zululand district of KwaZulu-Natal. The farm dwellers would receive full title to this land. In Mpumalanga, the Department had acquired a farm for R4.1 million and given it to a farmer with disabilities. The grazing land he was occupying was not big enough for his current livestock, and also prevented him from expanding his herd. More importantly, the beneficiary was losing livestock due to theft in the communal area as well.

The DRDLR recognised that there were challenges in terms of the recapitalization programme, but it had made some progress. The support varied from production input and infrastructure, to machinery and implements. 5 473 jobs had been created, and of these 46% were for women. 2 202 farmers had been capacitated in the form of training, and 50% of these farmers (1207) had been women.

Mr Southgate showed a slide dealing with a list of farms benefiting women, and the farms that the Department had acquired, which was the additional data that the Committee had asked for.


Ms N Tarabella-Marchesi (DA) asked how long it would take for land to be redistributed. Why was it taking so long? The Department might be facing challenges, but what was it doing to speed up the process?

Ms M Khawula (EFF) said the Department had mentioned that land had been acquired because of livestock theft by local communities, and asked if the Department was in a position to provide these women with electrical fencing. In other areas such as Kwamashu, there were people with livestock and other animals, who had fences, so could the DRDLR not help these women to get fences?

Referring to the issue of people who had already acquired land, she said she had seen some progress by the department in KwaZulu-Natal in providing people with land. However, did the Department have any mechanisms in place to make sure that the women who acquired land were not being used by others – that they were not fronting?

Ms M Chueu (ANC) said she had not seen anywhere in the presentation the department discussing land that had been taken and needed to be redistributed, but only about land that people were claiming. As the state, the Department must say where the 87% of land was, and how it was going to get it back. The Department was addressing this issue, affecting people from whom land has been taken, very slowly. How long would it take to address the requests? She was a shareholder in South Africa as a women, so if men could ask these questions, so could she. Considering that the Department had said that they were supporting women to continue with the process, had they managed to include women in the value chain in each and every project? Maybe it was not the Department’s responsibility, but if there was no plan to support the value chain, how did one work with the Department to make it possible to allocated proper land to farm and to thrive? In order to make them entrepreneurs, did the DRDLR relate to the Department of Trade and Industry to help them move forward?

She asked whether the Department, because it said it was not responsible for agricultural projects, related to the Department of Agriculture to do the whole value chain -- poultry, fisheries and all that -- and were all these departments supposed to help develop that particular value chain. Land was capital and power, and if one had land, one can produce from it. The Department had not presented anything that showed any progress in that sphere. Members of the Committee had been asking among themselves the role of the SADF. Was it only training? What co-operation did the DRDLR have with them? She asked what agri-parks were, and how women would benefit from them.

Regarding land acquisition, she said there had been a question that the Committee had asked officials in the Eastern Cape when they were doing oversight, which they could not answer. Were women who had been robbed of their land, and became widows who were legally not entitled to any land until the government gave them land in 1994, coming forward to claim? How many had come to the Department? Was the Department going to the community and explaining that widows are also entitled to land now in the new government? Did they still qualify? The Department’s officials could not give a clear answer when asked this question at the last meeting with Department. Maybe it was because the Department had never considered changing its policy, because the policy still rejected people who were not given the go ahead by their families.

The Department’s statistics showed that KwaZulu-Natal(KZN) was the only province with 50% of women having acquired redistributed land. What was stopping the Department from having similar figures in other provinces? Even among the youth the Department had trained fewer women. It was only in the Western Cape that more women had been trained – 670 out of 771. What was making the difference? In the Western Cape, many women were trained, but in KZN, where more women have been employed, fewer were being trained. Why were the statistics not the same? What criteria were being used in the provinces that were preventing women from coming to the training? There had been no employment or training in Gauteng, as if there were no farms or no land in Gauteng. However, there was a lot of land -- there was Bronkhorstspruit, Vereeniging, and the West Rand -- so why had no women been employed in Gauteng?

Ms Chueu said there many women in the “youth” category, but they had not been separated statistically from men. In most cases, the main figure presented on youth figures is always “many”. The interesting part about the Eastern Cape (EC) and oversight was that the EC has more women than men, but it was still men that continued to benefit, and the Department was not worried about this. If there were many women in the EC, why were men benefiting more than women? She referred to irrigation schemes which she said favoured white farmers, described as mentors or strategic partners, at the expense of rural communities. Government funds used to promote agriculture should help to create entrepreneurs in the communities. Strategic partners should not be the only beneficiaries of those millions from government.

The Chairperson voiced an additional concern regarding a dairy, where people from the local surroundings were buying in bulk from the outlet and selling it. This was not helping the poor community, and there was a lot of exploitation. A mentor should be someone who would hold a person’s hand on their journey down a rugged road to a smooth path. This should be done for the benefit of the people in the programme, and not just the benefit of the mentor. She said that the terminology that the Department used “leaves a bitter taste in our mouths because we are mostly interested in the upliftment of the very poor people. But this way, we are promoting an outsider at the expense of the people”.

Ms Tarabella-Marchesi said that when people were running a project, one could see if they were making a profit. However, the Committee had not been given any figure to show how much beneficiaries were producing, how much money they were making, or how much profit they were making, only the amount of money that the government was pumping in. She did not know how many of those projects there were out there, but the Committee needed to know exactly if people -- and also the surrounding community -- were really benefiting.

She referred to the slide on recapitalization and development, covering the period from 2009 to 2015, and pointed out that the figures for the Free State showed that 11 women had been trained in six years. This meant that in a year, two women were being trained -- in a country with a population of 55 million people and 25 million women. Only two women a year was a bit alarming! There were also 34 mentors for 11 people, a ratio which did not make sense. Unemployment in the country was at 35%, and agriculture was one of the areas that could actually assist the government in lowering the rate of unemployment. The economy of the Free State was driven by agriculture, but the Committee did not see the impact.

Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC) spoke about the issue of the Ncora project in the Eastern Cape. He said it was really pathetic, because the people who were there did not actually work on the project. The statistics would be different if there were people with knowledge to tell the Committee what was happening. The presenter did not have a clue about what was happening at that project. During the presentation, he had kept on saying “we will have to verify some of the facts with the communications officer,” and in the middle of a sentence the communications officer would say to the speaker that his facts were not actually right. The speaker would then say, “we will come back to that issue”. The person who gave the last presentation actually did more harm than good for the Department, because it raised questions about the accuracy of the statistics. Even with the kind of problems that were plaguing the projects, these were issues that should not take more than three months to resolve. It was not as if the Department had to go and do research. These problems did not happen 100 years ago. The project before used to make a lot of money. Ncora was actually the bread basket of that area, but now it had produced more beggars and the area is greener than it used to be. The Committee hears in the presentation what the Department decides to select to tell us.

Mr Nchabeleng said he had been involved in the Ncora project before being a Member of this Committee. He used to work for the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and knew that the IDT had funded the project through a social development partnership that they had 15 years ago. A lot of money had gone into these projects in the name of communities, but who were they actually benefiting? People ended up fighting amongst themselves, and the project had caused more death than any benefits it had had for the area. People in the area say that the chairperson had ordered people to kill particular people, but then they say that this information does not belong in this meeting. The gaps in the information supplied by the Department had actually done the Committee more harm than good.

He asserted that people were still losing land now. With regard to widows in traditional areas, when a man dies, in most instances family and friends say that the wife bewitched him, and then the wife is punished. Part of the punishment is that she loses all of her inheritance if she does not agree to marry her ex-husband’s younger brother. The family thinks that if they cannot keep the woman in the family, then why should she continue being a stakeholder in the family, and she becomes and outsider. What this literally means is that when the husband dies, the woman gets divorced by the family. Sometimes even the children get disowned and do not get access to the husband’s inheritance. Is the message being sent that a widow can claim against her husband’s brother if she was disposed of the little piece of land that she had? To some people, that little piece of land was the only thing between them and poverty. This was the shack that she built with her husband with money from working as a domestic worker, and then when he died, she loses it to some uncle that she had never even met in her life. These were the issues that are facing women. It was worse in the townships, where one had only four rooms and there were six children, and the first born built two extra rooms and therefore thinks that the house is his. There would be more of those in the urban areas than one would find in the rural areas because with traditional authorities, when you are a widow and you have problems, you go to the Inkosi and he would give you a piece of land somewhere to build your shack on -- if you were lucky.

The Chairperson asked how the Department dealt with land restitution in cases where people have been moved three times. Those people had lost everything. Every time they moved, it was to barren areas and they had no help at all. She said these were issues that Committee Members had raised at the last meeting with the Department, but they had not had any answers. She did not know why the man who had presented at the last meeting had been chosen to be the head of the Department, because he did not know anything. He kept on communicating with people in positions much lower than his, and received their “no-good” answers. The Committee had told him it was going to report this and were going to have another meeting with the Department because it wanted proper answers. Most of those destitute people were women and children. Had the Department gone back to the original place where these people had stayed, as well as the places that they had been moved to -- both the second place and the third -- to actually build a strong case for restitution?

Ms G Tseke (ANC) said the Minister had indicated recently that the department would be opening offices for land claims where people could access information. She wanted to know when and where the Department was going to open those offices, because in the different constituencies there were criminals who saw that people were disgruntled and were collecting money from them to assist with their land claims, and information regarding land claims.

In the presentation last week, the Department had indicated that it had a gender gap of 9% in terms of women’s representation at the senior management level. Was there a time frame for when it would close this gap? Were there any gender focal points in the Department?

She asserted that the Department had encountered a challenge with its first intake to the Narysec programme. She had young people in her constituency that had been trained in the Narysec programme, yet they had not even received accreditation. They were sitting at home. In July, there had been interviews to identify young people for this programme, and they were now attending training. After that training, were they going to join the masses that were sitting at home doing nothing? Were there plans for them so that they could be part of the workforce? Other young people had done intensive training in the military, which they say is good and intensive, but they also ask what they are going to do after that? Are they also going to sit at home doing nothing?

She had heard that the Department was engaging the disability sector, but this must be pushed because an equity target had been identified long before 2010, and after the government had extended the deadline the Department had not complied. The Committee had extended it to 2014, and the Department had still not reached the target. Is the Department engaging with people in the disability sector? What was the problem? When one met the disabled when doing constituency work, they say that they are not appointed to posts. Even when they are appointed, it is at lower levels. They are employed as switchboard operators, even those with skills and the capacity to do the work. When will the Department improve this situation? The committee must be kept updated on the latest information, because even the President, in his State Of the Nation address in 2012, had re-emphasised that the public service and different departments must employ people with disabilities.

The Chairperson wanted to get some clarity around the dairy farms in KZN. Where in KZN was this dairy farm and when had it been acquired? What was the procedure? The Committee would be going to visit that dairy farm to get more information.

Mr Nchabeleng said the Public Employment Services Act stated that certain jobs had to be advertised via the public service system that they used. Was the Deputy Director General of the Department aware of that? If the Department was making use of it, were the trainees at Narysec registered with the Department of Labour, because Narysec did not give people jobs -- it was a skills training programme. Being trained via Narysec gave one an advantage when applying for jobs, but Narysec did not include placement. With the Public Employment Services Act, he felt the Department could take some of the young people from the Narysec scheme, because its organogram was not complete and it was still looking for some people to work with in the Department. What was the Department doing to implement the Public Employment Services Act?

Ms Khawula referred to the slide dealing with land acquisition and recapitalisation projects. She wanted to know the whereabouts of the 22 people that had acquired land, because many things were being said about what was being done in different provinces, but little was known by the communities in the provinces. There were co-ops that had been established for women in KZN, there was no support system to take them through. There was a need to have systems to assist people when there is a drought.

The Deputy Director General responded by stating that one critical policy area concerned communal land, where the majority of rural people lived in the former homelands. When people there lost their land, for whatever reason, this was where one saw a whole lot of gaps in the policy. What was in the policy might not be what was happening on the ground. Mentors were supposed to hold the hand of those being mentored, and not supposed to benefit at their expense. The Department knew what the gaps were. He said there may be a few farmers in Ncora who did not need mentors. Some of the people who were mentors were people who had failed as farmers. The contracts were very clear now. If the Department hands over R2 million, it has have some kind of assurance that the recipient does not just draw the money and then do whatever they want to with it. There were people who had bought BMWs and all sorts of other things with the money. There was a category of farmers who needed state assistance. The Department does not give someone who does not need a mentor, a strategic partner anymore. It assists a black farmer through share equity to be a shareholder in an enterprise. In the past, a 26% shareholding was allowed, but it had been found that the power relationship had remained the same. The Department now wanted to put black farmers in a position where they have the power.

From the report presented, there would seem to be some level of inequity with regard to the land that has been acquired. Why had the Department made progress in one province, and not in another? Regarding what was happening in Ncora, he said that the Department would try its best to respond. The Department would get that report, but they would not just sit and wait for it, they would be proactive.

He acknowledged the gap in the land tenure policy. One of the first pieces of legislation had been aimed at assisting people who had lost land through a racially-based policy. The widows who were losing land were not losing it as a result of a racial policy. It had excluded the cultural issues. These were women who had come to the Department and said they could farm. The Department would confront this particular problem head on. It was one of the most difficult areas to deal with. In 2003, there had been a draft bill, but the Department had been challenged from all directions and been taken to court. It would have implemented the bill by 2004, but some rights-based bodies had issues, so it was then declared unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court had given us two years to come up with another bill, and the Department had planned to bring it to Parliament this year. However, he did not think this would happen this year. The Department found itself between a rock and a hard place – one is entrenching apartheid by recognising the roles of traditional leaders. When the Department consulted, Parliament would assist it eventually. It should deliberately go out and seek the victims that were losing land and targeting them for assistance. It is aware of the gaps, and will follow up and investigate.

When a Department gets R9 billion in resources, how does it equitably distribute these resources? It had looked at the land mass of each province. Farming was real in Gauteng, but there were mostly smallholdings, not big farms. The Department had fewer than 388 projects in Gauteng. The same thing with the Free State -- there was a lot of land there, with a number of female farmers. The Department was not saying that it was enough -- it could be much better -- but there had been some small progress in that province. A lot more could be done. There could have been far more women, and there should have been a lot more trained. There were 34 mentors, but those mentors were not only brought in for those women.

The Chairperson wanted to stress the point about people being moved around. That was where the problem started. How could one say that this was state land when this was land that had been taken away from you? The dairies were actually a project that had been started to help the poor, but they were not benefiting.

Mr Shabane responded that a similar thing could happen with the majority of irrigation schemes, and he was not disputing that this land could have been taken from black people. The Committee had asked when the Department was going to complete the land restitution process. The process of restitution would happen and then the land would be given to its rightful owners. Right now, there were many similar schemes. At least, in the case of Ncora, it was known that there was a restitution claim.

The Chairperson retorted that she was a KZN girl, and that they were fighting for it.

Mr Shabane responded that the bundle that people generally referred to as state land was contested because there were restitution claims, but once the claim was settled, the ownership would change. What needed to happen was to speed up the restitution process.

He would ask the DDG to respond on the location of the projects listed in the document. The Department did not want to leave the Committee with the impression that these projects did not exist in reality.

The Chairperson replied that the Committee would still go on an oversight visit, as it was well aware that some of the areas indicated on the Department’s map had had interventions.

Mr Shabane responded that the Department would accompany the Committee this time around.

Referring to Narysec, he said he thought the Department had bitten off more than it could chew with its first intake in 2010. What had been found when training them, was that the state of the FET colleges was so bad that the Department had to assist them, which presented a challenge. It had a contract with about 38 of the colleges, but in Gauteng in particular, some of the training programmes were not recognised by the Skills Education Training Authorities (SETAs). He asked what the role of the Department was in helping these young people find jobs. How could it work with municipalities? It could not guarantee them a job. Its primary focus was to equip them with life skills.

Mr Southgate said that the Department had four mobile offices that traveled throughout the country to inform people about the land reclaim process. All of those mobile offices had schedules which were advertised in advance. This schedule was available for the Committee so it could decide when and where to visit.

Ms Chueu wanted to know how the Department trained people to understand that land was part of capital. Land was being given away for free because there was no clear strategy on how to redistribute the land. What were the people fighting for if the land was being given away for free? There were no clear strategies on how government was going to distribute land. Generations to come would never own land if the state did not have clear strategies for land redistribution.

Traditional leaders had given the Department a hard time in terms of the bill, but it should be remembered that women were also traditional. Women made up 52% of the body of society -- how could one function with only 48% of one’s body functioning? One could not function without women. The problem within societies, which is the oppression of women, was not being addressed. Some families were falling apart because half of their body was being oppressed. When traditional leaders talk about the oppression of women, one needs to explain to them that the country has adopted a non-sexist stance. They could not sit there and be chiefs for ever and ever. Those are the issues that needed to be addressed with the chiefs. The Constitution was the highest legal authority in the land, so how could judges go against it?

The Chairperson asked the Department if answers to some of the issues could be given to the Committee in writing. Ms Chueu and Tseke both said that the Department had answered most of their questions.

Mr Southgate then presented the next document to the Committee. It listed the companies that had been awarded contracts, as asked for by the Committee at the last meeting. The Department was constrained to a large extent by National Treasury directives, such as the prohibition on public sector supply chain management institutions from implementing set-asides that would have made a practical impact in terms of advancing targeted groups of society for empowerment. If the Department were to go against these directives, it could end up in court and its work would not get done, so it was very careful about adhering to those directives. The total value of contracts issued in the 2014/2015 financial year to companies that were 100% controlled by women, was R55 million.


Ms Chueu asked if the R55 million was for the 2015/2016 financial year budget.

Mr Southgate replied that it was for the entire period of the last financial year, and the first quarter of this financial year. However, that was only the figure for companies that were 100% owned by women. For the goods and services budget, excluding land allocation, the Department had about R1.5 billion.

The Chairperson said that she needed clarity on page four of the document, where reference was made to Vryburg Stationers and Booksellers. Was this part of the package? The Committee was talking about land and agriculture, husbandry and so forth. Was it rural development?

Mr Southgate responded that it referred to the district office in North West. In that particular district, this outlet supplied the furniture and stationery, and so forth.

The Chairperson said she had asked if it was part of the Department’s package, because she thought that it could actually isolate those things, which should actually fall under something else. Her belief was that the development of offices should be put under administration, because it was confusing as it appeared now.

Ms Chueu said the Committee knew that after 20 years it was still not empowering women. Women were still unemployed, lived in poverty and were unequal to men in their life circumstances. The issues are raised at a policy conference, and the Department comes back to the Committee with a budget of R55 million to address those issues. How long would it take this time to get women to where the Committee wants to take them – 40 years?

Ms Tarabella-Marchesi asked if the Department had any targets when it came to empowering women. That would give the Committee an idea of progress, because it looks like the Department was doing a lot, but it was not doing enough. The Committee wanted to know what the targets were and how many women it intended to see being employed over a period of time.

Mr Southgate said that with regard to the question on Vryburg Stationers and Booksellers, the allocation of the contract was within the Department’s goods and services budget. The furniture and stationery that the Department requires in all the provinces formed part of the R1.5 billion set aside for goods and services.

The Chairperson asked if this was a once off payment.

Mr Southgate replied that it was not, but it was constant. Whenever the Department needed stationery, it procured stationery, so it had to form part of the budget. Apart from the money that was set aside, the other money was for land acquisition and recapitalization, which formed the bulk of the budget.

Mr Shabane said that in the work the Department was doing now with the Department of Small Business, it would be assisted by the National Treasury to issue set-asides. There would be a list of goods and services items that Treasury would direct government departments to procure 30% from small business enterprises across the board. If there was a target like that, the Department would certainly pursue it.

The Chairperson thought it was time that the Department developed synergy with government. That way, the municipality could not do something wrong and then turn around and say that it did not know about it.

Ms Chueu asked why there was no budget dedicated to women. Women could not always be relegated to smaller things. They needed to participate in bigger things. The country had adopted the principle of non-sexism. This principle meant mainstreaming women into positions of power. They must no longer be deputies and in lower positions in departments. This country had taken a position to empower women. There needed to be a conscious effort to put aside money to develop women. Women must participate in the economy as equal partners.

Ms Tarabella-Marchesi discussed the issue of only 30% of the budget going to small businesses, not even towards women. She said that 30% was a very small amount. It was disheartening, because the majority of South Africans were in small businesses. This meant the smaller part of the population got the bigger chunk of the budget, and that was a problem. How can people be empowered if we only have 30% of the budget for small businesses? It seemed that the issue of empowering South Africans was not being taken seriously. Women were the ones in micro enterprise, and one had to question what impact 30% would make in terms of employment?

The Chairperson said that the last comment, by Ms Tarabella-Marchesi, was not aimed at the Department directly, but the Committee was sending it a message to them, saying knock on the door, because it was a partner in the development of women.

Ms Khawula said she believed that there were no mechanisms for mainstreaming women. Women should be helped to develop their talent. When a black women was victimised, or abused or raped, there was no swift response, but if this happened to a woman of another race there was a swift response. Those were the things that really affected women.

The Chairperson pleaded for the Department to look at its policies in total, even if some of the policies were not directly affecting it. Rural areas were where one could alleviate poverty and hunger. There had to be an improvement in the work that was done.

The meeting was adjourned. 

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