The Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG) and the Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA) each presented their strategic and annual plans. There were overlaps in some areas, firstly in the overall mandate provided to the former Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs by the Constitution, and in the adherence to the ‘Back to Basics’ policy that aimed to ensure full support and the bolstering of monitoring and improvement of the areas covered. The ‘Back to Basics’ approach was in line with the National Development Plan’s objectives to build a capable and developmental state.
It was highlighted in the DCOG presentation that although the Constitution provided that local government must be fully independent, this did not happen in practice. The national and provincial government had the responsibility to support municipalities, and DCOG aimed to support the delivery of municipal services. Specific targets and programmes were presented to the Committee. The DCOG had adopted a new plan that reorganised it into seven branches. Certain highlights of the plans, mainly to do with supporting municipalities, were emphasised.
Members wanted to know more about the overall targets of the Department for the 2016/17 financial year. It was unclear what criteria were being used for budget allocations of municipalities. Members asked about the number of African countries that were involved in the United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLGA) and the benefits that were derived by South Africa from this initiative. They wanted to know the status of the appeal around the issue of the electoral court and local government elections, as this had not been mentioned in the presentation. The budget of the Department for 2016/17 was planned to decrease, but to increase in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years -- what was influencing this fluctuation? The Committee should be briefed on the impact of the ‘Back to Basics’ programme and the improvements and challenges that were being experienced. What had been the progress and challenges in the implementation of Batho Pele (People First) to date? Regarding municipal debts to Eskom, the Department was asked if there was any planning in place to deal with the down payment arrangements, and also to service the current debts.
The Department of Traditional Affairs set out its vision and mission and said that its overall aim was to transform, develop and promote cohesiveness of traditional institutions. There were seven medium term strategic objectives dealing with integrating and aligning planning, improving internal controls, and supporting the Department of Health in its HIV and Aids awareness programmes and the promotion of safe, healthy and legal initiation practices. The Department also aimed to promote socio-economic and cultural development within traditional communities, and increase the number of functional structures of traditional leadership within all spheres of government. There would also be a prioritisation on the promotion of collaboration of traditional leadership with all spheres of government. The Male Initiation Bill was currently at the stage of finalisation and would be passed to Parliament as soon as concluded. The Department was planning to conduct four awareness campaigns on customary initiation practices by 2016/17 and aimed to reduce deaths and injuries from both winter and summer initiation seasons to zero by March 2020.
Members expressed concern about the fatalities and injuries to young men in the traditional initiation school. The Committee should get a commitment from the Department as to when the Male Initiation Bill would be finalised and tabled in Parliament. The issue of unequal budgets that were given to recognised chiefs in the country was also particularly concerning. They requested the Department to promptly address the “will-nilly kind of favouritism” that was given to other recognised kings. What was the view of the DTA on the sentencing of the King of the Abathembu, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo? The Committee should also get information on whether the DTA was able to fund the litigation costs of the King.
The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) also gave an overview of its strategic plan for the period 2015/2020, the constitutional and legislative mandates, its strategic priorities for 2015/2020, its 2016/17 annual targets, as well as the budget allocations. The Department said there continued to be unevenness in the capacity and performance of the public service. This unevenness was attributed to a complex set of factors, which included tensions in the political-administrative interface, instability of the administrative leadership, skills deficits, insufficient attention to the role of the state in reproducing the skills it needed, the erosion of accountability and authority, poor organisational design and low staff morale. The strategic goals of the DPSA aimed to address this unevenness.
The first goal was to establish a stable political-administrative interface. A framework had already been approved by Cabinet, which would include the creation of minimum levels of delegation and the retention of Heads of Departments within the public service. The second strategic goal was to make the public service a career of choice, where young people would be drawn into the public service through the graduate recruitment scheme and the appointment of the youth into learnerships and internships in the Department. The Department would also strive to have sufficient technical and professional skills for efficient and effective management and operations systems. At present, the Department had too many vacancies which had not been filled, and this had resulted in a weak public service. More focus would be placed on information technology (IT), as it was a strategic tool to enhance service delivery. However, government departments were not using it sufficiently.
The budget allocation for the Department and its entities for 2016/17 financial year was R770 million and was predicted to increase to R900.8 million in 2017/18 and R948.7 million in 2018/19. A total of R448 million was allocated to the Department, while R321 million was allocated to the entities. The allocation breakdown showed the Public Service Commission (PSC) and administration getting the biggest portions of the budget. The National School of Government had experienced the biggest budget cut, moving from R140 million to R55 million in the current financial year.
Department of Cooperative Governance
Mr Vusi Madonsela, Director General: Department of Cooperative Governance apologised for the absence of the Minister and said he would introduce that portion of the presentation on the Minister's behalf. He reminded Members that the former Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs had been split to fall under two Directors-General -- he was in charge of the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG) and Dr Charles Nwaila, Director General, Traditional Affairs, would present for the Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA).
The key elements on which CoGTA as a whole operated were based on its Constitutional mandates, which were to deal with:
- System of Cooperative Government (Chapter 3 of the Constitution)
- Provinces (Chapter 6 of the Constitution)
- Local Government (Chapter 7 of the Constitution)
- Traditional leaders (Chapter 12 of the Constitution)
Mr Madonsela stated that cooperative governance, as contained in Chapter 3 section 40(1) of the Constitution, referred to government as national, provincial and local spheres, which were distinctive, interrelated and interdependent. In fact, however, there was little autonomy or independence at the municipal level, although it should be borne in mind that this was always the aim.
The system of cooperative governance emphasised, in Chapter 7, section 151(1), that municipalities were to be established for the whole of the territory of the Republic, and section 154(1) of the Constitution obliged national and provincial government to support and strengthen capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise their powers and perform their functions. Local government was "the coalface of delivery" of the services to citizens that helped government fulfil its obligations in respect of the various Bill of Rights, such as health and well-being, access to water and adequate housing. It was also made it clear that there was a clear interface between national and provincial government and that Schedule 4 of the Constitution provided for functional areas of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence, whereas Schedule 5 provided for functional areas of exclusive provincial legislative competence. CoGTA's Constitutional mandate was primarily derived from chapters 3,5,6,7,9,10 and 12 of the Constitution.
Mr Madonsela said that the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the Department of Cooperative Governance were guided by the ‘Back to Basics’ campaign to give impetus to the work of the Department and the Ministry, the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019. Its latest strategic plan covered 2015-2019, and there was also an Annual Performance Plan for 2016/17. The vision was set out by the functional and developmental local government system that delivered on its Constitutional and legislative mandates, within a system of cooperative governance. This Department's vision was in line with the objectives of Chapter 13 of the National Development Plan, which covered ‘Building a capable and developmental state’. The mission was adopted from the five pillars of the ‘Back to Basics’ campaign.
The alignment of the cooperative governance values were guided by the spirit of Batho Pele, and included values such as commitment to public service, integrity and dedication to fighting corruption, a hands on approach to dealing with local challenges, public participation and a people-centred approach, professionalism and goal orientation, passion to serve, and excellence and accountability. Adherence to these values would contribute towards the required state of local government. DCOG had a planned policy initiative for the period 2014-2019, which had been presented by the Minister of COGTA in Parliament in 2014, during the budget vote that set out the ‘Back to Basics’ approach. This had subsequently also been presented at the local government summit in September 2014 and widely endorsed by all local government role players. The programme was designed to ensure that all municipalities performed their basic responsibilities and functions, without compromise.
Putting the ‘Back to Basics’ into operation within the DCOG would require that some fundamental changes be made in the way that DCOG worked, in order to create a more responsive, service-focused system of local government that that would meet the needs of the people. This plan would show how the goals and strategic objectives of the Department would be translated into a new organisational structure, and cross-reference these to the programmes. The DCOG had adopted a new plan that reorganised it into seven branches, which were: Back to Basics Command Centre; Local Government Transformation; Institutional Development; Local Government Management; Community Work Programme; Finance and Corporate Services.
Mr Madonsela said the DCOG would be pursuing nine goals. These were to :
- create a functional local government system based on accountability for performance;
- ensure significant improvements in service delivery through sound infrastructure management;
- build institutional resilience and initiate the next phase of institution building;
- lead and support the prosperous cities and towns by structuring the space economy;
- strengthen intergovernmental arrangements for delivery of services, collaborative planning, and oversight within the system of cooperative government;
- entrench a culture of good governance and instil a new morality of service and integrity in local government;
- expand local public employment programmes through the Community Work Programme;
- strengthen, coordinate and support effective integrated disaster management and fire services; and
- refocus and strengthen the capacity of DCOG to deliver on its mandate.
Mr Madonsela then presented the Annual Performance Plan (APP), which set out a number of projects for each of the 16 strategic objectives which were to be achieved by March 2019. He particularly highlighted that clear performance standards would be set and enforced. Objective 3 was structured so that national and provincial government could support, monitor, intervene and enforce performance by March 2019. He also stressed the implementation initiatives to improve financial sustainability, revenue management and audit outcomes in local government by March 2019, strengthening the citizen engagement mechanism, strengthening anti-corruption measures, improving disaster management and fire services across all spheres of government, and facilitating and coordinating capacity building initiatives in order to build capable municipalities by the end of March 2019.
More specific initiatives to strengthen and improve municipalities overall were also set out, emphasising that structures must be sustainable and well maintained. Innovative programmes would be introduced to stimulate local economies and work opportunities would be provided and maintained, by strengthening the municipalities' own abilities and promoting partnerships.
The 2016 Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) included amounts deducted from and added to the CoGTA budget vote and the net change to the baseline amounts were: a decrease of R466.6 million in 2016/17. and increases of R798.5 million in 2017/18 and R1.989 billion in 2018/19. The baseline allocations for compensation of employees and goods and services of the Department were substantially decreased over the 2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). There would be a ceiling on the compensation of employees’ expenditure over the medium term. The compensation of employee funds would be identified as specifically and exclusively appropriated.
Department of Traditional Affairs
Dr Charles Nwaila, Director General: Department of Traditional Affairs, said that the overall mission of the DTA was to transform, develop, harmonise and promote cohesiveness of traditional affairs institutions.
There were seven medium term strategic objectives. These were to:
- integrate and align planning, performance monitoring, reporting, information management and communication systems within the traditional affairs spectrum;
- promote internal control systems;
- promote safe, healthy and legal initiation practices and support the Department of Health's HIV/AIDS awareness programme;
- promote socio-economic and cultural development within traditional communities;
- increase the number of functional structures of traditional leadership;
- develop, review, monitor and support implementation of traditional affairs policies and legislation towards transformation of the institution of traditional leadership; and
- facilitate collaborative relations of the institution of traditional leadership with the three spheres of government, civil society and the private sector, for improved service delivery and socio economic development within traditional communities.
By 2020, the DTA hoped to integrate and align planning, performance monitoring, reporting, information management and communication systems within the traditional affairs sector, and to improve internal control systems. It would be improving the internal control systems by implementing the post audit action plan (PAAP) developed and implemented, based on the ten audits conducted. The research, policy and legislation (RPL) predetermined objectives and targets aimed to develop, review, monitor and support implementation of traditional affairs policies and legislation, for transformation of the institution of traditional leadership by 31 March 2020. More specifically, the DTA aimed to work with one Bill -- the Initiation Bill. It aimed to increase the number of functional structures of traditional leadership by 31 March 2020, and to facilitate collaborative relations of the institution of traditional leadership with the three spheres of government, civil society and the private sector.
The predetermined objectives and targets of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) included promoting safe, healthy and legal initiation practices, and supporting the Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS awareness programme. It aimed also to promote socio-economic and cultural development within traditional communities. More specifically, it was aiming for a drastic reduction in fatalities resulting from the initiation practice, and there were two projects in the NHTL programme for socio-economic and cultural development of traditional communities to be implemented. The Department would over the medium term period focus on reducing the number of facilities emanating from customary practices, increasing functional Traditional Councils, the finalisation of traditional leadership disputes and claims cases lodged, and ensuring that the partnership between traditional leadership, private sector and government were functional and benefited traditional communities.
Ms T Wana (ANC, Eastern Cape) complained that the font used by the DCOG in its presentation had been faint and difficult for Members to read. It would be important for the Committee to know about the overall target achievement of the Department for the 2016/17 financial year. It was unclear what criteria were being used for the budget allocation of municipalities. She wanted to know the number of African countries that were involved in the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) and the benefits that were derived by South Africa from this initiative.
The Chairperson wanted to know the status of the appeal around the issue of the electoral court, as this had not been covered in the presentation. The budget of the Department for 2016/17 was planned to decrease, but to increase for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years -- what was influencing this fluctuation? The Committee should be briefed on the impact of the ‘Back to Basics’ programme and the improvements and challenges that were being experienced. What had been the progress and challenges in the implementation of the Batho Pele (“Putting People First”) programme to date? The fatalities and injuries to young men in the traditional initiation school were particularly concerning. There had been a commitment from the Department of Traditional Affairs that there would be a Male Initiation Bill that would specifically crackdown on initiation deaths. The Committee should get a commitment as to when the Bill would be finalised and tabled in Parliament. There was a decline in household incomes and an increase in the debts owed to municipalities, and therefore increasing charges for the basic services was putting pressure on households. What was the advice of the Department to the municipalities to meet that particular challenge?
The Chairperson also asked if the Department was aware of the story in Free State where the contracts of most of the administrators for the Community Work Programme (CWP) were being terminated. What was the strategy in place to ensure that the expulsion of individuals who were expected to be helpful in the CWP was prevented? It was a worrying factor to hear that peoples’ contracts were being terminated without even a clear stipulation of the reasons. Was there any effective monitoring of the training that was offered by the CWP, especially in the Free State?
Mr Madonsela responded that one million work opportunities was the target that had been set up by the Department and there were currently 200 000 work opportunities in place. The focus of the Department at the moment was on the participants in the CWP, as these were the people that would directly benefit from the programme. The ‘Back to Basics’ approach was based on understanding the principle of differentiation -- that municipalities were not the same and therefore needed to be treated and addressed differently. The metropolitan municipalities were totally different from district municipalities and the programmes in place would also differ. The reality was that metropolitan municipalities were home to 69% of the total population in the county and contributed about 80% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and this showed that metros on their own played a significant role in the economic growth of the country.
The Department had developed an Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) in order to assist metros to improve on the development and contribution to their economy. Government would continue to support rural and emerging cities, and this spoke once again to the differentiation of local spaces and the potential that the different spaces played in the economy of the country. The intention of the Department was not to marginalise rural areas, as they were also given equal resources. The Department was currently finalising a report which would provide clear data as to the number of senior managers in municipalities that were complying with the minimum competency requirement.
Mr Andries Nel, Deputy Minister of COGTA, added that the Department would still make all the necessary enquiries around the issue of the termination of the contracts of some administrators that were involved in the CWP in the Free State.
Mr S Thobejane (ANC, Limpopo) commented that government had been addressing the issue of inherent inequality in South Africa, and it was worrying to hear that much of the resources and capacitation in the ‘Back to Basics’ programme would be going to the metropolitan municipalities. Was this not contributing to the perpetuation of inherent inequality in our country? It must be highlighted that rural municipalities should be prioritised in the provision of resources and capacitation, as they are entering new terrain. He also wanted to know if the DTA was following the recommendations that had been made by the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims that the country should have six recognised chiefs, and the challenges that still arose from those recommendations. The issue of the unequal budgets that were given to recognised chiefs in the country was also particularly concerning. The Department would need to promptly address the “will-nilly kind of favouritism” that was given to other recognised kings. What was the view of the DTA on the sentencing of the King of the Abathembu, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo? The Committee should also get information on whether the DTA was able to fund the litigation costs of the King.
Mr G Michalakis (DA, Free State) asked if COGTA was currently collaborating with the Department of Water Affairs on the bore water infrastructure in the Free State province. Was there any specific reason why he had not received any response to the letter that he had forwarded to the then Minister of COGTA, Mr Pravin Gordhan, around the issue of water provision in the Masilonyana local municipality in the Free State. It was at least comforting that the Department had acknowledged receipt of the letter but it is also worrying that a Member of Parliament would have to wait for a year in order to get a reply from the ministry. In relation to municipal debts to Eskom, there were some municipalities in the Free State that had reached an agreement with Eskom to provide down payments on their debts. However, it was concerning that the bulk of the allocated budget of these municipalities was being allocated to past debts while there were still no available resources to pay the current debts. Was there any planning in place from COGTA to deal with the down payments and also to service the current debts?
Mr Madonsela replied that the Minister of Public Enterprise and COGTA had already indicated their intention to visit all the municipalities that were affected by the budget losses that had been initiated by Eskom. The Department had already visited all the municipalities in the Northern Cape, Free State, North West and Mpumalanga. The report on the findings around those visits had been finalised last week and it contained short, medium and long-term recommendations. The recommendations would form part of the plan that would be responding to all the issues that were related to the servicing of the current and previous debts. One of the recommendations that had come out of the report, especially in the short-term plan, was to deal with the timeframe of the agreements between municipalities and Eskom. There was a realisation that some of the municipalities had entered into an agreement with Eskom for a period of 12 months while the allocated budget would not sustain that objective. The Committee could be forwarded with the report in order to scrutinise all the recommendations that had been made by the Department.
Mr Madonsela said that the Department did not have the immediate number of African countries that were involved in United Cities and Local Governments of Africa but the Committee could be forwarded the exact number. The UCLGA was an association of African local governments and not every country in the continent had local government institutions. The benefits that were derived from involvement in UCLGA were the ability to share the information and learn from the experiences of other countries on how local government was evolving in those contexts. The Department had also had a summit last year where the discussions were around the contribution of Africa as a continent and the vision of where the world was going in terms of matters of local government and the paramount importance of sustainable development. The Department did not have enough information around problems of bore water infrastructure in the Free State at the moment.
Mr Nel said that the Department would definitely follow up on the letter that had been sent last year around the issue of water provision in the Masilonyana local municipality in the Free State and ensure that there was a prompt reply. The Department always endeavoured to respond to all the correspondences and queries from the Members of Parliament and the general public.
Regarding the question of inequality, the Department needed to adopt an approach that took into account the challenges of each of the broad categories of municipalities that the Department was dealing with. The Department was looking at the reconfiguration of the some of the municipalities so as to be able to operate in an efficient and viable way. There was a need to give district municipalities a shared role to support some of the municipalities that were struggling in service delivery and financial management. The Department also needed to critically examine the funding model for municipalities. Together with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and National Treasury (NT), it had already engaged on the issue and the report on the matter had already been tabled in the budget forum.
The Deputy Minister added that the Department would need to find a way to manage urbanisation, as this was a global phenomenon. In 2005, there had been more people globally living in urban areas than in rural areas. South Africa at the moment had about 60% of the people living in urban areas and this was predicted to increase to 70% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The country, along with the rest of the continent and Asia, was undergoing extremely rapid urbanisation and this would need to be managed effectively. There were many positive consequences of urbanisation but there were also a number of negative consequences if the issue was not managed effectively and efficiently. The approach of the Department on urbanisation was that urban and rural development could not be seen as direct opposites, as the two were interrelated. It was also impossible to have rural development as an attempt to stop rural-urban migration, as this trend was unlikely to stop. There was a need to have rural and urban development working hand-in-hand in order to complement each other, especially when one considered South Africa’s history of migrant labour. The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) had been completed and was ready to go to Cabinet -- the Department was still waiting for only two technical pieces of work to be done before it was submitted to Cabinet. The IUDF and National Development Plan (NDP) were both aimed at breaking the spatial legacy of apartheid and addressing the issue of spatial inequality that still prevailed in our society.
In relation to the issue of local government elections, there was a ministerial committee on local government elections, and this committee had already met four times this year. The Committee could be forwarded with details on the preparations for the upcoming local government elections. The Department was taking seriously the constitutional judgement on the Tlokwe Local Municipality. The view of the Department was that the integrity of our elections should be above question. There would be a need for the Department to ensure that the majority of South Africans were not disenfranchised. There were approximately eight million people who had no address behind their names and a further eight million that had only a generic address behind their names. The challenge of the Department was on how to rollout physical addresses to these 16 million people, given the very short space between now and time at which the elections were proclaimed. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had approached the Constitutional Court, seeking to appeal against the Electoral Court’s judgment or apply to the court to suspend certain aspects of the its own judgments. The latest information was that the matter would be dealt with on 9 May 2016, and COGTA had been cited as a respondent. The Committee could be forwarded with court papers on the position that was being taken by the Department on the matter.
Dr Nwaila said that it was still unclear as to when the Male Initiation Bill would be finalised, but there was a concerted effort to ensure that the Bill was expedited. The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill was currently in Parliament and the Department would establish the King’s Council only when the Bill was promulgated. The issues of budget allocations for kings would also be addressed in the King’s Council, as this was a matter that needed to be addressed. The King’s Council would also deal with the need for traditional leaders to have chief financial officers (CFOs) in order to improve financial management. The Department did not have an opinion on the King of the Abathembu, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, as the royal family was the one that would inform governance in terms of what needed to be done going forward. In relation to legal fees for the court case of the King, this was once again a matter that was being dealt with by the royal family and the Department of Justice and Correctional Services (DJCS), and government was not involved in the payment of litigation costs.
The Chairperson indicated that there would be a need to convene another meeting with COGTA on matters around the readiness for the upcoming local elections.
Department of Public Service and Administration
Mr Mashwahle Diphofa, Director-General: Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), said that the 2016/17 APP of the Department was aligned to the 2015/2020 Medium Term Strategic Framework as drawn from Outcome 12 -- an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service which was based on Chapters 13 and 14 of the NDP. An overview was provided of the Department’s strategic plan for the period 2015/2020, the constitutional and legislative mandates, strategic priorities for 2015/2020, 2016/17 annual targets as well as budget allocations. The 2015/2020 strategic plan and the 2015/16 annual operation plan had been tabled in Parliament on 15 March 2015.The Department drew its mandate from section 195(1) of the Constitution and the Public Service Act (PSA) of 1994, as amended.
He said there continued to be unevenness in the capacity and performance of the public service. This unevenness was attributed to a complex set of factors, which included tensions in the political-administrative interface, instability of the administrative leadership, skills deficits, insufficient attention to the role of the state in reproducing the skills it needed, the erosion of accountability and authority, poor organisational design and low staff morale. The strategic goals of the DPSA aimed to address this unevenness.
The first goal was to establish a stable political-administrative interface. A framework had already been approved by Cabinet, which would include the creation of minimum levels of delegation and the retention of Heads of Departments within the public service. The second strategic goal was to make the public service a career of choice, where young people would be drawn into the public service through the graduate recruitment scheme and the appointment of the youth into learnerships and internships in the department. The Department would also strive to have sufficient technical and professional skills for efficient and effective management and operations systems. At present, the Department had too many vacancies which had not been filled, and this had resulted in a weak public service. More focus would be placed on information technology (IT), as it was a strategic tool to enhance service delivery. However, government departments were not using it sufficiently.
Mr Diphhofa vowed that the Department would fill the vacancies, introduce business processes and standard operating procedures as well as operational guidelines, entrench disciplined management as well the e-enablement of five prioritised government services. The DPSA also wanted to increase the responsiveness of public servants and their accountability to citizens, which would epitomize the Batho Pele principles. They would achieve this by revitalizing the Batho Pele programme. There would be improved mechanisms to promote ethical behaviour in the public service, as corruption impeded service delivery. Policy initiatives adopted by the Department included the amendment of the Public Service regulations which had been revised and were envisaged to replace the existing regulations.
With regard to administration, the Department reported that the Auditor General (AG) had congratulated them on submitting annual financial statements that were free from material misstatements, which they viewed in a very favourable light, as it reflected a compliant, effective and efficient department. In terms of policy, research and analysis, the objective was to provide appropriate legislative and policy frameworks for a uniform system of public administration which was equitable. The AG had raised concerns about the high vacancy rates across the public service, and it was something the DPSA was working on. The AG had also raised concerns about IT security in the public service, and the Department had developed a framework, approved by Cabinet, to address this.
Mr Masilo Makhura, CFO: DPSA, said that the budget allocation for the Department and its entities for the 2016/17 financial year was R770 million and was predicted to increase to R900.8 million in 2017/18 and R948.7 million in 2018/19. A total of R448 million was allocated to the Department while R321 million was allocated to the entities. The allocation breakdown showed the Public Service Commission (PSC) and administration getting the biggest portions of the budget. The National School of Government had experienced the biggest budget cut, moving from R140 million to R55 million in the current financial year. A total of R272 million was budgeted for the compensation of employees, R170 million for goods and services, and R323 million for transfers and subsidies.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee should set aside specific time where the entities of DPSA would be allowed to make presentations. The Committee would also need to have enough time to ask questions to the DPSA on matters that were still outstanding.
The meeting was adjourned.